Blogged about this originally last year. For rare “out of copyright” books ditributed around the worlds major academic libraries you can see there is still an element of needing to “reward” those who’ve maintained custodianship, even if they have no publishing copyrights – but at the same time, would these books ever see widespread light of day, if an intiative like this didn’t scan them onto the web.
Perhaps a small subscription fee should be fed back to reward the institutions that allow this to happen. Provided all the actual cost is borne by the Google initiative, those institutions have no need for compensation, there would be negligible income from simply holding their copies in the current situation, would there ? It can only be win-win surely.