Google insists it has the best of intentions for its massive book-scanning project following its settlement with book rights holders, but there is still a strong undercurrent of distrust in the publishing community, CNET reports. Nothing vexes Google’s opponents more than the fact that the company assumed that it had the right to digitize nearly 100 years of written material without serious negotiations with those rights holders until it was sued. Authors have until Sept. 4 to decide if they want to opt out of the settlement and preserve the right to sue Google on their own for digitizing their books without their permission, though they can tell Google to remove their books from the Book Search archive even if they remain in the class. Everyone agrees that a searchable digital library of out-of-print books would be a very valuable asset for the world. For now, this knowledge exists only in millions of hardbound individual silos. What if we could make all that knowledge instantly accessible from anywhere in the world? Yet, who would control access to a valuable group of books? A for-profit corporation, which paid just $125 million for the license to that information. Google likes to say that anyone can cut deals with the Book Rights Registry to get similar access to out-of-print yet in-copyright books. The thing is, the number of organizations that can afford to duplicate Google’s efforts is limited. Google insists that it will be a fair steward of the material, but taking Google at its word requires trust, and trust in corporations is in short supply at this point in American history…

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