Profits, Google and Sacrifice

When Google announced their plan to digitize all the books from all the libraries it was—despite few exceptions—hailed as an example of how technology could advance human knowledge. Imagine, many said, all the knowledge in one place. Imagine, searching for something and have the result truly be a thorough search. But then the idea came to the implementation stage and criticism began. Some libraries did not want to participate. Some authors felt they might be cheated. Newspapers and publishing companies began to object and lawsuits were filed.
There seem to be a thread running through the objections, the idea of property, the idea that knowledge, via the book it is part of, belongs to someone, a few, or an entity rather than humanity. Corollary to the idea of property is that of profit, and there’s the rub, no one wants to loose money. Anything published before 1923 poses no problem, it is in the public domain. Anything published since, however, is subject to all sorts of copyrights law which dictate who is legally entitled to the profits. While profits have their uses for without money survival for people or legal entities is not possible, they can also create obstacles. Because libraries have been known to burn or be flooded, and old books can crumble or somehow disappear, digitizing books may acquire a new importance. Which all raises a question, what kind of profits would need to be sacrificed and by whom, in order to ensure the sum of human knowledge is safeguarded?