Before long, Google may be granted permission to scan every book on earth.
It's grand when you want to look up something from long ago, some ancient novel or newspaper article from the Nineteenth Century. A few keystrokes and you have what you need, the bit of information that will flesh out a scene in your historical fiction. It's not so grand if you're the author of a copyrighted book who thought there'd be royalties coming in but who's going to buy if it's free on the Internet?
The deal on the table would allow Google to scan copyrighted books, but they'd have to pay the owner of the copyright. Sixty-three percent of revenues derived from ad revenue obtained from a hit on the given book, or from a subscription to access the book, would fall into the author's lap.
So at a few cents per ad hit, that could amount to next to nothing.
At least if someone had to buy the book, or use the copy purchased by the local public library, there'd be something coming in to pay the bills for the writer. Instead, everything goes electronic, paper-free, making things much cheaper to produce. The author, however, has the same investment of time, while it's only the compensation that will be reduced.
Expect authors who are aware of the upcoming deadline to opt out of a Google scan. There's everything in it for the benefit of Google's shareholders, and nothing for an author to gain.