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Old 09-29-2016, 09:51 PM   #31
DaleDe
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Yes, the PDF is good but you are interpreting it incorrectly in what it covers. It would fully cover a derivative work such as a translation or writing a movie script form a book but not just formatting. I would suggest you use CC (creative commons) to attach to your book. It may be enough to keep some, but not all for taking the book but will at least protect it against someone else taking credit for it by claiming they did the work.

Anything you add is copyrightable but only the part you write.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:04 AM   #32
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I would suggest you use CC (creative commons) to attach to your book. It may be enough to keep some, but not all for taking the book but will at least protect it against someone else taking credit for it by claiming they did the work.
How is CC any different (let alone any more protection) than adding in a copyright notice? I can see where it would help if your intention is to truly just give away your work freely, and let anyone do whatever they want with it -- if only to make it very clear that you're giving everyone the right to do so -- but if your intention is to protect yourself from people doing so then I don't see how it would offer anything more than a simple copyright notice would.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:51 PM   #33
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How is CC any different (let alone any more protection) than adding in a copyright notice? I can see where it would help if your intention is to truly just give away your work freely, and let anyone do whatever they want with it -- if only to make it very clear that you're giving everyone the right to do so -- but if your intention is to protect yourself from people doing so then I don't see how it would offer anything more than a simple copyright notice would.
For one thing it would be legal so far as I know. A Copyright is challengable. Otherwise they are fairly identical. CC allows more specific instructions to be added to the document about what can and cannot be done. You can post CC documents here at MobileRead. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

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Old 09-30-2016, 04:14 PM   #34
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For one thing it would be legal so far as I know. A Copyright is challengable.
And CC is not challengeable? Copyright is certainly a legal declaration, too -- I don't know how something can be "more" legal than something else. Either way, a person could apply it to a work without it actually being applicable at all.

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Otherwise they are fairly identical. CC allows more specific instructions to be added to the document about what can and cannot be done.
I can put that in a copyright notice, too, though. Like, for the book Shakespeare (etc.) book I've been working on, the various plays I've reformatted more nicely, but I don't think I've really done anything that I could claim "copyright" over, I didn't make any changes that are of any great significance, really.

On the other hand, though, for the various Shakespeare poems (as well as the two works by other authors), there were all newly-transcribed by myself from original sources, with various corrections made along the way (which other transcribers have not done, from what I've seen), and thus these changes are "new," "original" and "significant," and thus merit my own copyright. Wouldn't you think so?

I can thus not only retain copyright over not only those various poems (by Shakespeare and others), but also over the entire collection (book) -- which is similarly thus "new" and "original" -- as a whole, too. Again, wouldn't you think so? If I've learned anything from this discussion right here so far, that is, in fact, perhaps the most significant thing that I've learned.

In any case, I fail to see how adding in a CC license to my book offers more "protection" than a simple copyright notice, let alone is somehow "more legal." I was looking at the CC website, specifically at their "Choose a License" page, and it would seem that whether I went that way (CC) or the "copyright" way -- or both -- either way if I post my book here to MR then I would still have to clarify that it's okay to download my book from here for free, but that I don't want people just appropriating it as a "free giveaway" on their own websites (for their own self-promotion), let alone stealing my efforts (code) and then slapping their own name and a price tag on it.

Neither a simple copyright notice, nor a CC license, is explanatory of that -- and even if I do add in additional explanation of those restrictions on sharing (or "stealing"), it's still not a guarantee that others won't do so, of course.

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You can post CC documents here at MobileRead. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
Surely one can post copyrighted stuff, too, though -- i.e. if the person posting/sharing the work owns the copyright themselves?

Sorry if I'm (over-)complicating all this! That is my problem sometimes -- perhaps that's why it takes me so damn long to make my books, actually.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:28 AM   #35
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On the other hand, though, for the various Shakespeare poems (as well as the two works by other authors), there were all newly-transcribed by myself from original sources, with various corrections made along the way (which other transcribers have not done, from what I've seen), and thus these changes are "new," "original" and "significant," and thus merit my own copyright. Wouldn't you think so?
My opinion (and therefore not a lawyer's): Are they still Shakespeare poems? Then they don't get a new copyright. Your changes may be significant, useful, appropriate, they may have a good deal of thought, imagination and research behind, but if you can still call them Shakespeare poems, they are Shakespeare's, not yours. If your changes are such that they have become your poems (based on, built on, or however you want to put it, Shakespeare's) then sure, they are subject to new copyright.

