Google to Allow Free Book Downloads
Google Inc. on Wednesday plans to begin letting consumers download and print free of charge
classic novels and many other, more obscure books that are in the public domain.
Using Google's Book Search service, Web surfers hunting titles like Dante's "Inferno" and Aesop's
"Fables" will be able to download PDF files of the books for later reading, to run keyword searches
or to print them on paper. Up to now, the service only allowed people to read the out-of-copyright
books online. Google supports the service by showing its small, keyword-generated text ads on
The download initiative does not include any books under copyright. For these titles, Book Search
only displays basic bibliographic information and, in many cases, small snippets of text surrounding a
search term, unless it has permission from the publisher to show more. The company's display of
snippets has riled some publishers, but Google has argued the small bites of text constitute fair use.
Google's Book Search service is the product of its Books Library Project, which is digitizing books
from major libraries around the world in order to make them searchable online. Its partners include
the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, the University
of California and the New York Public Library. Google is also conducting a pilot project with the
Library of Congress.
Source: Business Week
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