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Old 11-14-2007, 07:38 PM   #1
Patricia
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Sayers, Dorothy L: Whose Body? v.1, 15 Nov 2007.

A Golden Age crime novel.
First published in 1923, this is the first of the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories, and the only one out of copyright.

A body is discovered in an architect’s flat. The corpse is in the bath, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez. A Jewish financier is missing. Could the body be his? If not, then whose it it?

One would imagine that a quick look at the corpse would establish whether it might be that of a Jewish man. Apparently Dorothy Sayers had intended Lord Peter to notice that the body was uncircumcised, while the dim Inspector Sugg didn’t think of looking. However, the publisher refused to countenance such indelicacy, so this obvious detail is not mentioned.
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.

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:26 AM   #2
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You've misunderstood -- works must have been copyrighted PRIOR to 1923 to be in the public domain. I'm sorry to say that Dorothy Sayers' books are still copyrighted, at least in the U.S.

This link to information at the U.S. copyright office can shed some light on this issue:
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.html
Scroll down to this paragraph:

Works Published and Copyrighted Before January 1, 1978 · A work published before January 1, 1978, and copyrighted within the past 75 years may still be protected by copyright in the United States if a valid renewal registration was made during the 28th year of the first term of the copyright. If renewed by registration or under the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992 and if still valid under the other provisions of the law, the copyright will expire 95 years from the end of the year in which it was first secured.

Therefore, the U.S. copyright in any work published or copyrighted prior to January 1, 1923, has expired by operation of law, and the work has permanently fallen into the public domain in the United States. For example, on January 1, 1997, copyrights in works first published or copyrighted before January 1, 1922, have expired; on January 1, 1998, copyrights in works first published or copyrighted before January 1, 1923, have expired. Unless the copyright law is changed again, no works under protection on January 1, 1999, will fall into the public domain in the United States until January 1, 2019.

Works First Published or Copyrighted Between January 1, 1923, and December 31, 1949, But Not Renewed · If a work was first published or copyrighted between January 1, 1923, and December 31, 1949, it is important to determine whether the copyright was renewed during the last (28th) year of the first term of the copyright. This can be done by searching the Copyright Office records or catalogs as explained previously. If no renewal registration was made, copyright protection expired permanently at the end of the 28th year of the year date it was first secured.

Works First Published or Copyrighted Between January 1, 1923, and December 31, 1949, and Registered for Renewal · When a valid renewal registration was made and copyright in the work was in its second term on December 31, 1977, the renewal copyright term was extended under the latest act to 67 years. In these cases, copyright will last for a total of 95 years from the end of the year in which copyright was originally secured. Example: Copyright in a work first published in 1925 and renewed in 1953 will expire on December 31, 2020.
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:43 AM   #3
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If you look at:

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/wom...hose-body.html

you will see that this book is in the public domain in the United States since the US copyright for it expired in 1951, and was not renewed.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:44 AM   #4
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So it seems we're both right -- the first edition with some material from the later editions missing, is indeed in the public domain. But on the U.S. Copyright office web-site, a search does show that this book is copyrighted. Apparently it's the later edition with the extra material, though.

My apologies to Patricia for my hasty reply -- I just don't want this forum to get in trouble with the copyright police and get shut down.

I really enjoyed the later edition (still copyrighted) with the additional material which helps to better understand the later books, since it provides more insights into Lord Peter's family. And the later edition with the extra material is still under copyright in the U.S.

Thanks for pointing me to the place which states (hopefully correctly) that this is indeed a public domain book.
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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Also David, we might add that Patricia (along with many others on this forum) isn't based in the U.S., so our U.S. copyright laws don't always apply to them. It might make sense to check that out before you post a reply telling them they are wrong to post.

Patricia has always been awesome and legal with her uploads and I think you have had this conversation with her in other postings. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that you are making sure, but this is at least the second time you have dinged her about her postings being copyrighted and both times it turned out she was fine.

I'm all for making sure that our forum stays nice and legal, but please check if the person is in U.S. before quoting U.S. copyright laws. It must be said that I'm in the U.S. so it IS nice to know if it's legal for us to download here or not, but I just hate to see Patricia get dinged again.

Last edited by tsgreer; 11-15-2007 at 01:34 PM.
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