“At this point, Google has the better part of the argument on the reach of the Communications Decency Act of 1996,” Wingate said in a ruling read from the bench. He promised a longer written ruling within 10 days.
Wingate, in discussions with lawyers Monday in court, laid out a schedule for each side to seek documents and depose witnesses over 90 days, with arguments on a final ruling in the case to follow this summer.
“The fact that the court has issued an injunction does not mean the court has reached a final decision in the case – just that the court wishes to maintain the status quo,” Wingate said.
The showdown between Google and Hood had been building for several years, but it escalated last fall when Hood sent a 79-page subpoena to Google. That document demanded the company produce information on subjects including whether Google is helping criminals by allowing its search engine to lead to pirated music, by having its autocomplete function suggest illegal activities and by sharing YouTube ad revenue with the makers of videos promoting illegal drug sales.