Originally Posted by advocate2
The shortest length of copyright appears to be life in being plus 25 years. Given that it is legal to post a pre-1985 book in those countries, is a US reader breaking the law if he or she downloads a book from a server in one of those countries?
Yes. When you are in the US, US law is what applies to you. If you were to travel to that country, and download the book from there, that would be legal. You could even bring it home with you, and you'd still be fine. But, as far as downloading is concerned, it's your location that determines what laws apply to you, not the location of the server.