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Google Makes Public Domain Books Live (BETA)
engine




msg:1232581
 2:46 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mountain View, Calif. Nov. 3, 2005 Today, Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced the availability of the first large collection of public domain books on Google Print. This collection, scanned as part of the company's book digitization project with several of the world's largest libraries, includes works such as U.S. Civil War history books, government documents, the writings of Henry James and other materials.

[print.google.com...]

Although, it's got the usual BETA on it.

[google.com...]

 

Leosghost




msg:1232582
 2:58 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like a direct competitor to amazon ..if you try if for example with harry potter ..

links to buy on left .....adwords on right

dissenting voices ..waaaay down at the bottom ..

distain for copyright ..all over the screen

Webwork




msg:1232583
 3:12 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I haven't read the rules of using the Google's new search tool. I simply entered the word Africa [print.google.com] into the search box.

The SERPs include this:

Frommer's South Africa
by Pippa de Bruyn - Travel - 2003 - 416 pages
Page iii - List of Maps Contents What's New in South Africa 1 (1 The ... Best ... of . ...

Frommers obviously isn't a public domain book. So I dig further and find this:

Why do I have to log in to see certain pages?

Because many of the books in Google Print are still under copyright, you'll see a limited amount of these books. To help us enforce these limits, some pages are available only after you log in to an existing Google Account (such as a Gmail account) or create a new one. Other pages in each book are available without login. If you prefer not to log in but still want to see a few pages, click on the 'view an unrestricted page' link. Keep in mind that Google Print is about finding and discovering books, so you may not be able to see every page you want to.

So, I thought when I used the tool that I'd find - and only find - public domain works. Wrong impression.

Actually, it would be a useful tool if its results were limited to public domain. Is that a search option?

I'm guessing that blending public domain with copyrighted works will make it more profitable? "You like this public domain book? Well . . . lookyhere . . . this newer book is even better and you can buy it now at Amazonk!

All benevolent ideas, such as searching public domain books, need fuel (profit) or the engine soon runs out of gas, yes?

[edited by: Webwork at 3:14 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2005]

indigojo




msg:1232584
 3:13 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Checked it out and left the browser unattended for 5 mins or so - came back and searched again and got this weird message page from google saying my computer or network was sending a virus and to enter some auto generated keys to continue searching. Nice touch Google!

Webwork




msg:1232585
 3:18 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Frankly, I'd rather see this idea evolve as a public works project, managed by an extension of the Library of Congress.

However, we all know that free markets do everything better than any other approach one might envision. ;)

willybfriendly




msg:1232586
 3:29 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like G is now the World's biggest affiliate site. (click "buy" and see the &ref=goog at the end of the URL)

I couldn't bring myself to creating a G account...

WBF

Leosghost




msg:1232587
 3:32 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing that blending public domain with copyrighted works will make it more profitable? "You like this public domain book? Well . . . lookyhere . . . this newer book is even better and you can buy it now at Amazonk!

reminds me of adsense ..except you didn't ask them to stick the code on the cover of your book ..

and they dont have to send out checks to authors in order to be able to place their ads in authors content ..

BTW webwork ..after your last post i 've got irony and sarcasm oozing out of the standby switch on my monitor ..can you recommend me a good book to tell me how to remove the stain from my desk?

[edited by: Leosghost at 3:36 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2005]

Leosghost




msg:1232588
 3:33 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Brett ..the "anti flood" needs a look at :)

SEOMike




msg:1232589
 3:35 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess my impression of the project was incorrect. I thought this was a project to bring the world's books to the people. A way for everyone to have access to classic public domain books. I have searched a lot of things on print.google already and haven't found a single example of a public domain book. It seems that this whole project is just a sham. What a shame. I was really excited for people who live where libraries are inaccessible and now I'm disappointed by another obviously commercial project.

digitalghost




msg:1232590
 3:59 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

First, the following comments are BETA comments, so any criticism of those comments can be discarded simply by maintaining that the comments are indeed, BETA. ;)

Wow, what a farce. I too was under the impression that the goal was aid people with little or no access to the collected works of the world. Instead, we're given a teaser and a link to buy. Why didn't Google just say, Hey, we'd like to copy all of the world's books so we can make a buck off of someone else's work as we circumvent or ignore copyright? Why didn't they say that? Because the truth sounds so bad...

Now, why don't they hand over a billion or so to Project Gutenberg to help that project along? Or create a non-profit and actually wait for cooperation from authors and create a real magnum opus of a digital world library? Perhaps with international cooperation?

rogerd




msg:1232591
 4:37 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

My first search triggered a weird error... "We're sorry... ... but we can't process your request right now. A computer virus or spyware application is sending us automated requests, and it appears that your computer or network has been infected." Very odd, but I guess it's a beta.

I was disappointed that when I searched for a nineteenth century author whose original works are surely public domain, all I turned up were recent, copyrighted translations. I clicked on one, only to find I could only view the table of contents, the back cover, and the "index", which proved to be a scan of a list of other books by the same publisher. I could search for text within the title, but hit the required login screen before I could view.

I tried a different approach, searching for a couple of character names likely to be unique. Again, the first hit was a recent, copyrighted translation.

It's hard to imagine publishers finding this to be a problem once they see it. It's more like free promotion. It's also hard to see this becoming a compelling tool in its current incarnation.

TravelSite




msg:1232592
 4:44 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

All I see is a standard Page Not Found on [print.google.com...] - has Google taken it down?

Neo541




msg:1232593
 4:59 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

All I see is a standard Page Not Found on [print.google.com...] - has Google taken it down?

