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Old 12-05-2015, 07:11 AM   #16
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Thanks for this clarification! If the only license other than life+70/CC0 is the CC BY-SA-NC, that would be fine because works of art and entertainment would still be considered as freely licensed under this license (but not works of practical use, non-fiction). The task for me would be to identify the EPUBs under CC BY-SA-NC, so I can download them into a separate directory like “non-commercial-only” in order to make sure that users who have obtained the full collection don't run into some legal trouble. Ideally, the posting guidelines and the copyright notice in the upload posts should reflect that the material can also be under CC BY-SA-NC, and the statement “the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution” would be less ambiguous (because it sounds like restrictive licensing, at least every user has to assume it because the default is “all rights reserved”).

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Originally Posted by beachwanderer View Post
If the font page contains a design that qualifies as a new work of craft or art, copyright exists for the creator. If the front page contains any photography which was created by the person who did create the front page, copyright for the photographer exists. This is, of course, also true for any such works embedded in the text of the ebook. As a result there could be claims concerning the complete ebook-file.

I case of splitting front page (or illustrations) and text, the next question that arises would be that of the protection of a special layout, special fonts etc. etc.
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
The cover is indeed an illustration but often the book itself also has illustrations which are covered by a second copyright. A translation also has a separate copyright.
But how would this not conflict with the posting guidelines? Just like the Wikipedia: if submitting anything, one accepts that the submitted content will be under CC BY-SA, or he is not allowed to upload it at all. Is mobileread any different?

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My expectation would be that if one tries (after loads and loads of interesting legal review of masses of individual titles) to make the whole library compliant to the project you have in mind, another library, or rather two or more of them would result and much be lost.
At the moment, I don't have a particular project in mind, but I do think about the concept of a universal digital library, which of course needs to be in the Public Domain and freely licensed, with software and services around it, and of a certain quality. Everyone could obtain a copy of it in full or in part, but the main home of such library would be determined by the community and service providers working on and with those texts. Of course, people could use my downloader and upload the downloaded files to their servers and distribute the e-books, and I think there's nothing wrong with it (is it?), but still visitors of that site can't get updates, can't give feedback, etc. Regarding the name of Patricia Clark Memorial Library, as she was a major uploader, a universal library would contain contributions from all kinds of people and institutions, and copies of the current mobileread library hosted somewhere else could be given another name (and should be, if the hoster starts to modify stuff with which mobileread doesn't necessarily agree or which would conflict with Patricia Clarks personal rights). However, we could add an automatically generated EPUB about the history of the uploads and statistics about the uploaders and link to it in the other EPUBs (just an idea).

If you have the time and interest, you could also consider some of the theoretical background, see Google and the World Brain for instance. I don't want some big company to build such a library to nastily exploit it, I would rather favor the public to take care of it for ourselves.

Currently, the downloaded EPUBs are some kind of data pool for me to experiment with EPUBs, to start to read and extract information from them, maybe for automatically generate indexes or PDFs, I'm not so sure about it right now. Especially as around half of the German ones are invalid, so there might be better sources somewhere.

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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
When known, all of these things were considered when the mod's reviewed the works for the latest pass at purging the books that were non-compliant. Of course we are only human. If you find any errors report them to the mods via the little ! symbol under the poster's name.
And I really appreciate that! I think it would be catastrophic if you didn't, but now there's at least the chance to do interesting things with what you've accomplished so far.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:24 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by skreutzer View Post
But how would this not conflict with the posting guidelines? Just like the Wikipedia: if submitting anything, one accepts that the submitted content will be under CC BY-SA, or he is not allowed to upload it at all. Is mobileread any different?

And I really appreciate that! I think it would be catastrophic if you didn't, but now there's at least the chance to do interesting things with what you've accomplished so far.
Yes, the guidelines do cover translations, illustrations, and even prefixes that might have a different author. I mentioned it to indicate that we are aware and do check for all of these things. Sometimes the uploader can remove the illustrations or find an edition without illustrations to conform to the guidelines.

Alex, the site owner, is very concerned about his liability so it is very important to stay within the guidelines for uploads and downloaders need to be responsible for the laws in their country.

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Old 12-09-2015, 08:25 AM   #18
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That's great! This way, the contributions of the uploaders were not only made towards mobileread but towards the community (including readers in particular, but also providers of software services for the library).

