As someone who is both a photographer, and studying Law in his spare time, I can say that you are wrong.
The idea is to reach a settlement that best benefits your client, sure there will be some who drag it out to inflate their fees but that's not every lawyer. I'm an IT techy, yet I don't live in my mothers basement, playing WoW instead of showering. I wouldn't expect that many people on El Reg fit that stereotype, but it is a pervasive stereotype nonetheless.
You seem to be under the impression that Google Books is about doing the public some massive favour. It's not, it's about advertising revenue. Yes it's very useful to be able to find out of print works online, but they need to respect the legal rights of the copyright holders.
You're right in that copyright law has gone too far, 14 years was a good period. Some of us create because we enjoy it, and if it makes us a little bit of money then that's even better, some push things too far and try to extort money out of you. You talk about 'every fool with a camera', think about how much work actually goes into creating a professional quality image. There's more than just the shutter release involved, there's taking the time to properly compose the image, re-touching etc.
If you put that much work into something, and then decided to sell copies of it, would you not be just a _little_ bit pissed if someone started distributing it for free? Worse than that, distributing it for free whilst making money from advertising to visitors that *your* work attracted?
I'm all for copyright reform, but if you genuinely think you wouldn't be more than a little aggravated in that situation, you clearly don't value your time and your work highly enough.
For now, I'll assume that you just haven't thought about it properly, which just makes you a numpty. So how about you think before you type?
Paris, because many men have put hours of work into her!