The Open Rights Group has invoked the British Freedom of Information Act to gain a copy of the contract between Google and the British Library and has published it online. In most cases, the contracts Google makes with libraries concerned with digitalizing collections are not disclosed. The British Library normally publishes all its contracts, but the one with Google was never voluntarily made public.
ORG wanted to know which terms and restrictions were linked to the digitalisation of 250.000 books from the library by Google. As it turns out, Google has more rights to use the scanned documents than the British Library itself. The Library can show the books on its website, but it can not use them commercially. Even more, it has to make sure the texts are not downloaded and forwarded in any way. Google can exploit them.
The books are in the public domain, on which there are no longer any copyrights.