image“The judge overseeing Google‘s controversial agreement with American publishers to digitise millions of books has delayed a hearing into the $125m deal—effectively shutting down the settlement and sending it back to the drawing board.” – The Guardian (link added).

Details: Concerns such as copyright, anti-trust laws were responsible. Judge Denny Chin wants a solution but not without lots and lots of tweaking, it would appear. You can read some of his thoughts here. The judge delayed the planned Oct. 7 hearing.

image“The current settlement agreement,” wrote Chin, “raises significant issues, as demonstrated not only by the number of objections, but  also by the fact that the objectors include countries, states, nonprofit organizations, and prominent authors and law professors. Clearly, fair concerns have been raised.” Check out the Open Book Alliance, with members ranging from Amazon to small press groups and library organizations.

The joys of lack of progress

In some ways I’m actually rooting for more lack of progress. The problem isn’t just in the details. It’s in the fact that the U.S. and other countries need coherent information policies rather than linking the destinies of libraries and other institutions so closely to one corporation or group of them. Jeez. And to think that I own a very small speck of Google stock for retirement purposes. So much for loyalty.

Related: Google News roundup and New York Times coverage of the settlement case—plus Om Malik’s reflections on the Google email outage. Imagine a lasting Google Books outage, whether from hacking or other sources. Massive dependence on one company is not without its perils.