Online Libraries

I’m having some difficulty finding some books online… political science stuff for a friend of mine. Any good online libraries that have the whole book ?


Any recent book will be under copyright, making it illegal to post the whole volume electronically. I know of no libraries anywhere that are planning to put recent books online.

Older volumes - before 1923 - may be findable. Start with Project Gutenberg.

It’s irritating to hear the words, “I don’t think it’s possible.” The below are news reports, plus commentary from just such a thing on a tech site I love to visit.
Google’s Library Up and Running
France National Library Attacks Google Book Effort
Digital Future of the Library of Congress

Take another look at those cites. Google is starting with pre-1923 out of copyright books for the exact reason I stated: they and the libraries have no legal right to put newer books online in full.

“Not possible” and “illegal” are two very different things.

Amazon’s “Search inside the Book” feature allows the reader to search by keyword and read about ten pages of a book. Not all titles listed by Amazon permit this, but an astonishing number do. Although you cannot read an entire book in this way, the feature is very useful.

Judging from the last link I posted, the american library of congress is considering if it should put books online in the future. Now, it may not be now, but it is likely that they are considering current scholarly books. Hardly best sellers, but still copywritted.

They can consider anything they want. Until they have a signed agreement from the copyright holder, though, they can’t do anything at all. That’s why Amazon’s search feature is so carefully constrained.

Leaving the debate aside: I find to be a good source for older works.

It’s not free.

A lot of Academic libraries worldwide have access to the netlibrary collection. Full electronic replicas of copyrighted books, mostly academic titles.

Pre-1923 is american law ? What if Google just sets up some computers in some far away island ? :slight_smile:

Their managment, headquarters, and assets are still in the US and subject to US law, both civil and criminal. As they are now a publicly-traded company, they can’t exactly pack up and move, either.

Theoreticaly, I believe that citizens of that country would not beviolating anylaws, despite the US’s efforts to have it’s cpyrightlaws apply to every country on earth. However, any people accessing it from the US, regarless of country of origin would be breaking the law, as would any US citizens who work for the company that created the webpage. Probaley not the people who just maintain the server however. I am begining to think that copyright law enforcement is something like overeager cops handing out parking fines excessivly.

What about “fair use” aspects of copyright… students are allowed to acess material without having to pay ? There is something remotely like this in Brazil… kind of covers students asses for photocopying just about everything they need to read in college.

As I understand it, photocopying copyrighted books, without permission from the author is illegal, plain and simple. However, since it is impracticle to check whether each and every machine is being used to copy post 1923 books, no charges get pressed.

Ever hear of the Berne convention? It means US copyright law does apply in other countries (or technically, people can be sued for infringement in their country of origin for violating US law under the Berne Convention). Copyright laws are international (except for a few countries that don’t subscribe).

There are limits to fair use, and putting a book up on a web page could hardly fall under that justification. It’s not that students are accessing it; it’s that the website is copying the material without permission.

There are legal ways of putting copyright material on the web (Lexis-Nexis, for instance), BTW. Most colleges and public libraries have connections to these databases, and these often can be accessed via the web. Check out your library’s web page: my public library, for instance, had dozens of links to these on it’s web page. They pay for the privilege, and their patrons have to enter their library card number to use them.

But ultimately, it’s unfair to the person who went to the trouble and effort to write the book if his work is copied without his permission.

Essentially true, but there are limited exceptions for academic purposes.

I assumed that was what was meant by:

P.S. Re: Essentially true:
Go Scott, it’s your birthday, go Scott, it’s your birthday. :smiley:

Copyright law enforcement is to prevent people stealing money from the pockets of authors or other creators.

We’re in GQ, Scott.

And it’s subject to abuse, just like any other law.

Which means statements like that don’t have any place in this thread.

And what abuse are you alleging in this case?