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Hearing on Google book-scanning settlement is delayed

September 25, 2009|David Sarno

The millions of out-of-print books scanned by Google Inc. and now sitting unread on the company's cyber-bookshelves will have to sit a while longer.

A New York judge on Thursday ordered the postponement of a long-standing October hearing meant to address a settlement between Google and a group of authors and publishers that sued the Mountain View, Calif., company more than four years ago.

Earlier this week, the publisher and author groups requested a delay in the proceedings so they could address copyright and antitrust issues raised by the Department of Justice in a brief filed last week.

That brief, which called the agreement "one of the most far-reaching class-action settlements of which the United States is aware," cautioned the court not to act hastily given the complexity and import of the issues but also acknowledged the "public benefit" of a vast database of easily accessible books.

In a statement issued after the order was released, Google did not object to the delay.

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david.sarno@latimes.com

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