Maybe you can claim some kind of authorship or protection on the packaging (formatting, markup, etc.), but the text remains public domain, anyone is allowed to copy the text, with all your changes and corrections.

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Surely one can post copyrighted stuff, too, though -- i.e. if the person posting/sharing the work owns the copyright themselves?
Indeed, you can post whatever you have permission to post and we have permission to host: because it's public domain, or because the license allows it, or because you are the copyright holder or have the copyright holder's permission to do so.

Last edited by Jellby; 10-01-2016 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:33 AM   #36
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My opinion (and therefore not a lawyer's): Are they still Shakespeare poems? Then they don't get a new copyright. Your changes may be significant, useful, appropriate, they may have a good deal of thought, imagination and research behind, but if you can still call them Shakespeare poems, they are Shakespeare's, not yours.
Agreed. Editorial changes are not protected by copyright, regardless of how much work has gone into them.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:01 AM   #37
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Here's a screenshot of just one of the pages (or, rather, two-page spread) from my book. Please tell me why I don't deserve copyright. :/
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:11 AM   #38
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My opinion (and therefore not a lawyer's): Are they still Shakespeare poems? Then they don't get a new copyright. Your changes may be significant, useful, appropriate, they may have a good deal of thought, imagination and research behind, but if you can still call them Shakespeare poems, they are Shakespeare's, not yours.
Clearly you don't understand the law, then. From what you're saying, everything that countless scholars have been working on for many decades now with regard to coming up with definitive, authoritative versions of the writings of Henry David Thoreau are still in the public domain.

And yet, nobody is saying that. Publishers don't say that, Thoreau scholars don't say that, nobody at all says that. Anyone interested in Thoreau's writings understands that those Princeton scholars retain copyright for their efforts.

Similarly, I can retain copyright for my efforts as well. If you don't understand that -- even if you want to be an "anarchist" and not accept that -- it still doesn't change the fact that I deserve credit for what I have put effort into and accomplished.

How can that whole concept be any more simple and obvious? I mean, really. Seriously? Does this need to be rationalized more than the ridiculously obvious? :/
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:20 AM   #39
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Clearly you don't understand the law, then. From what you're saying, everything that countless scholars have been working on for many decades now with regard to coming up with definitive, authoritative versions of the writings of Henry David Thoreau are still in the public domain.

And yet, nobody is saying that. Publishers don't say that, Thoreau scholars don't say that, nobody at all says that. Anyone interested in Thoreau's writings understands that those Princeton scholars retain copyright for their efforts.
The books have a copyright because they don't just contain Thoreau's text. They contain introductory essays, footnotes, etc. I'm afraid that, like it or not, the actual text that Mr Thoreau wrote is in the public domain, and anyone can perfectly legally copy the text (but not the introduction, footnotes, etc) from such a book and do whatever they wish to with it. That really is the way that copyright works. Scholarly effort does not automatically grant copyright.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:42 AM   #40
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Here's a screenshot of just one of the pages (or, rather, two-page spread) from my book. Please tell me why I don't deserve copyright. :/
I'm not saying you don't. According to UK legislation, for instance, you may claim copyright for the typographical arrangement (which expires 25 years after publication). But the text, even if you changed the spelling, remains public domain, and anyone can use it.
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Old 10-01-2016, 08:50 AM   #41
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I'm not saying you don't. According to UK legislation, for instance, you may claim copyright for the typographical arrangement (which expires 25 years after publication).
Very true. EU copyright law does indeed have the concept of typographical copyright (but the layout has to be innovative and creative to quality for it), but it's worth noting that US copyright law does not.

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But the text, even if you changed the spelling, remains public domain, and anyone can use it.
And that is precisely what's been said here. The actual text remains in the public domain regardless of what changes the editor has made to the spelling, punctuation, etc.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:35 AM   #42
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The books have a copyright because they don't just contain Thoreau's text. They contain introductory essays, footnotes, etc. I'm afraid that, like it or not, the actual text that Mr Thoreau wrote is in the public domain, and anyone can perfectly legally copy the text (but not the introduction, footnotes, etc) from such a book and do whatever they wish to with it. That really is the way that copyright works. Scholarly effort does not automatically grant copyright.
The original printed versions of Thoreau's writings are in the public domain, but the revised and corrected emended versions of those are copyright those recent scholars.

