Google Print (again)

So it seems some other people have also become interested in Google Print’s DRM features.

From the Google Print FAQ:

Pages displaying your content have print, cut, copy, and save functionality disabled in order to protect your content.

Cut and copy obviously aren’t relevant, because there is no text, only an image.

You can invoke the Print function, but the book page image doesn’t come out because it is a CSS background. In Firefox, you can turn on printing of background images and colours in Page Setup, but it still doesn’t work, because the <div> with the image also has a background-color of white. Someone’s thought of that one :-) Presumably changing the Firefox print code to prioritise background images over background colours would make it possible to print the pages.

Save Page, choosing “Web Page, complete” actually does work in Firefox – you get all the images, including CSS background ones, and the copy of the page is perfect.

The Google Print FAQ also says:

In addition, you can choose how much of your book users will be able to view over a 30 day period, from 20% of your content up to 100%

This must be using cookies. They can’t be doing it by IP address – proxies and so on make that unworkable. The only Google Print cookie I have is a session cookie, although I have a couple of ones which expire a very long time from now. They could be using either of those. Still, clearing cookies would get around the restriction. I don’t know if they’d prevent access if you had cookies disabled…

6 thoughts on “Google Print (again)

  1. Maybe I’m behind the ball on this one, but I think trying to access all of a book’s pages is tough in that I think you need to actually find the correct “entrance links” to successive pages in the book. If Google returns a result for page 6 of a book, you can go forward and backward a few pages, but your URL for those adjacent pages keeps information that you’re coming from page 6. So you’d need to find a “entrance link” for page 11 (to get 9,10,11,12,13).

    Unfortunately, you can’t just change the URL parameters that equal ‘6’ to ’11’. There seem to be some other parameters/hashes there that are sort of passwords for each entrance page. So there you go, as I see it that’s the tough part: finding how to obtain an arbitrary “entrance link” for a page in a book.

  2. In reference to previous post …

    Actually anything other then 1 for the zoom parameter or even removing zoom parameter altogether will give the full size image.

    Save Page, choosing “Web Page, complete” didn’t work for me using Firefox 0.10.1

    I does save the page and some images, but the main image(which I guess is what is of interest here) does not.

  3. If that’s indeed why Firefox doesn’t print the image, given my knowledge that’s a bug. The CSS specs say that background-color should be set *behind* any background-image. Given that Gecko displays the pages properly, I’d imagine there’s something more to it than that (although I couldn’t find the reason after a quick glance at Google Print source code).

    If, however, it’s as you describe it and is therefore a bug, you should see if you can get in contact with Boris Zbarsky about looking into it.

  4. The book page image can’t be printed because the webpage has a CSS for “print” media which simply hides the DIV which holds the image.