Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and the Authors Guild continue to combat each other over the former’s digital books project. CNET reported Wednesday that lawyers from both parties were present at an appeal hearing Wednesday related to a class action status for the suit that gave the Authors Guild the ability to sue Google as a group. Lawyers for Google argued against this status.
The suit has been slow-moving to say the least. In November, CNET reported on the same issue explaining Google’s argument that “…a suit filed on behalf of all authors whose books have been scanned shouldn’t be allowed because most authors support the scanning.” Instead of a lawsuit that lumps all the authors together, Google would rather each case be decided individually.
The lawsuit has been underway since 2005 when the Authors Guild protested that Google’s book scanning marked an infringement on copyright laws. Although various settlements have been agreed upon and then thrown out, there is now again a returned focus to the damages Google will be responsible for. CNET quotes the Authors Guild as asking for $750 per “infringed book” and cited a $3 billion number Wednesday — a number that represents only a fifth of the number of books scanned. Needless to say, it is easy to imagine that Google is probably wishing that initial $125 million settlement in 2008 was not thrown out by a judge’s ruling that it gave Google an unfair advantage over its competitors.
The main case remains suspended until the Google’s appeal process is completed.