Originally Posted by JoeD
Either you missed understood my point, or I miss understood yours
Harry was pointing out that their additions are often the reason a book that is in the public is still commercially viable. If there was no copyright, those additions would not be protected, then the public domain works that penguin takes and makes into a derivative work would themselves be public domain and freely copyable/sellable by anyone.
Unless penguin knows they can produce physical versions of the book cheaper than any competitor could and accepts they'll have no ebook customers, it would not be in their interests to even bother. The only way it might be feasible is if they withheld releasing their version of the books until they had £X of pre-orders.
Anyone who prefers ebooks would simply wait until the release and download it for free, with the majority probably hoping enough people pre-order it so that it gets made.
imo there'd be way more failed releases and likely other consequences I've not thought of. Not to mention, any employee of that company could likely just take a copy home and release it without breaking any laws.
Just a hypothetical for ya, if I were to purchase a nicely formatted e-dition of a public domain work that penguin uploaded to the network, would it be copyright infringement if I were to strip out all the addendums that penguin added, replace them with something else and resell the ebook? What about translations?