Publisher content policies for Google Play Books

For the purposes of these Content Policies, the terms 'Book' and 'Books' apply to both eBook and audiobook content.

Content policies

Our content policies play an important role in ensuring a positive experience for both our users and publishing partners. Please join us in this effort by respecting these guidelines. We may make exceptions to these policies based on artistic, educational, historical, documentary or scientific considerations, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public. These policies are subject to change, so please check back for updates. Please also refer to Google Play Terms of Service for more information.

Here are our policies:

Spam, misleading and disappointing content

Do not provide content that misleads users, provides a poor user experience, could be considered spam or is malware. Material that isn’t allowed includes, but isn’t limited to:
  • Unwanted promotional or commercial content
  • Content that can be easily found online at no charge
  • Unwanted or mass solicitation
  • Transmission of malware, viruses or anything that may disrupt the service or harm others
  • Books that could be easily mistaken for apps or other forms of digital content
  • Samples whose sole purpose is to advertise or drive the purchase of other Books
  • Metadata that’s confusingly similar to existing books, including misleading titles, authors, descriptions or covers, or that may cause confusion as to the format of the book
  • Books with quality issues in one or more content files that render the content difficult to understand
  • Audio that’s primarily music, except for educational songs, or performances that mix stories with music
  • Low-quality machine read audio content

Public domain content

Multiple versions of the same book confuse our users and provide little distinguishing value. Due to its widespread duplication, books containing public domain material are no longer accepted, except from selected partners.

Non-exclusive content deliveries

Google sometimes receives the same book from multiple parties, some or all of whom may have publication rights for the book. Google can't mediate potential rights conflicts between authors, publishers and other parties. But we try to err on the side of caution in avoiding unauthorised copies and we may reject duplicate copies of the same book, as multiple versions of the same book confuse our users.

If you believe another party is publishing your content without your authorisation, please read more about Google’s copyright policies.

If we can’t confirm that you’re authorised to upload the content in the account, we may also disapprove your account.

Violent, threatening or disgusting materials

Incitement to violence or terrorism is not permitted. This includes materials that are intended to harass or which threaten to cause serious physical injury or death to an individual or rally support to physically harm others. In addition, we will not allow extremely graphically violent or scatological materials.

Hate speech

Content that promotes hate, violence or genocide towards any identifiable or protected group or individual is not permitted. Protected groups and individuals include those based on race or ethnicity, nationality (including citizenship), religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Sexually explicit material

We allow sexually explicit content and images of nudity with educational, artistic, historical or documentary value. Publishers must mark their content as being 'For mature audiences' on the Book's Settings tab in the Partner Centre.

Despite the previous paragraph, if we determine a book contains sexually explicit content, we may remove its preview and limit its visibility for underage users. This helps ensure that Google Play is a safe place for all to browse, search and discover books.

However, we do not allow these types of content:

  • Images of nudity and/or sexually explicit audio descriptions with no educational, artistic, historical or documentary value
  • Pornographic content
  • Sexually explicit text in any book metadata (i.e. titles, subtitles or descriptions)
  • Sexually explicit text, images or audio content depicting extreme sexual acts such as acts of pedophilia or sex with animals
  • Content that drives traffic to pornographic online services

Please note that we may make exceptions based on artistic, educational, historical, documentary or scientific considerations, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public.

Fraudulent or abusive activity

Publishers won’t engage in fraudulent behaviours that result in the purchase of books or access to Google Play Books through any automated, deceptive, fraudulent or other invalid means. Fraudulent behaviours include, but aren’t limited to:

  • The use of robots or other automated tools
  • Computer generated search requests
  • Fraudulent use of software, credit cards or gift cards

Child safety

Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child sexual abuse in either text, imagery or audio. We strictly prohibit the use of Google Play to create, possess or distribute child sexual abuse text, imagery or audio. Be advised that we work closely with the police. We will report purveyors of child exploitation, and any content promoting these activities will be removed. Repeat violations, or particularly egregious violations of this policy will result in account deactivation.

Personal and confidential information

Don't share personal or confidential information. We prohibit unauthorised selling or distribution of private and confidential information, such as credit card details, National Insurance numbers, driving and other licence numbers or any other information that is not publicly accessible. Bear in mind that, in most cases, information that's already available elsewhere on the Internet or in public records isn't considered to be private or confidential under our policies.

Illegal activities

Don't engage in unlawful activities on Google Play. If we are notified of unlawful activities, we will take appropriate action, which may include removing access to our products, suspending your Google Account or reporting you to the relevant authorities.

Copyright

Respect copyright laws. We will respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. Repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright, will result in account termination. Read more about Google’s copyright policies.

Trademark

We don’t allow books that infringe on others’ trademarks. A trademark is a word, symbol or combination that identifies the source of a good or service. Once acquired, a trademark gives the owner exclusive rights to the trademark usage with respect to certain goods or services.

Trademark infringement is improper or unauthorised use of an identical or similar trademark in a way that is likely to cause confusion as to the source of that product. We’ll respond to clear notices of alleged trademark infringement.

Policy review & enforcement

To review content on Google Play Books, we use a combination of automated and human evaluation. When assessing content or accounts to determine whether they violate our policies, we take various information into consideration when making a decision, including book metadata such as book title, cover photos and descriptions, account information, book content and other information provided through reporting mechanisms (where applicable) and own-initiative reviews.

We remove content which violates our policies and is harmful to users and the overall Google Play ecosystem. The use of automated models helps us detect more violations and evaluate potential issues faster, which helps keep Google Play Books safe for everyone. Trained operators and analysts conduct content evaluations such as performing a contextualised determination as required.

If your account or books are found to be in violation, we may:

  • Remove or limit the visibility of the material
  • Turn off the material’s preview
  • Disable your access to one or more Google products
  • Delete your Google account
  • Report illegal materials to appropriate law enforcement authorities
  • Debit your account to cover customer refunds
  • Temporarily or permanently suspend payments

If you disagree with our decision, you can find more information about your options to appeal. Learn how to appeal a decision. Appeals may not be available in all circumstances (e.g. certain court ordered removals). You should receive more information about your appeals options in the notification that we send to you about your content or account.

When a book is undergoing content review for potential violation of our content policy, we may temporarily disable preview in both Google Play and Google Books search.

Just because a user disagrees with certain material or finds it to be inappropriate doesn't mean that we'll remove it or take other action. We understand that people may have many different points of view, and we take this into consideration when reviewing reports of abuse.

Google reserves the right not to sell any book submitted to Google Play at any time in its sole discretion.

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