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Old 04-01-2013, 06:49 AM   #31
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The information we already have is that Swiss law unfortunately does not incorporate the rule of the shorter term (which is actually rather unusual - almost all other European countries do).
Do you have some link for it? (I would not dare to doubt it, it's just I couldn't find any source where Switzerland actively excluded the rule of shorter terms.)
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:54 AM   #32
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Yes, we know that the Berne Convention doesn't require signatories to protect copyright works for longer than the protection they receive in their home country. But neither does it forbid such protection. Each country decides for itself whether or not to extend longer protection to foreign works.

The page you link to just seems to be the Berne convention. You'd need to find the appropriate Swiss copyright legislation.
Yes, it is the Berne convention. And if you sign the contract as a whole you sign it single paragraphs too unless you state otherwise. I couldn't find such a statement otherwise but I'm not saying I digged deep enough.
There is more than one paragraph inside the Berne Convention that explicitly states that the signing states may make their own regulation about this particular topic but it doesn't say so in this paragraph.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:58 AM   #33
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Do you have some link for it? (I would not dare to doubt it, it's just I couldn't find any source where Switzerland actively excluded the rule of shorter terms.)
One source (although certainly not definitive, of course) is the table at Wiki here. The Swiss copyright office website is here.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #34
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I couldn’t find anything in Swiss law (surprisingly!) that grants additional protection for posthumously published works. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:07 AM   #35
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I couldn’t find anything in Swiss law (surprisingly!) that grants additional protection for posthumously published works. Can anyone confirm this?
I don't know about Swiss law, but in EU law, the only special provision for posthumous works is that the initial publisher gets a fixed 25-year copyright term. Beyond that they have the same life+70 copyright term as anything else.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:24 AM   #36
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I don't know about Swiss law, but in EU law, the only special provision for posthumous works is that the initial publisher gets a fixed 25-year copyright term. Beyond that they have the same life+70 copyright term as anything else.
In Germany these 25 years are only granted if the author has been dead for more than 70 years when the new work is initially published. I thought that it is the same with EU law (if we leave aside the more complicated British law for a moment). Is that wrong?
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #37
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In Germany these 25 years are only granted if the author has been dead for more than 70 years when the new work is initially published. I thought that it is the same with EU law (if we leave aside the more complicated British law for a moment). Is that wrong?
No, you're right. It's a 25-year term ONLY if the work would otherwise be in the public domain under the normal "life+70" term. The intent is to encourage publication of new material - there's very little incentive for publication if the work can instantly be copied by anyone.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:37 AM   #38
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One source (although certainly not definitive, of course) is the table at Wiki here. The Swiss copyright office website is here.
The document behind the first link (if you scroll down to Switzerland) doesn't say anything about the Rule of Shorter Terms, on the second site I've found this which doesn't indicate any altering to paragraph 7/8 of the Berne Convention:
Quote:
Protection abroad

Every legal system is principally national; in other words, under Swiss law, works and other protected matter are only protected in Switzerland. However, international treaties have been concluded to guarantee protection at an international level. They grant Swiss authors the same level of protection as authors residing in that country as long as that country and Switzerland are signatories to the same treaty. The majority of industrialized countries have signed the most important copyright (Berne Convention, German) and related rights (Rome Convention, German) treaties.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:39 AM   #39
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You'd perhaps better contact Alex directly by PM if you're concerned about this, Billi. He's made his decision and, as the board owner, we have to abide by this judgement in the matter.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #40
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I'm not overly concerned as for us German users there is not much change involved. It's just what I've wrote many posts before: it's a pity for all the work done creating all these books now in vain.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #41
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I think a lot of the problem goes back to time. That is when the berne convention and other copyright laws were written there was no such thing as an ebook. I mean today (in theory) I could buy an ebook from a store in Switzerland for example and be reading it 5 minutes later, but when the laws were written the only thing that existed was paper copies of books. Books which may go out of print and only be findable in used book stores. That isn't the case any longer of course. I do have to wonder though, if the author is dead and his book is PD in his/her home country whose rights are really being protected? His (or rather his heirs) or the rights of publishing houses who might not have even known of his works til long after he had died?
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:38 PM   #42
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I'm also rather depressed by the thought of fine books in the P. Clark Library becoming unavailable for everyone – would it be possible to pass them along to someone 100% Canadian? Project Gutenberg Canada, for example? Or someone from Oz?
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:29 AM   #43
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I'm also rather depressed by the thought of fine books in the P. Clark Library becoming unavailable for everyone – would it be possible to pass them along to someone 100% Canadian? Project Gutenberg Canada, for example? Or someone from Oz?
This is a great idea. Seconded.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:49 AM   #44
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I quite understand that Alex is worried by the thought of being savaged by some fearsome litiginous beast. But I am staggered at the effort he's willing to put up. According to my Patricia Clark library database, there are over 2400 authors in the library. No doubt this includes several duplications due to variations in spelling, but then it does not generally include translators, illustrators, contributors to antologies and whatnot. That's an awful lot of obituaries to wade through to find out who joined the choir invisible before 1943.

(IANAL and all that)
I assume Alex is in a vulnerable position because he is a Swiss legal person, so it can be claimed (pretty dubiously, IMHO), that downloading a book from mobileread's Canadian server constitutes some kind of contract between Alex and the downloader, and is to be treated under Swiss law.
Splitting off the library from the site, and creating a new site whose owner is a legal person from Canada (or Autralia, NZ, or another life+50 country) should make such a legal challenge invalid.
I presume a legal person can also be some kind of registered organization, and not necessarily an actual person. (For example, it seems reasonable to assume I could be the legal owner of a Canadian firm that sells non-copyrighted material in Canada, even though I am neither a Canadian citizen or resident). Thus Alex may be able to retain control over the library through some kind of Canadian not-for-profit organization, though undoubtedly the safest and surest route would be to give it to some trustworthy denizen of northern North America.

Not a straightforward solution, nor necessarily a viable one, but – unless it has already been thought of and discarded – perhaps worth looking into when taking a break from going through all those obituaries?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:38 PM   #45
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Perhaps we can send our files to the newly started DPLA. I think we should share our resources with them. See the news front page for info on the DPLA or look in our wiki.

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