[NEVERMIND, it’s still there, as a “Download” link in upper right corner. Just a LOT more subtle and less visible, now that they’ve put their ebook store and viewer in the flashy eye catching location it used to occupy, if memory serves.]
[BUT they do have a ‘captcha’ on all PDF and EPub downloads, presumably to prevent bulk downloading. I think that’s new. And really annoying for users — captchas, in order to defeat software, have gotten so hard for humans to read that I had to try 3 times to succeed at Google’s. On the plus side, the download links are reverse-engineerable and predictable if you know the google book ID, so I could theoretically have Umlaut offer users direct links to download PDF or ePub (stopping at the captcha first, alas)]
At one point, Google Books let you download complete PDF’s for public domain books. Look, here’s the proof, Google telling us so in 2006.
This doesn’t seem to be offered anymore — you can read public domain books in full using Google’s online reader, but no PDF download is offered anymore. Am I right?
Anyone know anything more about this, or when they stopped, or if they told anyone?
HathiTrust offers complete PDFs for public domain books — but only to users authenticated as belonging to a HathiTrust member institution, at least for Google scans in HathiTrust. I believe this is because Google requires them to limit PDF distribution like this, in their contract with Google.
Wonder what Google’s business interest or other reasoning is in removing PDF distribution of public domain and only allowing viewing in their reader? It’s unfortunate, a PDF can easily be put on just about any “e-reader” device and read offline without internet access. Online reader access, may or may not work on a given mobile device (which has to have active internet connection at a minimum).