Google Books does copyright right

Steven Melendez discovered some public domain government documents in Google Books that the service wouldn't let him download because they had been misclassified as copyrighted; he filled in an online form and less than a week later, a human had reviewed the documents, agreed that they had been misclassified and removed all restrictions.

iRiver Story HD optimized for Google Books

$140 Google eBooks reader, iriver Story HD, hits stores July 17.jpeg

iRiver's Story HD e-book reader is optimized for Google's eBooks service (with 3m free titles) and will carry the same price tag—$140— as Amazon's Kindle. Casey Johnston writes:

Given that Google Books is one of the most widely accessible e-book platforms–computers, Android and iOS devices as well as Nook and Sony readers can all access the e-book content–we expect the hardware and user experience will have to deliver in order for the reader to make an impact on a market where other brands like the Nook and Kindle already have significant momentum.

Google Books promotes banned books for Banned Books Week

Google Book Search and the American Library Association have teamed up to offer searchable indices and library links to banned books, in celebration of Banned Books Week (Sept 23-30). Included in the catalog are 1984, Lolita, Lord of the Flies, the Great Gatsby, The Color Purple, Brave New World, Naked Lunch, Invisible Man, Cats Cradle, and many other titles that made me a better person for having read them. — Read the rest

Internet Archive loses book lending lawsuit

The judge in a Federal lawsuit alleging the Internet Archive was illegally creating copies of published works and lending them out for free has ruled for the publishers. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the Internet Archive made its large trove of books available to anyone online without limits, bypassing a Controlled Digital Lending agreement. — Read the rest

Now entering the public domain: The Great Gatsby, music by Ma' Rainey and Duke Ellington, and other great works

On January 1, Public Domain Day, a fantastic trove of great works from 1925 are entering the US public domain, free for all to use, remix, and reimagine, including: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Buster Keaton's film Go West, the musical composition "Sweet Georgia Brown" by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey, and my dad's favorite song "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson. — Read the rest

Three teens get corporal punishment for participating in national school walkout

Greenbrier Public School in rural Arkansas didn't take too kindly to the national school walkout that took place on Tuesday to protest gun violence in response to last month's deadly Parkland shooting. In fact, when three students decided to go against the grain of their very conservative school and community and walk out, they were met with a tough choice: suspension or corporal punishment. — Read the rest

American books are getting swearier

Psych scholars from San Diego State and U Georgia used Google Books to systematically explore the growth of swear-words in published American literature: they conclude that books are getting swearier and that this is a bellwether for a growth in the value of individualism: "Due to the greater valuation of the rights of the individual self, individualistic cultures favor more self-expression in general (Kim & Sherman, 2007) and allow more expression of personal anger in particular (Safdar et al., — Read the rest

Happy Public Domain Day: here's what American's don't get this year, thanks to retroactive copyright term extension

Jennifer Jenkins writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2017? Under the law that existed until 1978 — Works from 1960. The books 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Rabbit, Run' the films 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Time Machine' early episodes of 'The Flintstones' the musical 'Camelot' and more — What is actually entering the public domain this January 1? — Read the rest