What has changed at Google Books in the last month to make fewer pages available in preview?
January 11, 2011 8:26 AM   Subscribe

A book that could be read almost in its entirety on Google Books, E. E. Cummings, a Critical Reception, is now mostly restricted. Why has that changed?

A month ago I could browse almost the whole book, now most of it is restricted, even bits I would presume were in the public domain (reprints of old newspaper articles). Has there been a change in policy to restrict more pages when previewing books? Did my looking at the book a few times cause it to be flagged somehow?
posted by Kattullus to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I believe they limit the amount of the book you can see with subsequent visits.

In order to protect copyrighted books, we only allow Google Books users to view a limited portion of the book we present. Enforcing these limits requires us to keep track of our users' page views. Before you log in, we don't associate your searches or the pages you view with any personally identifiable information about you, such as your name and address. Once you log in, however, to enforce limits on user page views, we do connect some information -- your Google Account name -- with the books and pages that you've viewed. As always, we strongly encourage you to read our Privacy Policy to be fully informed about how your confidentiality is protected.
posted by czytm at 8:37 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

I doubt that your personally looking at the book flagged it across the board, but I've noticed that Google books sometimes has a limit for how many times a given individual can look at a given book, as well as a finite number of viewable pages. You may have just hit your personal limit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on January 11, 2011

So delete your google cookies and try it again.
posted by goethean at 8:53 AM on January 11, 2011

If Google were serious about limiting page views, I'm sure they'd work out some method effective enough not to be overwhelmed by an army of sockpuppets. This looks like plausible deniability for the publishing industry to me, not actual engineering.
posted by flabdablet at 9:05 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

This looks like plausible deniability for the publishing industry to me, not actual engineering.

In some ways, that's what the publishing industry wants. Sure, it's easier to delete your cookies or make another Google account or use another IP or whatever than it is to buy the book, but it's harder than just being able to read the book online for free as much as you want.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:25 PM on January 11, 2011

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