You broke it! :)

Actually, it's up for me. Can't believe a company this smart would think this was a good idea.

trillianjedi




msg:1232594
 5:02 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, I thought when I used the tool that I'd find - and only find - public domain works

The objective is now to make money, no longer "index the World's information".

I actually typed in some keywords on something I've been researching lately, found an interesting book, and went and bought it on Amazon.

Money changed hands.

Very interesting product indeed. The copyright implications however are also extremely interesting. I bet googles lawyers are being kept very busy.

TJ

yowza




msg:1232595
 5:12 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's hard to imagine publishers finding this to be a problem once they see it. It's more like free promotion.

I guess that's why publishers are throwing a fit. If Google had scanned my book, I would have a problem with it too.

Without paying the authors a dime (and in fact profiting from the authors' work) they are showing essentially the entire book with only a handful of pages removed to "protect copyright".

Here is a quote from their help page [print.google.com...]

I'm already logged in. Why are you telling me the page is unavailable?

As part of our efforts to protect a book's copyright, a set of pages in every in-copyright book will be unavailable to all users.

I really need to see more of this book. What can I do?

Google Print helps you discover books, not read them online. To read the whole book, we encourage you to use the "Buy this book" link to purchase it online or the "Find this in a library" link to look for a local library that has it.

This doesn't fly with me. If I scraped 2/3 of a website and used it to drive traffic to my site so that I could profit from affiliate links, I could be banned from Google (not to mention be sued for copyright infringement). However, when Google is receiving the profit from scraping books, it's okay.

This could all be fixed by making it opt-in instead of opt-out. However, Google is once again that they don't care about what the publisher wants.

trillianjedi




msg:1232596
 5:17 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess that's why publishers are throwing a fit.

Are they?

I can find any of them doing so.

Thinking about it some more, isn't it just free publicity at the end of the day for the publishers?

TJ

digitalghost




msg:1232597
 5:21 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think they're throwing fits, I think they're tossing around lawsuits [news.google.com].

Look for more to follow.

Neo541




msg:1232598
 5:21 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess that's why publishers are throwing a fit.

Are they?

I can find any of them doing so.

These publishers are:

The Authors Guild on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against search engine Google, alleging that its scanning and digitizing of library books constitutes a "massive" copyright infringement.

From: [news.com.com...]

<edited>Yeah, what DG said! :)</edit>

[edited by: Neo541 at 5:22 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2005]

AlexMiles




msg:1232599
 5:22 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

They have Peter Pan on there. Its not out of copyright despite its age. There is going to be trouble.

The rights belong to Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital who are going to be losing a lot of money over this.

Neo541




msg:1232600
 5:25 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's really not about whether publishers are losing money or not, IMHO. It's about Google switching the publishers right to decide what is done with their works to the publishers right to opt-out ONLY.

Who is Google to determine that this is okay?

gamb




msg:1232601
 5:29 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do no evil, right?

This is horrible.

G is not far off from being the colloquial "big internet" a la big tobacco etc.

arbitrary




msg:1232602
 5:37 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am losing more respect for Google each day. Google Print is a sham as is "Do no evil". I am guessing nobody says that at the plex with a straight face anymore.

I hope they lose big time in court over this. I wish the Authors Guild and all other suing parties every success.

Go Yahoo, Microsoft and the Open Content Alliance. Didn't think I would be cheering for Microsoft but I am.

A few years ago, disgust toward Google was not seen like this from webmasters (perhaps just after an update ;-)

Google has forgetten about public perception and its value. I hope it is a tough lesson for them.

LeoXIV




msg:1232603
 5:45 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

it gave me error when i tried 2 different searches in a short time. something like 'there has been sypware detected on your computer or your network, you will be unblocked shortly after entering the code below' ...
which means they are protecting it against automated calls.

vitaplease




msg:1232604
 6:07 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

So is this the oldest book in their collection?

"Plaidoyes de Mre Loys Servin"

by Louis Servin - 1603

more scanning to do: [news.bbc.co.uk...]

whoisgregg




msg:1232605
 6:37 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

actually wait for cooperation from authors

It's gotta be obvious that a useful search engine for webpages or for books could never be made if it required all participants to opt-in. I'm not saying it's "right" or "wrong" to do it the way it's done now, but if universal opt-in was a legal requirement, search engines of every variety would die a quick death.

whoisgregg




msg:1232606
 6:41 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

So is this the oldest book in their collection?
"Plaidoyes de Mre Loys Servin"

I'd say so... searching for [author date:1-1605] only returns that result.

digitalghost




msg:1232607
 6:57 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>useful search engine for webpages or for books could never be made if it required all participants to opt-in

I've been able to find the majority of books I needed to find without their entire contents being digitized. What some of the authors are stating, quite simply is, 'hey, we own the copyright to our work and we really don't want you copying our stuff". Google replied, "bugger off".

So we're left with whether it is legal or not. Does fair use apply here? We're still waiting to find out what the courts think.

aleksl




msg:1232608
 7:29 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I guess all I have to say "I told you so"... :(
[webmasterworld.com ]

WebPixie




msg:1232609
 8:57 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

The question is whats next?

Google Film, where you can watch up to 2/3 of a movie and then buy the DVD?

Google Music, can listen to most on a CD?

Google is walking a fine line indeed. The origianl descriptions of the project sounded quite promising. The actual beta version looks nothing like I expected. Quite disappointing.

Swanson




msg:1232610
 9:22 pm on Nov 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ha ha! Isn't this just Google "cloaking" the content.

Why not add utilising other's copyright content - then cloaking it - in order to promote their own service - and then make money through affiliate/ad relationships.

I thought that was wrong.....

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