02 August 2007

Google's Choice of Hercules

Further to yesterday's post about a call to respect free use of copyrighted material, here's an interesting point about Google's participation:

it certainly seems ironic that Google is being associated with this complaint, at the same time as they are putting putting highly misleading notices on scanned public domain works:

The Google notice, found as page 1 on downloadable PDFs of public domain works available via Google Book Search, "asks" users to:

Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes...

Maintain attribution The Google “watermark” you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

There is clear U.S. precedent that scanning a public domain work does not create a new copyright so there seems to be absolutely zero legal basis for restricting use or forcing users to preserve inserted per-page watermarks-cum-advertisements.

So, which side are you on, Google? (Via Michael Hart.)

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