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Old 01-03-2013, 09:09 AM   #31
HarryT
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Originally Posted by gweeks View Post
The U.S. doesn't have authors that are in the public domain.
Although that's technically true, from a practical perspective one could reasonably say that any author who died prior to 1923 is in the public domain, given that all works published prior to 1923 are in the public domain. It's not strictly true when it comes to such things as posthumous works, but it's a reasonable way to think about the situation practically.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-03-2013 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by BookCat View Post
Strange. I thought that L M Montgomery's books had been PD in the UK for years! I have read several of the "Anne" books on my ereader.
Perhaps you found them here on MR which uses the Canadian life+50 rules?

Or I suppose you could have found them on project Gutenberg Australia based on the posts in this thread, since it would have adopted the shorter term for Montgomery's books that were published in Canada.

The copyright terms are a confusing mess and the world wide web doesn't have physical geographic barriers making the whole system (such as it is) irrelevant.

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Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
This stuff is so confusing. Given the extremely easy and carefree way we can break the law if we want to, it certainly makes me sorely tempted to consistently apply whatever law I think makes sense and damn everything else.
Yeah, I personally apply the "if it's in the public domain somewhere, it's fair game" rule. Since I'm in Canada which has life+50, this is mostly valid for me anyway, but there are still some US works that are PD there and not here. My rule of thumb is of course not legal, but is practical since anything in the public domain somewhere is available online.

Last edited by Synamon; 01-03-2013 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Although that's technically true, from a practical perspective one could reasonably say that any author who died prior to 1923 is in the public domain, given that all works published prior to 1923 are in the public domain. It's not strictly true when it comes to such things as posthumous works, but it's a reasonable way to think about the situation practically.
I've ran into too many posthumous works from authors that died in the 20's to be able to think that way. Even for Canada I can't think that way as I've been bitten by thinking something should be PD based on the author and then found it was published after the cut off date and wasn't PD. So no, it is not effectively the same thing.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:59 AM   #34
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Strange. I thought that L M Montgomery's books had been PD in the UK for years! I have read several of the "Anne" books on my ereader.
Most of them have been in the UK public domain, because of the "rule of the shorter term". But not the later ones (until a couple of days ago).
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:06 PM   #35
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Hermann Hesse is PD in Canada now, but only in German. Translations get their own copyright and I don't think any of the translations are PD.

US copyright is incomprehensible to ordinary mortals. I know of at least one work that is PD in the States but still under copyright in Canada (and the rest of the world as well). At one time, an American author could lose their US copyright if the work was first published outside of the US. This happened with Ayn Rand's Anthem which was first published in England. I wonder how the rule of the shorter term would apply in this case? Canada does not implement the "rule of the shorter term".
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon View Post
Yeah, I personally apply the "if it's in the public domain somewhere, it's fair game" rule. Since I'm in Canada which has life+50, this is mostly valid for me anyway, but there are still some US works that are PD there and not here. My rule of thumb is of course not legal, but is practical since anything in the public domain somewhere is available online.
I'm becoming the same myself. Just mix a little Life + 50 with rule of the shorter term and I'm set.

I don't give a crap about Disney and its precious output so they don't have anything to worry about from me and given they seem to be the only real reason Life + 70 came into being, I don't feel particularly naughty.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:26 PM   #37
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I'm becoming the same myself. Just mix a little Life + 50 with rule of the shorter term and I'm set.

I don't give a crap about Disney and its precious output so they don't have anything to worry about from me and given they seem to be the only real reason Life + 70 came into being, I don't feel particularly naughty.
Yep, we're renowned for being a bit laid back, and we've never lost the 'larrikin' spirit to boot!!!
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:30 PM   #38
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Question for you HarryT: How do you determine which public domain books you are "allowed" to publish on mobileread? Which copyright laws do you follow?

EDIT: saw another poster wrote it was Life+50. What's the rationale for that choice? Have you ever run into any legal trouble?

Last edited by holymadness; 01-03-2013 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
EDIT: saw another poster wrote it was Life+50. What's the rationale for that choice? Have you ever run into any legal trouble?
The MR servers where the books are stored is in Canada. IIRC there is also a US server where books in the US PD, but not Canada can be moved my a mod after upload.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:12 AM   #40
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Yep, we're renowned for being a bit laid back, and we've never lost the 'larrikin' spirit to boot!!!


I figure the existence of copyright is for the benefit of the creators. The limit to copyright is supposed to be for our benefit (general culture, art etc..). That's why towards the start of the copyright period I tend to champion the needs of the creator. However, the longer the period passed, the more my consideration becomes self-centred - or at least not as much pro-creator.

That doesn't mean after 5 years of copyright I say: "Hey you! You've had 5 years - now it's my turn!".

But I do think that Life + 50 is ample time to make a living.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:48 AM   #41
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For fear of not being able to stop bleating off, and to protect the delicate and sensitive ears of MR members, I shall refrain from giving my view on the matter of the Balance of Trade being misused to constrain Australians on the issue of copyright.

Last edited by Lynx-lynx; 01-04-2013 at 03:52 AM. Reason: include : delicate and sensitive etc
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:57 AM   #42
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Canada does not implement the "rule of the shorter term".
It does, with the specific exclusions of the USA and Mexico (due to the NAFTA treaty). It has a "rule of the shorter term" for all other countries.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:04 AM   #43
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Hermann Hesse is PD in Canada now, but only in German.
And not in Germany!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:07 AM   #44
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And not in Germany!
But EU copyright law does incorporate the rule of the shorter term, so unless Germany has a bilateral copyright treaty with Canada (as it does with the USA), you can now legally download Canadian editions of Hesse.

Wikipedia has this to say on the matter:

Quote:
In the European Union, copyrights have been harmonized amongst the member states by the EU directive 93/98/EEC on harmonising the term of copyright protection. This binding directive, which became effective on July 1, 1995, has raised the duration of copyrights throughout the union to 70 years p.m.a. It also includes in its article 7 a mandatory rule of the shorter term for works from non-EU countries. Within the EU, no comparison of terms is applied, and—as in the Berne Convention or in the UCC—existing international obligations (such as bilateral treaties) may override this rule of the shorter term. Directive 93/98/EEC was repealed and replaced by Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.

Germany extends the non-applicability of the rule of the shorter term to all members of the European Economic Area in §120 of its Urheberrechtsgesetz. It also does not apply the comparison of terms to U.S. works. In a case decided on October 7, 2003 by the Oberlandesgericht of Hesse in Frankfurt am Main, the court ruled that a U.S. work that had fallen in the public domain in the U.S. was still copyrighted in Germany. The court considered the rule of the shorter term inapplicable because of the bilateral copyright treaty between Germany and the United States, which had become effective on January 15, 1892 and which was still in effect. That treaty did not contain a rule of the shorter term, but just stated that works of either country were copyrighted in the other country by the other country's laws.
which would seem to suggest that the rule of the shorter term does indeed apply in Germany to Canadian works. But you would need to find an edition published by a Canadian publisher, in Canada.

EDIT: pdurrant kindly advises me that the rule of the shorter term only applies if the work is first published in the country concerned, so, although many Canadian works are indeed in the public domain in Germany due to the rule of the shorter term, Hesse probably isn't.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-04-2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:24 AM   #45
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Really? Do you want to say that I am allowed to download a book of Hesse from a Canadian server but not from a German/European server?
At least the German part of the MobileRead library which stores their uploads on the Canadian server, respects the 70+ years time.
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