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Old 10-10-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
carld
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Amazon selling a pirate edition of Clifford Simak's "City"?

I had Clifford Simak's sci-fi work "City" in hardback years ago and thought I'd give it another read after seeing it mentioned online (might have been here at MR). A quick search of Amazon turned up this copy.

I was surprised to see that the book, which is widely considered a classic, has three 1-star reviews. The reviewers claim that this is an unauthorized "pirate" edition.

So, rather than give my money to possible pirates, I was wondering if anyone knows of a legitimate ebook version?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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Considering the time period when Simak wrote isn't impossible that the early copyrights on the stories that he later combined in the 1952 version might have expired.
It might be a pirate edition or it might simply be a sleezy loophole edition.
(The price is on the high side. Most pirate editions go low on pricing.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_(novel)
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
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Sleazy? If it's out of copyright, what's wrong with publishing it?
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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There is a response to one of the 'pirated' reviews from an M. Logan who claims they have the rights to publish it?

Quote:
We do have the rights to publish this ebook, therefore authorization is not required. If you believe you have information to the contrary, please contact us directly. For legal reasons, we are unable to comment further on this issue.
Do they have the rights? Don't know, I can't really find any info on Gate Way Publishers.

They do appear to be re-pubbing some other oldies (93 results on search) so it's possible they're legit like a few others (like Prologue Books) doing the same thing...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=...oks-Submit.y=3

Last edited by AnemicOak; 10-10-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
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I don't know if they have the rights or not, but saying they can't comment on why they have the rights raises red flags.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
I don't know if they have the rights or not, but saying they can't comment on why they have the rights raises red flags.
That's one way to look at it, another is that they choose not to comment about contracts in public, they did invite folks to contact them directly (although I'm not sure how [maybe the info is in the book?]).



I notice Audible acquired the rights to do it as an audiobook so the ebook rights may have been available too.


Not saying it's legit or not legit, but I don't trust a couple of Amazon reviews which could be posted totally on an assumption to be necessarily correct either. From the dates on the reviews I'd think Amazon would have pulled it by now if Gate Way couldn't prove things to their satisfaction (assuming it was reported).

Last edited by AnemicOak; 10-10-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
Sleazy? If it's out of copyright, what's wrong with publishing it?
There are three versions of CITY. The magazine version was 8 separate stories set in the same timeline. The 1952 novel spliced the stories with a frame. And the 1973 version added a ninth story; Epilog.

The outfit in question might be legally publishing the 8 short stories but without the framing segments it wouldn't really be the "novel" that buyers expect. At that price, I'd call that intentionally misleading = sleazy.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #8
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Oh I love that book! And that's the cover on the old paperback version I have.

I don't know about it being a pirate version, Amazon is pretty careful about that.

Thanks for the topic, the memories, the discussion!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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There are five works by Simak on Gutenberg, so at least some of his work is out of USA copyright, at least.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piperclassique View Post
There are five works by Simak on Gutenberg, so at least some of his work is out of USA copyright, at least.
The stories on Gutenberg appear to be short stories that were probably in magazines during a period that copyrights needed to be renewed and weren't. Since Clifford Simak died in 1988, his novels won't become public domain in the U.S. until 2058.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
The stories on Gutenberg appear to be short stories that were probably in magazines during a period that copyrights needed to be renewed and weren't. Since Clifford Simak died in 1988, his novels won't become public domain in the U.S. until 2058.
Actually, most of Simak's work was published prior to 1978, so the copyrights for them (assuming they were renewed) expire anywhere from 2027 to 2074, depending on publication.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:38 PM   #12
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Hmm.. Yeah.. Maybe.. Copyright law in the United States is very confusing.

Here's a very good overview of Copyright in the U.S. as of January 2012

http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:05 AM   #13
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I'm not certain about this book one way or another, but I do find the publisher's post somewhat suspicious. B&N and Fictionwise seem to be selling the same edition as Amazon.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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I believe this is the 8 short stories from the magazine series pasted together to form a book. I have a few pulp novels done this way at the turn of the century.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #15
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E.E. Smith's "Triplanetary" is the same. The free PG version is the story as it was published in the pulps. The copyright was never renewed for this version.
Later, he revised it a little to tie in with his Lensman series and released it as a book.
The same with his "Skylark of Space", the free versions are the pulp versions.
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