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Old 02-21-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
boydcarts
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Regional copyright quesiton on MR books

I've been looking over some of the books downloadable from here on MR, but I see that many of them contain the message:
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

To report a copyright violation you can contact us here.


To cite a specific case, I'd like to get a copy of "1984" , but as it is still under copyright in the U.S., am I correct in assuming that would make it illegal for me to download? (even though it and many of the "Canadian" books seem to have been uploaded by people in the U.S.)

Sorry if this is a complete "newb" question, but I've searched the forums a few times and haven't found a distinct answer.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, boydecarts.

I'm not sure of the answer, but someone here will be.
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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The server that hosts MR and most eBooks is located in Canada. There is also a server in the USA to host eBooks. Canada has a life+50 copyright. The USA has a life+70 copyright.

What that means is once the author dies, the books retain copyright for another 50 or 70 years. Some eBooks are public domain only in like+50 countries such as Canada but not in life+70 such as the USA. Some eBooks where published in the USA and no longer have a copyright and are only copyright in the USA. Those that are only public domain in the USA are hosted on a server in the USA.

So 1984 can be hosted in Canada because it is in the public domain there. But in the USA, it is not in the public domain yet.

We can thank Disney for screwing with copyright.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:23 PM   #4
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Simple terms:

Take a book like 1984 which is PD in Life+50 countries, and let's say it's PD50. Take a book that's out of copyright in the US which is Life+70 and call it PD70. Any PD50 book can be downloaded in any Life+50 country but not in a Life+70. Any PD70 book can be downloaded in any Life+50 or Life+70 country. Some books have copyright status which is not determined by the author's date of death and have to be treated separately.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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Yes, it's illegal for you to download 1984 if you live in the US. It's also illegal for me to do so in the UK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boydcarts View Post
To cite a specific case, I'd like to get a copy of "1984" , but as it is still under copyright in the U.S., am I correct in assuming that would make it illegal for me to download? (even though it and many of the "Canadian" books seem to have been uploaded by people in the U.S.)
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
boydcarts
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Thanks for the answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Those that are only public domain in the USA are hosted on a server in the USA.
So is there a way to differentiate between U.S. and Canadian servers? I've looked at a few books that I believe to be PD in the U.S., but they still have the Canadian disclaimer.

Last edited by boydcarts; 02-22-2009 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Yes, it's illegal for you to download 1984 if you live in the US. It's also illegal for me to do so in the UK.
I am amazed that this book sells for $17 on fictionwise too. I can buy it for $.99 as a Kindle book. They also have an Orwell omnibus this includes it for $4.79.

This was a sample book on my PRS500 when I bought it.

BOb
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boydcarts View Post
So is there a way to differentiate between U.S. and Canadian servers? I've looked at a few books that I believe to be PD in the U.S., but they still have the Canadian disclaimer.
I think it depends on who uploads them.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #9
Alexander Turcic
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Just because a book has the Canadian disclaimer doesn't necessarily imply that it is not in the PD in other countries, like the US. In general, all e-books uploaded to MobileRead will contain the Canadian disclaimer because MobileRead is hosted in Canada and we thus ask our uploaders to comply to Canadian laws. If you download a book, it is your task to make sure that it also complies to your local laws.

A few e-books in our database are not hosted by MobileRead (they have a different disclaimer). These are works that are in the public domain in the US (and perhaps other countries), but not in Canada.

* Wikipedia on Public Domain
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