Survey Response: How Can I Get More Access to Google Books Content?

Google Books is able to provide access to digitized materials consistent with U.S. Copyright Laws. In short, the only titles that are available in full-text are those in the public domain—i.e. their copyright protection has expired or they are not copyrightable.

A very brief history: Google developed a project to create an online digital library of the world’s books. Google launched this project by partnering with a number of major research libraries that allowed Google to scan their collections—both those books in the public domain as well as books still under copyright. Google’s scanning of books and offering them up on a searchable database led copyright owners (authors and publishers) to bring a copyright infringement claim against Google. On March 22, 2011, a U.S. District Court Judge rejected an amended settlement agreement.

So while the law library cannot provide greater access to titles via Google Books, if a book is not in our collection, students may be able to acquire a copy through Inter-Library Loan from another GMU library or other university libraries.