johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

Google Print and the public domain

Why does Google Print's version of Moby Dick (and I'm sure other public domain titles as well) say COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL down the side of the pages?

Go to http://print.google.com . Search for Moby Dick. Search for "whale" within the book. Pick any page.

Update: Google's response is that because the results I found for Moby Dick are newer versions, they are copyrighted. It's possible I'm wrong about this. Google has a page about preserving public domain books. The books that they link to from there in their print collection do not say COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL down the side --- they say GOOGLE PRINT (this is also obnoxious, but anyway).

So it appears that they are attempting to label public domain books differently. The question now is whether there is something different about this 1995 edition of Moby Dick that makes it copyrightable. There is new material in the book, like an Introduction and such. Is that enough?

I don't think so. And I don't see anything different about the book; it's not a translation or a reformulation. There aren't even any claims to such on the cover.

The version I'm talking about is the first hit for Moby Dick. One thing to notice, Google Print URLs sure are ugly.
Tags: copyright, free culture, google, google print, public domain
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