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Old 10-03-2016, 09:17 AM   #61
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Remember that copyright requires creativity. There is nothing remotely creative in the markup of any of the (hundreds of) ebooks of public domain texts that I've created, therefore I do not have any claim to copyright in them. Most people here create ebooks because we want them to be shared as widely as possible. You're assuming that people want to claim copyright in the books they create. That goes against the whole ethos of sites like Project Gutenberg, which is to create texts that can be used by anyone, for any purpose. An ethos which I whole-heartedly support. If I achieve nothing else in my life, at least I can say that I leave behind a legacy of ebooks which anyone is free to share and enjoy.

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Old 10-03-2016, 09:31 AM   #62
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Remember that copyright requires creativity. There is nothing remotely creative in the markup of any of the (hundreds of) ebooks of public domain texts that I've created, therefore I do not have any claim to copyright in them.
How does one define "creativity," though -- isn't that in the eye of the beholder? Is Andy Warhol's painting of a Campbell's soup can not "creative," then? What about an old-time Dada artist who puts a toilet -- all by itself, just a toilet -- up on display in a posh art gallery as a "work of art"?

In the ebooks you've created, have you not given any styles to them at all? You don't set the size of headings, or choose whether to indent your paragraphs vs leaving a blank line between them, or include an embedded font -- you don't do anything "creative" at all? Even if you chose not to use any stylesheet at all -- no CSS, just nothing but HTML headers and paragraphs, etc. -- isn't that a creative choice?

EDIT: I just have to chuckle at your first sentence there, if you look at what you actually said (yourself): "There is nothing remotely creative in the markup of any of the (hundreds of) ebooks of public domain texts that I've created..."

Um, okay...

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Old 10-04-2016, 03:41 PM   #63
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Well! You'll be happy to know that I stand here now unabashedly corrected -- er, well, maybe a little bashed, but not too much the worse for wear.

I had a very eye-opening, enlightening discussion over on an email discussion list called "Digital Copyright Canada" (I'm in Canada), and if perchance it's of interest to explore the copyright issue further, you can read my post and the subsequent replies here...

http://list.digital-copyright.ca/pip...er/thread.html

...(it's pretty obvious to pick out -- currently it's the only thread this month).

I'm still awaiting another reply -- and who knows how much longer it will go on -- but for what it's worth I've gathered from all this that you guys were right, at least for the most part. Somehow the guy over on that other list (Russell McOrmond) managed to put a slant on things that hadn't really been brought up here, specifically.

As I said in my most recent reply on that thread (as of this writing), I find myself having a whole new, different perspective on the whole idea of "copyright" now (when it comes to ebooks), let alone what approach I should now take with my own books, if only because I'm now somewhat leaning toward one of throwing my hands up in the air -- and just throwing my ebooks out there -- and saying "Here, take 'em, read 'em, do whatever you want with them."

At the same time, though, I do have to admit that it's been somewhat disappointing and disheartening to come to that realization -- but who knows, maybe it's not quite as unpleasant a thing as I've been feeling it might be. Maybe it's not even so awful if, indeed, people actually do end up "stealing" my books and claiming that they did all the work themselves -- it's their conscience, not mine, that they have to live with in the end, after all.

Anyway, just thought I'd share that thread, in case perhaps it's of interest to others here -- and give you all my "concession speech."
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:59 PM   #64
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An interesting discussion, but I do feel that you slightly misrepresented what people here have said. You say, for example:

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On that epublishing forum, virtually everyone (except myself) has been arguing that I can't copyright works that are in the public domain, regardless of what changes I might make to them.
But that's certainly not what was said. If you make creative changes to a public domain work, such as our old friend "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", the resulting work is assuredly protected by copyright. All that anyone's said here is that making corrections (as opposed to adding a substantial amount of new material) to a public domain work is unlikely to be considered sufficiently creative to gain copyright protection.

Anyway, I'm pleased that you received good advice from the other forum, and best of luck with your book.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:03 PM   #65
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An interesting discussion, but I do feel that you slightly misrepresented what people here have said.
My apologies on that. I was aghast myself with especially my first post on that list, actually, after I re-read what I'd written -- I really should have proof-read it before hitting the "send" button, as it was rather convoluted in parts, too.

