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Old 04-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
jbcohen
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A fact question

What is the copyright period for a paperback book? For a hardback if they differ.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Depends where you live. In the UK it's 70 years after the writer snuffs.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Snuffs? you mean purchases a farm? Knocks a bucket?
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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In most western countries, a copyrighted work enter the public domain at the start of the year following the 70th anniversary of the author's death. Eg, if you were to die today, anything you'd written would remain protected by copyright until 1st Jan 2082.

In a few countries (eg Canada), the period is 50 years after the author's death.

In a VERY few countries, it's different. Eg, Mexico has a copyright period of life + 100 years.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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And while the author is still alive?
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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And while the author is still alive?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that rights remain with the writer as long as they live.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:46 PM   #7
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What about it? I told you: copyright exists from the moment the work is created until the start of the year following the 70th (or 50th, for Canada) anniversary of the author's death.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:45 PM   #8
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Snuffs? you mean purchases a farm? Knocks a bucket?
Yep, except for HarperCollins. Copyright for them is 26 lifetimes.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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What is the copyright period for a paperback book? For a hardback if they differ.
Copyright has nothing to do with publication - a work is copyright as soon as the author types the words on the page. According to Wikipedia copyright "arises on fixation", which is a nice phrase - it is the expression of the ideas which creates the copyright.

An author may transfer his/her rights to someone else, but as far as I know the duration (in the UK) is still author's life +70 years, as HarryT says.

Last edited by MartinC; 04-01-2011 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:52 PM   #10
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And while the author is still alive?
Depends if they're Harry Harrison or not.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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Or Walt Disney
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #12
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It varies with the jurisdiction. Here's a reasonably complete table:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...pyright_length
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:25 PM   #13
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In the US, until relatively recently, copyright had to be renewed. So that's why a lot of stuff that otherwise would be copyrighted by current rules, isn't.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
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Yep, except for HarperCollins. Copyright for them is 26 lifetimes.



wait.....that's not funny!
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:29 PM   #15
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Interestingly, Canada's copyright law -- last revised in 1997 -- will AGAIN not be revised because we've entered an election and all legislation before Parliament or in committee "dies". Three serious attempts to bring forward new legislation have expired this way. It's good for books, as far as I am concerned: 50 years after an author's death is already far more protection than is needed.

Personally, I'd like to see a 20 year window on copyright from the date of creation/publication and automatic transfer to public domain UNLESS the owner of the creation renews with a national registry ... for 20 year terms and a maximum of two renewals. That would protect an individual creative act for up to sixty years -- surely enough time for a creator to derive fair value for. And works that were NOT deemed commercially worth protecting would gracefully become part of the public domain.
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