Harold Evans, on a book tour to promote his memoir, has been misstating the facts on Google Books:
Google has shown insufficient appreciation of original work. For instance, they thought they could get away with the idea of taking books in copyright and making them available for nothing. It was outrageous, but they didn’t seem to realize how outrageous it was. That’s a lack of sensitivity. You cannot write a deeply researched book and then give it away.
Google has never attempted to make in-copyright books available “for nothing” without the explicit opt-in permission of the copyright owner. If this is the standard of accuracy “one of the most esteemed figures of 20th-century journalism” holds himself to, can someone remind me why we’re in such a panic about the decline of newspapers?