Google and Plaintiffs want to postpone hearing, but not lose momentum

The Plaintiffs in the Google Books case have requested that the hearing on the proposed settlement be postponed, while the parties continue to negotiate. Google does not oppose the motion, and says they look forward to addressing concerns.

The request for postponement notes that the plaintiffs and Google met with Department of Justice officials on September 17, 2009, to discuss concerns raised in the recent DOJ Statement of Interest(PDF) (summarized here). The postponement request reiterates DOJ’s commitment to work with the parties to address concerns and notes that “no one wants the ‘opportunity or momentum to be lost’.” The plaintiffs are requesting that the court schedule a “status hearing” on November 6, 2009.

Predictably, the folks at Open Books Alliance are declaring victory. James Grimmelmann has some instant reactions as well.

Meanwhile, many news reports are quoting an email from Gabriel Stricker, a Google spokesman, that says:
“We [Google] are considering the points raised by the Department of Justice and others, and we look forward to addressing them as the court proceedings continue.”

Google doesn’t sound like it is conceding defeat here. I suspect that those who support a settlement would second the commitment to not lose any momentum here, and would hope that the parties can negotiate well and quickly. Dragging this out wouldn’t seem to be in anyone’s best interest.

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