The original purpose of America’s copyright laws wasn’t necessarily to protect the interests of authors but, according to the US Constitution, “to promote the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyrights protect works until 50 years after the author’s death, at which point books become part of the public domain. Google has done the work to make many of those books available in one giant database, so why can’t you use it? getAbstract recommends this summary to bibliophiles, librarians and people interested in digital technology’s potential to democratize information.
About the Author
James Somers has written for The Atlantic, Outside Online, MIT Technology Review and Nautilus.