Question: Can I download books for free using Google Books?
Answer: Google Books helps you search within and discover books. When you find a book that's still under copyright, you'll typically see only a small portion of the book at a time – either the Snippet View or the Sample Pages View – plus links to places where you can buy or borrow it. Some publishers have set their in-copyright books to Full Book View. If you find a book that's out of copyright, we're also able to display the Full Book View. (You can read more about public domain books in Google Books here.)
Question: Does Google Books give authors and publishers a choice whether or not their books appear on the platform?
Answer: Any publisher or other copyright holder can easily exclude their titles from Google Books at any time, for any reason. We've posted the details on how to do that here and have a support team standing by to help anyone who has trouble doing it on their own.
It's worth bearing in mind, however, that under no circumstances will anyone ever see a full page of an in-copyright book through Google Books without the copyright holder's permission; when a book is under copyright, we show only snippets of text surrounding the search term unless the copyright holder has given us explicit permission to show more.
Question: Do booksellers like Amazon pay to include links on Google Books?
Answer: We provide links to booksellers on Google Books pages because we want to make it easier for users to buy books and for publishers to sell them. Booksellers don't pay to have their links included in Google Books, and Google doesn't receive any money if you buy a book from one of these retailers.
Question: Why do some in-copyright books have full pages visible?
Answer: Whenever you can see more than a few snippets of an in-copyright book in Google Books, it's because the author or publisher has joined our Partner Program and granted us permission to show you the Sample Pages View, which helps you learn enough about a book to know whether you want to buy it. This is something we do with a publisher's explicit permission.
Question: If a book is still under copyright, is scanning it actually legal?
Answer: This is probably the most common misconception about Google Books, and about copyright law in general. The "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright law (USC 17 107) describe the conditions under which someone may copy a work without the copyright holder's permission, like recording a TV show to watch later or quoting from an article in a blog post. Fair use is designed to safeguard copying that doesn't harm people's incentive or ability to produce and sell creative work, including books.
We've carefully designed Google Books to make sure our use of books is fair and fully consistent with the law. The courts agreed with us, determining that Google Books “augments public knowledge by making available information about Plaintiffs' books without providing the public with a substantial substitute” for buying and reading the books,” which makes it a non-infringing fair use. Copyright law is aimed at protecting and enhancing the value of creative works in order to encourage more of them–in this case, to ensure that authors write and publishers publish. We believe that by creating new opportunities for readers to find and buy books, we can help authors and publishers sell more of them. You can read more about fair use here
Question: I hold the copyright for a book that I found on Google Books. I'd like to make it available to everyone. Is that possible?
Answer: Yes, please see the "How to claim books that were scanned for the Library Project" section of this support article.