Filings in opposition tend to be substantial and weighty, citing both U.S. and international copyright law. Filings in favor tend to be of the "Gee, I like free books" sort. The most substantial of them is probably that from Sony, which is 20 pages long and filed by a NYC law firm, but, with one exception, it doesn't deal with the issues of copyright. Here's the closest Sony comes to admitting that authors have rights.
"The non-exclusivity provision of the Settlement--which makes plain that that the right given to Google do not permit copyright holders or the Registry itself from licensing e-book right to others--ensure that healthy, price-driven competition will remain after the Settlement is approved."
Yes, you read it right. The Google settlement gives Google and Google alone the right to display online for profit the contents of any book first published anywhere in the world since 1922 without the author's knowledge or consent unless they formally opted out by last Friday, September 4, 2009. Just heard about that? Tough luck. You've been screwed by Google with Sony's warm approval.
And to add insult to considerable injury, Google and Sony purr that Google's right is non-exclusive. What does that mean? Having brushed aside an author's copyright, they say, "Oh, well. We don't care if you sell someone else the right to publish your book. That is, if that someone else can compete with free." Under copyright law, of course, Google has no right to publish a book at all without the author's permission. They have no rights at all, much less exclusive rights. That's a good indication of ethically and legally clueless Google and Sony are.
Until I read this document, I felt sorry for Sony. They used to be so popular, now that aren't. But it helps to remember that much of their failure came from an obsession with protecting the copyrighted music they own. Now, in their zeal to sell their ebook readers, they're helping Google stomp on the copyright of several million authors. Color them hypocrites, very big hypocrites.
I no longer feel sorry for Sony. If they languish in obscurity, they're only getting what they deserve. Sony can't zealous defend their own copyrights by every nasty means available and run roughshod over the copyrights of others without deservedly getting sneered at.
The basic premise of the Google settlement is that any book not "commercially available" is effectively out of copyright. How would Sony feel if music fans regarded any music not available commercially at the moment as effectively out of copyright? That's what we are talking about here.