Didn't mean to misrepresent anything anyone had said here, of course, guess I was just talking too quickly "off the top of my head" -- but for what it's worth, I didn't mention the name of this (MR) forum, just referred to it as an epublisher's forum. It would probably take a fair bit of investigating for anyone to find the breadcrumb trail from that list back to here -- if, of course, anyone actually cared to do so.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:53 PM   #66
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No harm done .
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:27 PM   #67
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As someone who's interested in reading your Shakespeare book I can answer one of your questions in your last post on that forum. "but in what way is does DRM "lower the value" ...?"

From a consumer PoV DRM reduces choice thus adding inconvenience and providing an increased chance of obsolescence.

Itunes DRM means that I must read that book on an apple device using the iBook app. Unlike Google Books, Kindle or Kobo, I do not have the choice of reading on my android tablet or computer. All DRM reduces choice but the iTunes DRM is the most restrictive of the main competitors.

I want the convenience of being able to use Calibre to keep track of all my ebooks (I tend to forget about books not in Calibre) and using my favorite third party readers. I don't want to keep track of books on several platforms.

Having lost ebooks to the combination of DRM and obsolescent reading formats, I will no longer buy books if I can't free them from DRM so that I can format shift and port them to an new platform if necessary. I don't want my bought and paid for books becoming unusable again.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:19 PM   #68
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As someone who's interested in reading your Shakespeare book I can answer one of your questions in your last post on that forum. "but in what way is does DRM "lower the value" ...?"
Oh, thanks for your interest in my book -- the way things are headed, you just might get your wish (that I'll be sharing it here anyway)! Of course, with that said, I do hope it doesn't end up being a total disappointment.

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Itunes DRM means that I must read that book on an apple device using the iBook app. Unlike Google Books, Kindle or Kobo, I do not have the choice of reading on my android tablet or computer. All DRM reduces choice but the iTunes DRM is the most restrictive of the main competitors.
That's a really good point -- at least, in light of these recent revelations (for me) with regard to copyright, of course. Up until now, all this time I've been assuming that I did have copyright on all the ebooks I've made -- perhaps not with regard to the text itself (if that was unedited, public domain stuff), but at least with regard to the overall design and coding of everything.

I'm at a loss now what to think, let alone what sort of copyright notice -- if any -- to put in my ebooks. I'm still rather vague on the concept of copyright might apply on my coding (which, in effect, I would think would effectively also apply to the visual design of my book). Previous replies here, and also that thread on that other forum, have left me still unsure about that.

The only "definitive statements" with regard to this subject have been via those links that I provided earlier in this thread (here), where I pointed out that various websites make the assertion that the HTML/CSS coding for websites is copyrighted material (regardless of whether the actual content is or not) -- although while those sites make that statement as though it is, indeed, "definitive," I didn't find any references from more authoritative sources -- and if that applies to the coding of websites, then certainly it would also apply to the coding of ebooks, too.

Is there any kind of copyright notice, in reference to any aspect of my (not to mention your) book(s), that would truly be valid?

As I mentioned in that other forum, the copyright notice that I've had in my current "work-in-progress" has been as follows...

Quote:
This entire publication copyright © Ron Koster, 2016. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author and publisher. Cover art and the portrait of Shakespeare are original artwork by Ron Koster. Copyright © Ron Koster, 2016.

That -- or something similar -- has been what I've put in every book I've published so far. Is that really a valid declaration at all? Naturally it is for any new, original content in any of those books, of course, but certain parts (if not large parts) of my current Shakespeare book I don't know any more, let alone most of the contents a previous series of four books of the "Writings of Thoreau" (Henry David, that is), plus a little book of a 19th century poem about the horrors of becoming a drunk (ha ha). All of these latter works I'm totally up in the air now, at a loss for what to put (or change to) for any sort of copyright notice.

Any thoughts on that I'd love to hear --- but please, if you can, provide some authoritative references, if you can know of or can find any!

Thanks! I really look forward to further responses on this subject!

(PS. If I'm digressing here from subject matter of this thread -- I'm not sure -- and if this should perhaps be it's own thread somewhere else in these forums, just let me know and I post this instead wherever that might be.)

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Old 10-05-2016, 05:36 PM   #69
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I'd just put a simple "Copyright © Ron Koster, 2016" and leave it at that. The presence or absence of a copyright notice has no impact on the copyright status of a book. Your introduction was protected by copyright as soon as you wrote it.
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Old 10-05-2016, 05:57 PM   #70
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I'd just put a simple "Copyright © Ron Koster, 2016" and leave it at that. The presence or absence of a copyright notice has no impact on the copyright status of a book. Your introduction was protected by copyright as soon as you wrote it.
You don't think I should be more specific?

