If you can’t get all the content from the publishers why not get 10 million books from the universities and libraries?
Today we hear that Google is to hover up more university material from Univ. of Chicago, Univ. of Illinois, Indiana Univ., Univ. of Iowa, Univ. of Michigan, Michigan State Univ., Univ. of Minnesota, Northwestern Univ., Ohio State Univ., Pennsylvania State Univ., Purdue Univ., and Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. They already have the Univ. of Michigan and the Univ, of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Harvard and the Univ. of California
Unlike the publisher program Google will give the universities digital copies of the books they provide and state that they will also digitize the books "in a manner consistent with copyright laws." An interesting statement, given the universities don’t know who owns the copyright of books other than those in ancient tomes which are clearly in public domain.
It is hard to knock the initiative and the result should provide them with a significant repository of content which will be public domain and therefore free to render any which way. So we can see lots of old books coming back along with no doubt a number of orphaned works leaving just the current lists to publishers.