Attention, Google Books Class Authors -- Opt Out And Make a Deal With Google!
Anita concludes that if you want to make your books accessible on the web, via Google, you'd be smarter to opt out of the settlement and directly join the Google Books Partner Program. Your books will appear as they would if you had remained part of the settlement. "But this way, you keep all your rights. And you can even add a 'buy this book' button to the display page of your book if you offer the book for sale at your own site."
I'm trying t0 think through the implications of Anita's scoop. The Google Books Partner Program does post disclaimer language about the terms being subject to change without notice. So my guess is that if and when the settlement goes through, the terms for opt-outers might become less favorable. That is just speculation on my part.
What is not speculation is that Anita Bartholomew's reporting shows, yet again, that a class-action copyright settlement, negotiated by the Authors Guild supposedly on behalf of all writers, has turned on its head the concept of collecting damages for infringement. That's so boring ... so by-the-book.
This settlement, like the freelancers' UnSettlement, is at best only partly about collecting damages for infringement. The settlement is much more about the legal jiu-jitsu of turning a lawsuit against a corporation into that corporation's own marketing and product-development arm.
And I hate to be the one to break the news, but the law does not empower "class representatives" to do that. For good reason.