Google said Tuesday that it had agreed to pay $125 million to settle two copyright lawsuits brought by book authors and publishers over the company’s plan to digitize and show snippets of in-copyright books and to share digital copies with libraries without the explicit permission.
Mountain View, California-based Internet search giant Google turned another page in its ambitious book scanning program Tuesday when it announced a $125 million legal settlement with authors and major publishers that included the formation of a unique book rights holder registry in the United States and money to compensate some authors whose works have been scanned without their consent. The class action settlement, which requires the approval of a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York judge, would create new revenue sharing opportunities for authors and copyright holders and significantly expand the amount of preview book text available to U.S. users of the popular Google Book Search program.
Regarding non-US publishers, I only have a bit of anecdotal information. My publisher in Switzerland was put off by Google's standard contract with publishers and rejected it at first.
AFAIK Google respected that and eventually negotiated a contract with them that all parties agree to. I don't want to put words into his mouth, so this is me reading between the lines. It seemed to me like he felt like Google was trying to trample his rights, but didn't when he showed up at the informal meeting with a copyright lawyer.
The publisher recently sent me a form saying that I had 90 days to opt out of having my books in Google Books and, if I did not respond to them, my books would be covered by their blanket agreement.