Earlier in June 2012, Stephen Zralek was quoted in a story by ManagingIP about the GoogleBooks Class Action certification. Recently, Judge Denny Chin, sitting by designation for the Southern District of New York, issued a ruling allowing the case to proceed forward as a class action. ManagingIP asked Stephen how much of a blow this decision was to Google. Stephen explained:
“I think it’s fair to say that it’s always a major blow to a defendant when a class action is certified. Here the class includes all U.S. authors and heirs who have a copyright interest in a book that Google scanned into its Library Project. With the certification of a class, there’s a much greater chance that authors will participate in the litigation; otherwise, each author would have had to commence his or her own suit, and many times suit is never filed after evaluating the risks and benefits. A class, however, allows authors with smaller claims to reap the benefits of joining forces with those authors with bigger claims, more at stake, and funds to fight Google.”
He continued: “If Google is found liable, the damages will be aggregated and likely will appear to be significantly higher than if Google had been forced to defend separate lawsuits. The upside for Google is that it won’t have to defend cases all over the country and that it likely will spend less on legal fees, itself. But, if found liable, Google likely will have to pay a big sum to the class attorneys.”
To see a copy of the full article, click here.