Google officials have confirmed that their attorneys last night filed a petition to appeal Judge Denny Chin’s recent order granting the Authors Guild’s motion for class certification in their ongoing litigation. The appeal was filed with the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals—notably, the court Judge Denny Chin now sits on. While details of the appeal filing were not immediately available, the appeal process could delay the motions for summary judgment, due June 26, and ultimately the trial date, set for early September, while the appeal process plays out.
While the appeal documents were not yet available at press time, Google had previously argued that the case should not be certified as a class action largely because “individual issues predominate over common ones as to copyright ownership and fair use.” In his recent ruling, however, Chin rejected that argument. “Class action is the superior method for resolving this litigation,” Chin wrote, concluding that, “every potential class member’s claim arises out of Google’s uniform, widespread practice of copying entire books without permission of the copyright holder and displaying snippets of those books for search.” Because Google “treated the copyright holders as a group,” he found, “copyright holders should be able to litigate on a group basis.”
The appeal sets up yet another interesting twist in the long-running case, as Chin’s colleagues on the Second Circuit are now in a position to potentially strike down his recent decision. Chin was promoted to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in April, 2010, but he kept the Google case, sitting by designation with the district court.