Well, “settled” doesn’t mean “finished.”
According to the Dayton Business Journal,
The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into a proposed settlement by Google Inc. with authors of books it wants to put online, according to news reports.Apparently the problem is in the details of the agreement. According to The Register:
A New York judge recently pushed back the May 5 deadline for authors to tell Google whether they want to opt out of the deal. Now that date has been moved out four more months.
The details of the agreement reached with publishers gives Google monoploy rights on publishing books included in the deal - so if Google decides to delete a title it will effectively disappear. If Google labels a book "inappropriate", no one else can publish it online without risking being sued. There's no indication what Google might dee an "inappropriate" book.The Register also notes other concerns over the agreement:
Under the agreement Google pledged to establish a Books Right Registry - US copyright holders can get onto the register and get a cut of 63 per cent of Google's earnings from their work, or can ask for their work to be removed. If they don't receive an opt-out request, Google has the right to scan and offer for sale digital copies of books. … The deal also controversially gives Google rights over "orphan works" - books written by people who cannot be traced.Ars Technica went more specifically into concerns by some authors and publishers about the deal:
So, for example, the agreement as structured could essentially turn Google into the sole rightsholder for orphaned works, which would mean that anyone would have to negotiate with the company over the use of these works. Other objections focus on the fact that Google could control the sale and distribution of out-of-print works, even if the original author decided to release it under a more liberal license. Other recent objections suggest that the settlement, by giving the search giant control of how the out-of-print works are displayed, could allow the company to censor and selectively display these works, based on community standards or political concerns.If you want more info, including links to the motion filed to intervene in this case, check out The New York Times.
So apparently, it’s not over ‘til it’s over. You’ve got about four more months to weigh in and be heard. The best place to voice your opinion is with The Authors Guild or talk to your publisher.