Setting free Public Domain Books from Google Books

DigitalKoans has commented the action by Philipp Lenssen who “has announced that he has put up 100 public domain books from Google Book Search on Authorama”.

I am in doubt if there is any legal relevance according US law of Google’s “Terms of use”. The problem of valid contracts has been shortly discussed by Peter Hirtle in 2004:

“This is a very complex question, with few definite answers. My best guess is that in states that have passed UCITA laws (such as Maryland and Virginia), there is a good chance that a click-through license is binding. Whether a “terms of agreement” license is also binding is less clear – and it becomes even murkier when one moves outside of those states (or overseas).”

See also

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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