For what it's worth, that "No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise)..." part of my copyright notice I got from somewhere else. It might have been from here, but I think it came from one of those well-known, oft-cited, "big-name" epublishing sites/blogs out there as a recommended phraseology for that.

Even just reading that again now -- in light of these other revelations (for me) about copyright and ebooks, I can see that that sounds rather silly now, especially if I completely change my perspective on things, and am just going to give my book away virtually willy-nilly, here and there, and effectively adopt a "do whatever you want with it (because you can!)" attitude.

Somehow, though, just putting "Copyright © Ron Koster, 2016" still seems a bit too simple. Even "Copyright © Ron Koster, 2016 -- All Rights Reserved" or something seems too basic (and "All Rights Reserved" seems too all-encompassing now, too boot, since I'm willy-nilly-ly giving it away anyway).

I just don't know -- I'm just not sure. I just have this feeling that there should be "more," that there should just be something more than just that -- even if it's something that effectively limits what I'm declaring copyright on (rather than "All Rights").

Any thoughts (Harry or anyone) on the subject of one's HTML/CSS code being copyrightable?
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:12 PM   #71
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Well, this is interesting! A rather-knowledgeable friend of mine on Facebook pointed this out to me. Here's what he wrote...

Quote:
You can indeed claim copyright. You did editorial work. This case is similar to what you did.

http://www.5rb.com/case/hyperion-records-ltd-v-sawkins/
Worth taking a look at this court case (if you can manage with all the legalese). This is a UK case, but nevertheless it still provides some "precedent" with regard to a case similar to my own. Obviously it wouldn't apply to simply publishing a public domain work "as is," without making any emendations to it, but I can see my friend's point that this is rather similar to what I've been doing with my book.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:22 PM   #72
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Worth taking a look at this court case (if you can manage with all the legalese). This is a UK case, but nevertheless it still provides some "precedent" with regard to a case similar to my own. Obviously it wouldn't apply to simply publishing a public domain work "as is," without making any emendations to it, but I can see my friend's point that this is rather similar to what I've been doing with my book.

Any thoughts?
"But this was held to be sufficient to create an original copyright work as it had required a high degree of skill and labour; it was not merely servile copying. Precisely where the borderline between the two lies is sure to be the subject of future cases."

An interesting case. I revise my opinion. In UK law it seems that you might be able to bring a case for copyright infringement with some hope of winning it. But it would be a large gamble, so you'd need to be sure the potential reward was worth the risk.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:34 PM   #73
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An interesting case. I revise my opinion.
Yeah, I find myself flip-flopping now, too!

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In UK law it seems that you might be able to bring a case for copyright infringement with some hope of winning it. But it would be a large gamble, so you'd need to be sure the potential reward was worth the risk.
Yeah, it's hard for me to imagine anyone copying my code -- for this book, anyway -- turning around and then selling their own version of it under their name, and making any sort of "fortune" from it. The subject matter of it is, actually, just too obscure (not that many people like reading "ye olde bookes").

I guess the whole point of my interest in having some kind of copyright notice is more just simply a matter of principle, rather than my foreseeing myself in some high-stakes court case or something some day -- i.e. I just simply deserve to have credit for my efforts, above-and-beyond just merely pumping out public domain texts. I actually put time and effort into correcting and emending them, etc., and those efforts did take a certain level of "skill" (and not just "labour").
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:37 PM   #74
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Nobody's ever disputed that you can claim copyright. You can claim whatever copyright you wish, as can anyone. The question is whether you'd be likely to win a case for copyright infringement should you bring such a case against someone whom you felt had violated your rights. Unfortunately the only way to answer that question would be to put it to the test.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:42 PM   #75
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Nobody's ever disputed that you can claim copyright. You can claim whatever copyright you wish, as can anyone. The question is whether you'd be likely to win a case for copyright infringement should you bring such a case against someone whom you felt had violated your rights. Unfortunately the only way to answer that question would be to put it to the test.
Yeah, that's understandable -- and as Russell McOrmond pointed out over on that other forum, if some "transgression" ever did come up, it would have to be serious enough for me to be willing to go hire a lawyer (which I can't afford) to go after whomever those infringers are, and it's quite possible (if not likely) that they're in another country, to boot.

But, as I said, I guess the whole point of this was really just a "matter of principle."
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