Upload Rules

In order for an e-book to be submitted to MobileRead, either

Note: While most legal free online books are from public-domain texts, there are also many books online with the permission of the copyright holder.

What does public domain mean?

In just about every country, authors can put a work in the public domain by formally declaring that they are doing so. But most books enter the public domain either because they are not copyrightable (e.g. certain government documents), or because their copyrights expire.

When a work is in the public domain, it may be used and copied freely without any permission from, or payment to, the copyright owner. For example, you could publish a public-domain book in print or electronic form. You may also modify the book in any manner.

Rule of Thumb: Copyright expires IF published before 1923 or published at least 95 years ago in the United States OR published 50 years after the author's death in some countries, 70 years after death in others.

Whose law applies?

The MobileRead E-Book Project is Canada-based; its server on which the e-books are directly maintained resides in Canada. Henceforth, all e-books must be prepared in accordance with Canadian copyright legislation.

Canadian copyright law

This is not intended to be used as a legal guideline since it cannot reflect the complexity of the copyright laws in effect at any one time and since copyright laws are changing continuously; this section simply provides a useful summary as part of a more in-depth research.

In Canada, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus fifty years (Section 6 of the Copyright Act). For example, if a poet penned a poem in 1925 and lived another eighty years, her poem would not enter the public domain until December 31, 2055, for a total of 130 years. However, if the same poet died in 1936, her poem would have already entered the public domain in 1986.

Copyright terms differ in duration in a number of instances. Section 9(1) for example provides that copyright in a jointly authored work lasts until fifty years after the last author dies, while Section 6(1) provides that copyright in anonymous and pseudonymous works lasts for the shorter of fifty years from first publication or seventy-five years from the making of the work.

MobileRead will not allow the hosting of any e-book whose public domain status under Canadian copyright law cannot be confirmed OR where the copyright holder has not given specific permission.

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By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not submit any e-book that is in violation of Canadian copyright laws.

The editors of MobileRead Forums reserve the right to remove or edit any submitted e-book for any reason.