I don't know why the publishers or authors were so upset about this. Google doesn't make the book available, it just allows people to find out about it and read a couple of pages. That may lead to sales they would never have had otherwise.
Maybe you only preview the book for now...but be a little more realistic.
If you (as a company) are going to spend the time and money to go through the trouble of collecting and scanning ANY part of that many books...no idiot on the planet is only going to scan "a few pages". Thats like taking construction teams across a country and fixing "some" of the messed up roads. Its so inefficient its not defendable.
...Google wants to make the whole book available. That to me is a bigger accomplishment than all of the online maps and satellite images, internet radio, and online music purchases.
Can you imagine if RIAA got one big settlement back in the day and then just shut up? The fact that a major industry organization and five members of another publishers group have been appeased, and that there has been an effort to set up a system to compensate authors and publishers...thats huge. They just started doing this and already this industry is years ahead of online music as far as legal and copyright issues go.
People don't go to libraries as much because they can read wikipedia and other info online, only most of which is accurate. Now you can do BOTH without going to library and camping out in front of the copier.
No amount of crap from lawyers, other publishing groups, or anyone else...nothing really...can change the fact that this is major, major progress.