Google books (1 Viewer)


Usually wrong.
A possible way Write will be found is via Google Books. They are systematically scanning millions of books in university libraries, including rare items in archives. I'm finding some incredible things (but not Bukowski, yet) by doing searches of Google Books using a combination of author, title, subject and date range fields. The full text searching makes it easy to locate stuff you never would have known about in a million years doing it the old way via bibliographies and card catalogs. For example, I just found a piece about an author I'm researching in a 1921 issue of an agricultural journal. It was in a society column that was just thrown in among the technical articles about corn seed production. A completely unknown biographical source. The hard part about Write magazine is that "write" is such a common word. That makes it tricky locating it among the zillions of publications with the word "write" in the title. Now if the editor had named it "Brass Balls" or "Slow Lizards", it would be easy to find. What will find this one, aside frorm dumb luck, will be a combination of "Bukowski" and the right date range. Lest you think I'm just blowing smoke here, I do database searches for a living and have designed thousands of them. Not to brag -- it's just how my brain works. We'll find Write with Buk in it. I'm sure of that.
Google Books is not actively adding new titles anymore. They haven't for a while, as I understand it. It's pretty common for Google to start something, think it's the greatest thing since yo-yos, then abandon it for something similar but much greater than yo-yos. That's what happened to Google Books.

Well, that and a bunch of lawsuits.

Some believe that judgment could actually free up Google to add even more books (and pay royalties for doing so), and theoretically that's true. But realistically, it's wishful thinking on the part of publishers, because Google isn't interested in spending money, they are interested in making it. They are already working on the successor to the book project.
Really? Maybe they've stopped scanned but they seem to be still adding books. At least I keep finding new titles that weren't there the last time I did the same search.

I've read some of the stuff about the legal issues. Seems like Google wants to own all copryrighted and public domain books, by default. They systematically violated copyright on millions of in copyright books and now they want the laws rewritten to cover their asses, and throwing in the public domain titles for good measure. I hope they lose in court, as much as I like using Google Books.

The current settlement doesn't cover books that are in copyright but not registered with the office of copyright -- which is most small press stuff.
The current settlement doesn't cover books that are in copyright but not registered with the office of copyright -- which is most small press stuff.
Which could, of course, be easily challenged, seeing as you don't have to "register" a work to be protected by copyright laws. It's likely that the small press ghetto was left out of the settlement because lawyers know that the small press is unlikely to spawn a class action suit the way for-profit publishers did.

Google is on a tough road if they think they can circumvent copyright laws. Those laws only get stronger as time passes:

I can say that if they scan and make available any BoSP titles, they will have a lawsuit on their hands.

I am looking for a reason to live off of the press and not have to work a day job.

I'm all for getting the word out there, but not helping a multi-billion dollar company sell my stuff (with advertising) while I try to make ends meet. Just another example of the big guy fucking the little guy.

I wonder if Google did not include "books not registered with the Office of Copyright" in the settlement because it's harder to establish the identity of the copyright owner on those titles? With registered books, there is a legal name and address for the owner, whereas anyone could claim to own a non-registered title, especially a small press work where often there is no publisher place or even name. (Hey -- I was d.a. levy! Really! I faked my suicide to run away from that weary Cleveland scene and start a new life out west as a boring civil servant...) Just imagine all the claims that would be filed with Google for payment on non-registered titles. How would Google ever sort it out, verify who the actual authors are, so they could pay them off? That's why I figure the non-registered titles are left out of this first settlement. Google doesn't know what to do with them. And, like you say, mjp, they are less likely to sue. Poets are used to not being paid.

Nice graph, mjp.
As I understand it, Google will remove any books that they scan that are in copyright. I can tell you that if they scan one of my books (which is unlikely) and post it, I will send them a demand to remove it. If they do not, I will sue. Violation of copyright is a serious crime and is punishable by massive fees, even if they never made a cent off of it.

The way that the seem to have it structured is that any books still "in-print" will include only a link to where the book can be bought, not the full book. The question is about "out of print".

Again, I am pretty sure that once notified by the copyright holder, they will remove the content. They cannot want to risk a lot of money for a book that most people would not read anyway.

Notice that there are no full books of Bukowski on Google books? Not even small press stuff...


i missed that one. Why the hell would Harper Collins allow this? This will only cut into their book sales. This seems odd to allow this. It say that Harper approved it, which may or may not be true...

also, I LOVE how the entire Bukowski in Pictures is on google Books. Unkel Howee threatened this forum because of some far away photos of the book (that were about the book beig good). Now Google has the ENTIRE book (along with Locked in the Arms) up there for free.


Funny, but there's no pages from 'Bukowski In Pictures' when I look it up, only a short description, but there's a good chunk of 'Locked In The Arms Of A Crazy Life'.
Maybe Google Books works differently for Europeans. Hmm...
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"The Sonny Bono Act"?!

No wonder the US is going to hell in hand basket.

Hey, he was my congressman and I voted for him. Mary Bono Mack is our congresswoman now.

Sony Bono got things done. His widow married another congressman. At least we are in the comfort of a hand basket.;)
Sometimes on Google Books I find listings, with no view, of what appears to be manuscript material, with just a title and a page count of 2 or whatever. I gather they are scanning not just books and periodicals, but entire archives. Do they plan, at some point, to provide access to manuscripts? Which, of course, are not registered with the Office of Copyright, so there will be no settlement with the authors, unless that's covered in another settlement down the road.
i'd be ambivalent if chance press books somehow ended up on google books. i don't really think that kind of piracy is taking any money out of our pockets, since i don't think that someone who is excited about reading the content of a handmade book on a computer screen would ever buy one of our books anyway. if anything, i think that online publishing in general - and questionably pirated online publishing as well - only challenges the print medium to justify itself, which is why we put so much effort into the books we make. also, i would be happy for authors we've published if their work was getting read by a larger group of people who wouldn't discover them otherwise.

i mean, we just published a book of a blog entry by mjp, and we're still selling it fairly well. the blog posting has since been removed, but not at our request, since people who were going to buy that book were buying it because they like the content, sure, but also because the book itself justified converting the online content to the print medium. any piracy is frustrating, but the percentage of people who pirate media that would actually pay for it if it weren't free is so low that i don't think it would really affect our sales at all.
If it was a website that promoted the authors, I would have no problem letting them use it, but Google will just sell ads and make money off of it (although not much). Still, to me it is the point of the multi-billion dollar company taking what is mine and selling it.

for sure- the principle of it is what makes me ambivalent rather than not caring at all. google profiting off of work i publish (and barely profit off of) is really frustrating, but i feel more ripped off paying my health insurance premium twice a month.
What I find disturbing is that it's -- so far -- okay for a huge corporation to systematically violate copyright law, then they propose changing the law and making token payments to some authors, to make the legal problem go away, and on top of that they want to be the only one allowed to sell digital copies of many out of print books in the public domain, just because they scanned a bunch of them. "Public domain" means anyone can legally use a work that is past a certain age (older than 1921 for printed books.) If I understand what I've read about the proposed settlement, other companies wouldn't be able to sell digital copies of all those public domain titles, or at least they'd have to pay a royalty to Google. The settlement, if it's approved, amounts to legislation by corporate misdeed. I'm not worried about losing sales to them on my small press publications -- I barely make anything from them myself. I just don't like their arrogance in attempting to basically own the digital rights to everything ever printed. Who the hell are they, besides a big company? On the other hand, Google Books is a great tool, and I love using it.

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