Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, May 08, 2008

'Amazingly complicated' restrictions at Google Book Search

Adam Hodgkin, Amazingly Complicated Viewability Restrictions, Exact Editions, May 7, 2008.

... [T]his chat at Talis's The Library 2.0 Gang had some interesting comments ... on the recently released Google Book Search Viewability API ...

There were some particularly interesting contributions from Frances Haugen, a Google Book Search Product Manager. ... I was particularly struck by her comment that the Google rules on access limitations on international viewability are 'amazingly complicated'.

Google's lawyers are being strict on the extent to which works which may not be public domain in other countries can be accessed/viewed outside the US ... The problem is not so much copyright, as the differing terms of copyrights in different jurisdictions and the penumbra of uncertainty about who has what. ...

Comment.  Lack of access outside the US to Google-scanned public-domain books has been a problem since at least 2005.  See our past blog posts on this topic (1, 2, 3).