Monday, June 1, 2009

Google Book Search: A Great Resource for Out of Copyright Books

Producers who would like to draw on the well of out-of-copyright books to adapt for screenplays (think the entire Jane Austen series: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, et al) can find these free on Google Book Search.

Not only filmmakers will benefit, as Web users will also be able to download and use a large archive of digitized media available on Google, including free books from its out-of-copyright selection.

Google Book Search deals with three categories of books, which can be a great resource for screenwriters and developers:

1) In-copyright and in-print books, i.e. books that publishers are still actively selling, the ones you see at most bookstores. Google has in the past referred these searches to other sellers like Amazon, but will be soon be set up to sell these directly, cutting out the middle man.

2) In-copyright but out-of-print books, which aren’t actively being published or sold, so the only way to procure one is to track it down in a library or used bookstore. This is a way to find books that simply couldn’t be found otherwise. Many of these books will be preview-able on Google, and available for purchase.

3) Out-of-copyright books. Google currently has 500,000 books available on Sony Reader (Sony’s version of the Kindle being marketed by Amazon) through a deal it made with Sony to make available its library of digitized books printed before 1923. That’s twice the number of books which are available on Kindle, currently.

The controversial Google archive had to overcome lawsuits by publishers and author guilds and finally agreements were reached in Fall, 2008, so that the project could proceed.

Google Book Search tool also allows users to embed material from books into websites and blogs. The Google Preview Wizard helps you “quickly, easily, and reliably integrate previews with your site.”

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