You have probably heard about GoogleBook and the Google Book Settlement. But you may not know what all the hub bub is about despite the formidable battle of information among Google, its competitors and author advocates Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers, to name a few.
Basically the problem is Google sought to digitize millions of books from libraries without approval from copyright holders. The Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers filed a massive class action suit to stop Google's efforts and to protect author rights.
The case is close to settlement but there's been a recent wave of dissent against the proposed settlement. Recently, the Register of Copyrights, MaryBeth Peters, criticized the most recent settlement proposal while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. She said the settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers “amounted to an end-run around copyright law that would wrest control of books from authors and other right holders.”
The terms of the settlement would protect Google from liability from copyright infringement and would establish a Book Rights Registry administered by authors and publishers to license copyrighted works displayed in a GoogleBook search. The BRR would sell access to those books to individuals and libraries and the revenue would be shared among Google, authors and publishers.
But critics say this settlement simply allows Google to unilaterally use first and ask questions later. A "solution" violative of copyright. Google defends the settlement arguing it is fair and legal because authors can ask Google at any time to remove their books from the database -- albeit after the fact. In response to antitrust (monopoly) concerns, Google Google agrees to allow other retailers “sell access” to out-of-print books that it scanned from libraries.
Read more about the claims and controversies: