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Google Books adds Creative Commons licenses

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Online book depository, Google Books, has launched an initiative that it hopes will help authors and publishers discover new audiences for books they've made available for free under Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

Rightsholders who want to distribute their CC-licensed books more widely can now choose to allow readers around the world to download, use and share their work via Google Books.

The initiative allows a rightholder to easily mark his or her books with one of the seven CC licenses. This gives authors and publishers a simple way to articulate the permissions they have granted to the public through a CC license.

At the same time, readers will have a clear indication of the legal rights they have to CC-licensed works. For example, an author can grant a reader the right to share the work, modify and remix it, or make it available for commercial use.

Xian Ke, associate product manager of Google Books, hopes that this is just the beginning. 'As authors and publishers decide which works they want to share on Google Books under CC licenses, we'll be turning on the option to restrict your search to books you can share,' he says.

'In addition, representatives of the Book Rights Registry intend to allow rightsholders to distribute CC-licensed works for free, pending court approval of the settlement,' he adds. 'We look forward to working with Creative Commons, authors, and publishers to bring even more content online for you to search, enjoy, and remix.'