News

Google Books adds Creative Commons license options

Eric Steuer, August 13th, 2009

Some very exciting news for authors, publishers, and readers: Today, Google launched a program to enable rightsholders to make their Creative Commons-licensed books available for the public to download, use, remix, and share via Google Books.

The new initiative makes it easy for participants in Google Books’ Partner Program to mark their books with one of the six Creative Commons licenses (or the CC0 waiver). This gives authors and publishers a simple way to articulate the permissions they have granted to the public through a CC license, while giving people a clear indication of the legal rights they have to CC-licensed works found through Google Books.

The Inside Google Books post announcing the initiative talks a bit about what this all means:

We’ve marked books that rightsholders have made available under a CC license with a matching logo on the book’s left hand navigation bar. People can download these books in their entirety and pass them along: to friends, classmates, teachers, and so on. And if the rightsholder has chosen to allow people to modify their work, readers can even create a mashup–say, translating the book into Esperanto, donning a black beret, and performing the whole thing to music on YouTube.

The project launched with a terrific starter collection of CC-licensed books that includes: 55 Ways to Have Fun with Google by Philipp Lenssen; Blown to Bits by Harold Abelson, Ken Ledeen, Harry R. Lewis; Bound by Law? by Keith Aoki, James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins; Code: Version 2 by Lawrence Lessig; Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel; Federal Budget Deficits: America’s great consumption binge by Paul Courant; The Future of the Internet — And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain; Little Brother by Cory Doctorow; and A World’s Fair for the Global Village by Carl Malamud.

Stay tuned for further announcements – as the project expands to include more authors and publishers, Google Books plans to add the ability for people to restrict searches to books they can share, use, and remix.

6 Responses to “Google Books adds Creative Commons license options”

  1. Great news. Great effort.

  2. Dan Larsen says:

    Wonder if Google will share download stats with CC publishers.

  3. randall says:

    this is great to hear. another great project for creative commons. good for google too!

  4. Leavion says:

    Good for Google, Cheers.

  5. Carol Long says:

    What books by O’Reilly Publishers are published under any one of the 6 CC licenses?

  6. Lars Goldschlager says:

    You might be able still (or not) to download these books if you’re northamerican. It seems CC applies only there since in Venezuela I can’t download the book from google.