The judge set to preside over the deal that could see Google Books become what some describe as the internet's digital librarian has delayed the hearing.

The wonderfully named Denny Chin announced that the deal that was struck between publishers and Google – and is being fiercely contested by the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft was unlikely to be the operative one.

Judge Chin talked about the significant issues, that needed to be balanced against the benefits of putting thousands of out-of-print books online – in light of a US Department of Justice plea for the parties to modify the settlement.

Delay

The authors and publishers group which struck the deal with Google has asked for a delay to do this and it has now been granted.

"Under all the circumstances, it makes no sense to conduct a hearing on the fairness and reasonableness of the current settlement agreement, as it does not appear the current settlement will be the operative one," wrote Judge Chin.

Google has continued to insist that this is merely its attempt to bring millions of books back into the public domain.

"If approved by the court, this settlement stands to unlock access to millions of books in the US, while giving authors and publishers new ways to distribute their work," said Google.

Via Reuters