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Old 03-23-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
Ralph Sir Edward
Gentleman & Cynic
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This gets subtle and complex. In the period involved, a writer sold a story to a magazine. The Magazine copyrighted it, not the writer (it has to do with the legal method of copyright in the US prior to 1978. To go into the detail would take a page in and of itself.)

However often the magazine edited the work. So the copyright applied to the particular edited version of the works. The author may later publish an unedited (or edited differently) version of the work. Since it was a different version, it would have a separate copyright.

It still gets more murky. There was a 1 year window to renew the copyright under the pre 1978 law. Could a third party (i.e. the author) renew the copyright? I don't know. Any particular case would have to be adjudicated with a trial, most parties won't bother. For a final answer as a copyright lawyer.

These are my reading of the US copyright law. IANAL, and this is not legal advice....

To read it yourself see my sticky US Copyright Law...

Here is an example of how confusing it can get. At the same time, (give or take a few issues), Robert A. Heinlein published a story in the same magazine. He would never allow it to be reprinted, as he felt it was terrible. Project Gutenberg considers it to still be under copyright. But Startling Stories went broke and there was no renewal of copyright by the assigns of the magazine for any issues. Question? How did Heinlein (and his estate trust) maintain copyright control? Beats the <bleep> out of me....

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 03-23-2010 at 10:59 AM.
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