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Book-scanning projects - a question

Here's something I've always been curious about...

Most of the book-scanning projects are focusing on digitizing 
works in the public domain, right? And the public domain is 
basically books published before 1923, right?

So, aren't most of these projects the equivalent of building a 
physical library collection of pre-1923 books?

I realize that Google is THE big exception here. They're scanning 
in-copyright works. But it remains to be seen, pending the Google 
books settlement,what sort of access we all will get to these 
works. Google may well wind up being largely a pre-1923 library 
collection, with some exceptions regarding access to the full 
text of post-1923 works.

Anyway, like I said...something I've always been curious about, 
so I thought I'd finally ask. :-)

Bernie Sloan