Friday, February 19, 2010

Judge Chin Regrets He's Unable to Rule Today

The long-awaited Google Books Settlement hearing is underway today in the New York courtroom of Judge Denny Chin as he tries to clear his docket before moving up to the Court of Appeals. For any who might have brought unrealistic hopes of an immediate answer, though, Judge Chin started the morning by telling the court, "I'm not going to rule today, there's too much to digest." He added, "I have an open mind." But during the morning's presentations, Chin's questions made it clear that he is quite familiar with the stacks of briefs already filed. He repeated the same lament from his own brief rulings--there has been "a lot of repetition" of arguments, and "some submissions even quote the other submissions."

Of course in the publishing world, this is the closet thing we will have to the Olympics. After years of training, preparation and negotiation, approximately 30 parties have made it to today's main event, given a mere five minutes to speak. Yes, the only flag flying in the courtroom is America's, but the teams came from all over--France, Germany, Japan and Connecticut; the National Federation for the Blind, who brought such a large contingent that Judge Chin quipped "many of whom are here this morning apparently" (to which their president replied, "It's very important to us your honor."); the corporate nation states of Sony, Amazon, Microsoft, AT&T; and more. We're live in Judge Chin's courtroom, with another eight paragraphs of testimony highlights in today's Publishers Lunch Deluxe and more to come later day at always, join us to follow publishing comprehensively, live as it happens.

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