It would have been a good initiative. But on second thought, would I want my own books to be copied and available on the net this way? I don't think so. I would like my legal rights holders to get the benefits (if at all any!).
Jokes aside (on my literary estate, that is), the question is of whether you want google to have unconditional access to all the books and thereby deprive the rightful copyrights owners from getting a revenue out of it. Somehow the deal fell into the cracks and never got done. Hm. Somehow authors are a selfish and self-centred lot you see.