Ann Woolner does a good job of explaining the Google program to scan every book in the linked article.
Most of the stories I read come down on Google a trying to break the law. Tuat makes sense, most are written in publications that benefit from copyright materials.
There are hurdles to cross.. but we all benefit if Google scans. Amazon has a voluntary program now and I find and buy books based on what is buried on page 234 all the time.
If the courts rule that Google has to seek permission.. will they ever get around to asking me about my small number of books? Maybe not. And the world wouldn’t be able to find me that way (though I’m sure I could submit them to Google).
Copyright law exist for the public(reader) interest. The idea was that we’d get more books if writers were encouraged to publish. Hmmm.. Seems to be no shortage of writters wanting to publish today.
I think we’ll wind up with everything indexed. Personally, I can’t wait. I always want more stuff than I can find time to read, and this is one more way to find it.
Bloomberg.com: Bloomberg Columnists: “As the holder of a copyright on a book that fell a couple copies short of best-seller status and is now out of print, it excites me to think that Google might keep my work alive.”