Originally Posted by KindleKid
I understand that it's illegal to gain profit from another person's work (nor would I want to do that), but is there an issue with reproducing a work in a new format (ebook for example) and making it available for free?
As I've said these are out of print but some of them are as new (in copyright) as 1975. If I reproduced a book into ebook format crediting everything as it appears in the original and not mentioning myself anywhere and making it available for free, is there an issue?
Does it equate to concert bootlegs? Essentially if you have a recording you made of a performer and shared it with other publicly, this is legit as long as you do not profit from it. The Grateful Dead were real pioneers of this. The issue is, why would the law spend money stopping media from being distributed that isn't available on an official level anyway? If you have a concert that was never released on CD and someone is sharing, the record company isn't losing money on it. So why spend money to stop them?
Is this the case with out of print books too? If so, then I'll upload a few!
Actually, concert bootlegs suffer from the same legal issues. The Grateful Dead explicitly authorized bootlegs of their concerts on the "don't profit from it" basis you mention. That explicit authorization by the copyright holders is what made it legal. Absent such authorization, it's just as illegal as any other breach of copyright.
(IANAL, but this question is pretty basic)