Originally Posted by Elfwreck
While you're there, you have the legal right to download any European public domain works, just like you have the right to buy them from a bookstore, and, were you so inclined, walk into a copy shop & make copies. Or print out copies & sell them.
Public domain is not based on one's residence; it's a matter of location.
If you wanted to play target/guinea pig, you could:
1) Download 500 European-not-USan public domain ebooks,
2) Burn the whole set to a hundred CDs,
3) Bring CDs back to the US,
4) Sell CD's for $5 each,
5) Wait for lawsuit.
Because while you're allowed to, for example, buy a public domain book in a bookstore for 1/4 the price it sells for in the US, and bring it back and sell it at a markup (so far; there's a lawsuit in the works that's poking at this idea), this hasn't really been tested with ebooks, where most of the advantage is in instant/online copies, not hardcopy-for-sale.
Thinking about this some more, I think I would have to declare the burned CDs to customs on the way in (as having some sort of retail value meant for sale).
I wonder if it would be valid to download one copy of each of the European PD books, save them on my laptop, bring said copies into the US, and THEN burn them to CD and sell them.
Because, being in the (European) Public Domain, there's no restriction on making copies later. So I wouldn't need to burn them to CD before bringing them into the US. Once they're in the US, they have commercial value...but...I'm making copies of the non-commercial EU works, not the commercial US works. If I'm allowed to have copies of the EU PD works, then I have to be allowed to make copies once back in the US>
There's definitely a germ of something there. However, I still can't afford to put it into practice. Maybe if I win Powerball....