That is stated quite clearly in that link that I provided earlier -- and it has nothing to do with any additional introductory essays, footnotes, etc. (which, of course are also naturally copyright their authors).

It's astonishing to me, actually, that you folks can't seem to grasp the concept of what is copyrightable and what's not. It seems to me that you're trying to violate international copyright law by promoting some idea that just because something was written long ago, that regardless of any new and original presentation of that work that it's effectively "up-for-grabs."

That screenshot I shared here a couple of posts back is a perfect example. Yes, the text on it is "public domain," but my rendering and presentation of it is by no means not.

Why in the world we're debating this is beyond me. For one thing it's just, well, the law -- widely accepted in most countries of this world -- but for another thing it's actually in your favour as a book designer.

I'm arguing not just in favour of what the law is, but what is common sense. You're arguing against the law, trying to rationalize violating the law, but also rationalizing infringing on peoples' rights, never mind going against basic, really quite obvious, common sense.

I'm actually really quite bewildered and baffled by your stance in this. :/
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:17 AM   #43
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The original printed versions of Thoreau's writings are in the public domain, but the revised and corrected emended versions of those are copyright those recent scholars.
I'm sorry, but I must, with the greatest respect, disagree with you. Editorial changes to a public domain text do not grant a new copyright.

Given that neither of us seems likely to convince the other of our viewpoint, however, I suggest that we bring this discussion to an end and politely agree to differ. As I said a while ago in this thread, if someone makes use of your book that you believe violates your copyright, it will end up being the decision of a court.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:58 PM   #44
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I'm sorry, but I must, with the greatest respect, disagree with you. Editorial changes to a public domain text do not grant a new copyright.
Okay, since you don't believe me, would you believe a copyright lawyer, and the US government? Naturally, laws from country-to-country vary, but for what it's worth, here's a quote from a lawyer specializing in this subject (emphasis added)...

http://www.copylaw.com/new_articles/PublicDomain.html

Quote:
Whenever you rely on the PD status of a work, it is important to make sure that the particular version you want to use is actually in the public domain. Later versions or adaptations (e.g., translations, revisions, annotated and illustrated editions) of PD works may be protected by a separate copyright. Copyright in later versions or adaptations, relates to the fresh layer of creative material added by the second author. To avoid legal entanglements it is important to use only the original PD version -- not any later copyrighted version that may contain editorial interventions. While Shakespeare’s Hamlet is in the public domain, the New Folger Library Edition of Hamlet is not.
And from this page...

https://www.cendi.gov/publications/0...right.html#225

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2.2.5 Can a work that includes works in the public domain be copyrighted?

Yes. However, the copyright protects only the original contributions added by the author.
So perhaps, as you say, the work as a whole can't be copyrighted, but any of those revisions, corrections, etc. that I've made can be. If anyone was to just copy my book "as is" then they would have to pore over the text all over again, just as I have, and UN-revise those revisions I've made.

In the meantime, I do stand semi-corrected and newly-informed myself here -- and I'll adjust my copyright notice accordingly (to specifically refer to those revisions I've made to the various texts).
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:15 PM   #45
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The important part of the text you quoted (which I'm in complete agreement with, BTW) is this:

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Copyright in later versions or adaptations, relates to the fresh layer of creative material added by the second author.
(Emphasis mine)

Copyright requires a creative element. "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" is a copyrighted work because the second author has added creative content to the public domain original. The New Folger edition of "Hamlet" is a copyrighted work because the editor has added essays, footnotes, an introduction, a history of the performance of the play, etc. However, what is not a creative process is a mechanical act such as correcting spelling mistakes, regularising punctuation, and so on. That is what I am disagreeing with you about. I cannot claim any copyright in the meticulously proofed and corrected versions of Dickens that I've uploaded to the MR library merely because I've spent hundreds of hours correcting the literally thousands of errors in the PG versions that were my starting point. My work involved no creativity.

It would be perfectly legal for me to take my bought ebook edition of the Oxford Shakespeare, copy the text (and only the text) of "Hamlet" from it, and use that text in any way I wish. What I couldn't do would be to re-use any of the creative material that Oxford University Press has added to the public domain material.

Unfortunately for you, US copyright law goes not recognise the concept of typographical copyright (i.e. a copyright in the creative layout of the work), although EU copyright law does.

Last edited by HarryT; 10-01-2016 at 04:30 PM.
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