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Old 08-14-2012, 01:20 AM   #1
bobcdy
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another copyright question

I read that U. S. Government publications are PD because financed by our taxes. Is that true, and if true, would Smithsonian pubs also be PD? There is a short dictionary available online from Smithsonian (and other places) that I'd like to make into an epub and distribute it. I emailed to the Smithsonian asking about this, but never received a reply.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:25 AM   #2
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I'd be careful. The Wiki article on the Smithsonian Institutes has this to say:

Quote:
Copyright restrictions

The Smithsonian Institution provides access to its image collections for educational, scholarly and nonprofit uses. Commercial uses are generally restricted unless permission is obtained. Smithsonian images fall into different copyright categories; some are protected by copyright, many are subject to license agreements or other contractual conditions, and some fall into the public domain, such as those prepared by Smithsonian employees as part of their official duties. The Smithsonian’s terms of use for its digital content, including images, are set forth on the Smithsonian Web site.[16][17]
The terms of use of material on the web site are here. Note the following:

Quote:
Smithsonian Content is identified as having “no known copyright restrictions” when the Smithsonian is unaware of any copyright restrictions on its use. This may mean that: (1) a copyright existed at one time but was not renewed, or the copyright may have expired, or the owner may have intentionally placed the Content into the public domain; or (2) the Content was never eligible for copyright protection because it was created by an employee of the United States as part of his or her official duties, or (3) there are no copyright markings or other indications on the Content to indicate that it was copyrighted or otherwise restricted; or (4) Smithsonian records do not indicate any evidence of copyright restrictions. These facts do not necessarily mean that the Content is in the public domain, but rather indicate that no evidence has been found to show that copyright restrictions apply.
So unless your dictionary is marked "no known copyright restrictions", then I don't think you can assume that it's in the public domain.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Harry. I'll try to contact the Smithsonian again.
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