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Old 03-09-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
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copyright policy regarding russian/soviet authors

Usually we are using a 70-years after death policy. Is this policy the same for russian/soviet authors? Well, before you say "Sure. Stupid question." let me provide some more informations:
  • In 1974 the USSR joined the Universal Copyright Convention with a term of copyright of 50 years.
  • In 2004 russia modified the copyright law and uses a term of copyright of 70 years since then.
I'm a little bit unsure now because i got different informations here in germany:
Some public institutions told me "50 years if the work was already public domain in 2004", other institutions gave me different informations.
Additionally i found a discussion of wikipedia authors who were unsure on this topic too. They decided to use a 70-year policy until they will get clear instructions by a copyright lawyer.

Are works that were older than 50 years before russia started using a term of copyright of 70 years public domain (in Canada and as well in Germany)? Or does the change of copyright law in 2004 apply retroactively - even for works that were already public domain according to the law from 1974?

Any help will be very appreciated...
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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Unless you are talking about uploading Russian-language books, all that matters for copyright purposes is the copyright status of the particular translation you are working with - a translation has its own copyright status, independent of that of the original work.

If a book is uploaded here, it is only the copyright status in Canada or the US that is relevent, not the copyright status in the author's own country. Our primary server is in Canada, which has a "life + 50" copyright law. It is irrelevent whether or not the work is in the public domain in any other country.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Unless you are talking about uploading Russian-language books, all that matters for copyright purposes is the copyright status of the particular translation you are working with - a translation has its own copyright status, independent of that of the original work.
Yes i know. I'm talking primarily about translations. The matter is that there are translations available which could be in public domain because the translator died years before the author of the original work. But a translation is just a "derivated work" and can't be public domain if the original work isn't. (?)
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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A translation can be in the pd even when the source isn't.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
If a book is uploaded here, it is only the copyright status in Canada or the US that is relevent, not the copyright status in the author's own country. Our primary server is in Canada, which has a "life + 50" copyright law. It is irrelevent whether or not the work is in the public domain in any other country.
Ah ok. I skipped parts of your answer. Thank you very much.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #6
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A translation can be in the pd even when the source isn't.
Wow, thats surprising and i didn't know that. Thank you very much.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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That's right - for a translation, it is only the date of death of the translator that matters, not the date of death of the author of the original work.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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Nate and Harry, you made my day!
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