NEW YORK, Feb 23 (Reuters Legal) - Google Inc. has agreed
to extend the deadline by which authors and publishers must
file cash claims against it for scanning books without
They will now have until one year after a settlement is
approved in a class action brought against Google by the book
industry, according to a court filing last Friday.
The parties decided to extend the deadline, previously March
31, because a number of authors and publishers are holding off
on filing a claim until Judge Denny Chin decides whether to
approve the settlement. "They don't want to incur the time and
expense to do it if the court's not going to authorize the
settlement," said Michael Boni, who is counsel for the Author's
Guild. "Google generously agreed to extend the time."
Cash payments of $60 to $300 for each copyrighted work are
part of complex compensation provisions of a proposed
settlement that would affect authors and publishers whose works
were scanned by Google before May 5, 2009. The proposed
settlement also provides opportunities for the parties to share
revenue generated by sales, subscriptions and advertising.
Chin granted preliminary approval to the settlement in
November of 2009. At a so-called "fairness hearing" in February
2010, a long list of parties, from Microsoft to the National
Federation for the Blind, urged Chin to approve or reject the
"In your typical class action, consumer or securities, the
period between preliminary and final approval is 90 days," said
Blair Nicholas, a partner at the class action firm Berstein
Litowitz. "This is already outside the ordinary period but the
more complex the settlement and the more objections that are
filed, the more cautious the judge will be in approving the
The Google Books Settlement came about as a result of
tri-partite negotiations that took place between Google, the
Authors Guild and a coalition of publishers.
(Reporting by Jeff Roberts)