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Old 01-04-2020, 03:41 AM   #1
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Lovecraft Collaborations: Why offline?

Reading through the (offline) thread of ghostyjack's Lovecraft collaborations upload I get the impression that the stories were meticulously checked for their public domain status. So why is the book offline anyway?
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:06 AM   #2
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Only the US copyright was checked. The MR library is life+70 compliant, and doesn't care about the US copyright status. That particular book, according to my notes, has the following authors:

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937)
Zealia Brown-Reed Bishop (1897-1968)
Anna Helen Crofts (1889-1975)
Winifred Virginia Jackson (a.k.a. Elizabeth Berkeley) (1876-1959)
Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft Davis (1883-1972)
Edgar Hoffmann Price (1898-1988)
Duane Weldon Rimel (1915-1996)
Hazel Heald (1896-1961)
Kenneth J. Sterling (1920-1995)
Adolphe Danziger De Castro (1859-1959)
Robert Hayward Barlow (1918-1951)
Henry St. Clair Whitehead (1882-1932)
Wilfred Blanch Talman (1904-1986)
Catherine Lucille Moore (1911-1987)
Abraham Grace Merritt (1884-1943)
Robert Ervin Howard (1906-1936)
Frank Belknap Long (1901-1994)
William Lumley (1880-1960)
Jack Chapman Miske (1920-2003)
Harry Houdini (1874-1926)

Although parts of it are already in public domain in life+70 countries (those with authors who died before 1951), the book still contains copyrighted material, until 2074 by current law.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:23 AM   #3
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So the upload was from before the server change. I didn't get that.

Sorry.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:56 AM   #4
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So MobileRead is hosted on servers in a country with life+70 public domain law and that affects the possible downloads? I just want to understand this case better. Copyright laws are ridiculous...
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
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So MobileRead is hosted on servers in a country with life+70 public domain law and that affects the possible downloads?
Exactly.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:14 AM   #6
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There are many books that were uploaded when MR was using a different server and was following a life+50 rule. Some years ago there was a server change and it was decided that MR would obey life+70. Instead of deleting the files that did not comply with the new term, they were tagged as "offline" and downloads are disabled. This allows us to put the files back online if they become public domain in life+70 countries. Don't look at it as restriction to downloads, but as a way to keep old uploads for the future.
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Old 01-04-2020, 08:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oin View Post
So MobileRead is hosted on servers in a country with life+70 public domain law and that affects the possible downloads? I just want to understand this case better. Copyright laws are ridiculous...
If you research here, the owner was involved in a copyright case in his home country. The ruling was that MobileRead had to follow the copyright law of the home country, which was life + 70, instead of having servers in various countries with various copyright laws.

There are countries with Life + 50 (original Berne length), Life + 70, Life + 100, and the US, which is incoherent.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:20 PM   #8
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Please clear up a related confusion I have. Does the length of copyright depend upon the writer's country of birth (eg America) or the potential downloader's geographical location?

Please don't all hit me at once if I was wrong to do this. I was recently looking at the Canadian Gutenberg, which is life plus 50, but couldn't find any John Steinbeck, yet he died long enough ago to fall into this category. Is it because he lived in the states and his works are subject to US copyright?

I probably shouldn't have been doing this because I live in a life plus 70 country, but I didn't actually download anything.

Please clear up my confusion: is it the author's birthplace/where he lived which matters, or are other factors more important?
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookCat View Post
Please clear up a related confusion I have. Does the length of copyright depend upon the writer's country of birth (eg America) or the potential downloader's geographical location?

Please don't all hit me at once if I was wrong to do this. I was recently looking at the Canadian Gutenberg, which is life plus 50, but couldn't find any John Steinbeck, yet he died long enough ago to fall into this category. Is it because he lived in the states and his works are subject to US copyright?

I probably shouldn't have been doing this because I live in a life plus 70 country, but I didn't actually download anything.

Please clear up my confusion: is it the author's birthplace/where he lived which matters, or are other factors more important?
It says right on the Faded Page web site, main page, top of the page, "These books are public domain in Canada (because we follow the Canadian copyright laws), but if you are in another country, you should satisfy yourself that you are not breaking the copyright laws of your own country by downloading them." The other sites say something similar. On the Project Gutenberg main page, the Terms of Use section it says "Our eBooks may be freely used in the United States because most are not protected by U.S. copyright law, usually because their copyrights have expired. They may not be free of copyright in other countries. Readers outside of the United States must check the copyright terms of their countries before downloading or redistributing our eBooks."

Last edited by hobnail; 01-05-2020 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BookCat View Post
Please clear up a related confusion I have. Does the length of copyright depend upon the writer's country of birth (eg America) or the potential downloader's geographical location?

Please don't all hit me at once if I was wrong to do this. I was recently looking at the Canadian Gutenberg, which is life plus 50, but couldn't find any John Steinbeck, yet he died long enough ago to fall into this category. Is it because he lived in the states and his works are subject to US copyright?

I probably shouldn't have been doing this because I live in a life plus 70 country, but I didn't actually download anything.

Please clear up my confusion: is it the author's birthplace/where he lived which matters, or are other factors more important?
Copyright for digital uploads only depends on the country where the servers are located, for downloads only on where the downloader is located.

Why Steinbeck's works are missing? One possible reason: They have only been PD in Life+50 countries for a year. It takes some time to prepare ebooks. OTOH, at least the most popular works of a high profile author like Steinbeck should be up by now.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:56 AM   #11
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There is the Rule of shorter term, which should in general mean that the shorter term between the country of origin (where the work was first published, not the nationality of the author) and the country of distribution (where the downloader is) should apply. But not all countries follow this, and there are many exceptions. In particular, Switzerland (the country of origin of the site owner) does not apply the rule.

In short, the MR library follows life+70, exceptions, if needed, are dealt with on a case by case basis.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doubleshuffle View Post
Copyright for digital uploads only depends on the country where the servers are located, for downloads only on where the downloader is located.

Why Steinbeck's works are missing? One possible reason: They have only been PD in Life+50 countries for a year. It takes some time to prepare ebooks. OTOH, at least the most popular works of a high profile author like Steinbeck should be up by now.
If you go to fadedpage.com's companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada you'll find that there are some Steinbeck books being proofread.

fadedpage has a fairly long lead time.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:24 PM   #13
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