A US judge has postponed a ruling in the Google Books settlement case. District judge Denny Chin said that he needs more time to examine the case before giving a decision.
"To end the suspense, I am not going to rule today," he said. "There is too much to digest."
The ruling is the latest twist in a five-year battle over the Books service. Google hoped that it had settled the matter in 2008 when it reached a $125m (£81m) settlement with publishers.
But the deal was roundly criticised by opponents of the service, and was eventually challenged by the US Department of Justice.
One of those opponents is the Open Book Alliance, a group comprising competitors to Google such as Amazon and Microsoft. On Thursday the group again blasted the settlement.
"The Open Book Alliance believes that Google has achieved a de facto exclusive licence that will provide the company with an enormous advantage over its search competitors," the group said.
"This was not achieved through the operation of normal market forces, but through Google's disregard for copyright holders' rights and the attempt to manipulate the class action process."
Not everyone is opposed to Google Books, however. The UK-based Publishers Association issued a statement in support of the deal.
"This case has raised significant questions, not just for the publishing industry, but in relation to the general issue of rights and ownership in the digital age," said Publishers Association chief executive Simon Juden.
"By supporting the settlement, we have been able to play an active role in negotiations, ensuring a better deal for publishers and greater control for all UK rights holders over their works."
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