Court: No class-action status in Google book case

Court: No class-action status in Google book case
FILE - In this file photo, a scanner passes over a book at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., where one of hundreds of librarians from all over the world was helping Google Inc.'s Book Search create digital versions of all the estimated 50 million to 100 million books in the world.
NEW YORK (AP) - A federal appeals court says it is too early for authors to be considered as a group in litigation challenging Google Inc.'s plan to create the world's largest digital library.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a ruling Monday that a judge must consider fair use issues before deciding whether to consider authors as a class. The court says neither side will be harmed by a delay in deciding whether the Authors Guild can represent all writers.

So far, Google has copied more than 20 million books. The three-judge appeals panel that heard arguments earlier this year seemed reluctant to get in the way of the plans. One judge said it would be a "huge advantage" for many authors while another said it would have "enormous societal benefit."