Does this mean that there were no legal grounds for the actions against “in 2007, somebody posted mobileread ebooks on the Usenet [...]”, “also in 2011, somebody redistributed ebooks from mobileread gratis [...]” and “in 2015, as a user redistributed the library obtained from my downloader [...]”, but maybe social reasons (staff is always fulfilling the requests of uploaders or something like it)? Or was it because at this time, the e-books weren't checked for their legal status as they are today? Does this mean that “in 2011, it became apparent that somebody sold the e-books [...]” was problematic in legal terms because the CC BY-SA-NC was violated? For “in 2015, one or more individuals uploaded e-books to Kobo Writing Life and sold them [...]”, it doesn't seem the CC BY-SA-NC was already in place from the copyright holders, so which license applied to their original content before that day and how was it violated by the uploader to Kobo Writing Life?

Would it be possible to host the library as a downloadable package non-commercially? Is such a mirror something you guys would approve, for instance to save mobileread server resources? I don't think I myself would host such a package for the mere purpose of having other people downloading it, but I can think of extracting the texts and images of valid EPUBs and present or convert them in other formats (web, print), analyzing their contents, providing personal notes (or social reading for them) etc., for which the legal permission would be an absolute requirement, and approval (maybe even support) of uploaders, the community and staff would be important to me, too.

You don't have to decide this now, as I'll investigate this topic further regarding the opinions of German uploaders who wanted their files removed from a downloadable package.

Update:
Can you please tell me which Creative Commons license in particular is accepted besides CC0, is it CC BY-SA-NC, or a different CC license with NC clause?

Last edited by skreutzer; 12-14-2015 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Yes, the guidelines do cover translations, illustrations, and even prefixes that might have a different author. I mentioned it to indicate that we are aware and do check for all of these things. Sometimes the uploader can remove the illustrations or find an edition without illustrations to conform to the guidelines.

Alex, the site owner, is very concerned about his liability so it is very important to stay within the guidelines for uploads and downloaders need to be responsible for the laws in their country.

Dale
All right, I do understand that all the parts of an uploaded book, including illustrations, created by someone else than the uploader must be in the public domain or under a fitting CC license. But what about parts of the book, like a cover for instance, created by the uploader: can the uploader claim copyright on those?
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:17 PM   #20
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Of course he can as they are works of individual expression, the question is: do the Posting Guidelines require the uploader to license them freely or to put them into Public Domain (from DaleDe's answer above, I understand: yes).
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skreutzer View Post
Of course he can as they are works of individual expression, the question is: do the Posting Guidelines require the uploader to license them freely or to put them into Public Domain (from DaleDe's answer above, I understand: yes).
I know what you think. That's why I was asking Dale.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:25 PM   #22
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Claiming copyright is one thing [1], licensing is another [2].

[1] The right to grant or withhold licenses.
[2] Who is actually getting which permissions.

Last edited by skreutzer; 12-13-2015 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:03 PM   #23
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My personal opinion would be no, it is not required that copyrighted content uploaded here be released under a CC license. Leaving aside uploads that may have been overlooked, I would say it's OK to upload material as long as you have the copyright holder's permission, and this may be either explicit (the uploader is the copyright holder's, or the copyright holder has somehow approved) or implicit (the material has been published under a non-CC license that, however, allows redistributing it through MR, like some Project Gutenberg translations).

It is true that the Guidelines say "EBooks uploaded to this site must be in the "life+70" public domain, or licensed under a compatible Creative Commons license", but (again my personal opinion) I believe this was not intended to be exclusive of other solutions, as long as it is with the copyright holder's permission. Now, if this sentence in the Guidelines is considered as the final word, then yes, all works should be either PD or CC... but it doesn't say which kind of CC. And that doesn't mean all books in the library automatically comply with these guidelines; we try to make sure there are no "problematic books", but we cannot thoroughly check every upload, we basically trust the uploader's description.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
I believe this was not intended to be exclusive of other solutions
That's the question to resolve here. If other licenses or “all rights reserved” are accepted as well, the copyright notices in the upload posts should reflect it, because then it would be very likely that any given book contains material which is restrictively licensed, so the reader needs to be aware to handle them with great care.

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but it doesn't say which kind of CC
Indeed, therefore I want to know too, if there's a particular CC license required or just “any” (not all of them are libre licenses), and if this is stated somewhere on the site, so uploaders were able to know about it prior to today. As it seems to be hard to find, I might have to look into the EPUBs and try to find out which CC licenses were used up to this point.

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And that doesn't mean all books in the library automatically comply with these guidelines; we try to make sure there are no "problematic books", but we cannot thoroughly check every upload, we basically trust the uploader's description.
Sure, there are limits to what you guys can do and what's actually feasible. I guess you're doing a “best effort” approach and are also relying on people to notify you if an upload or its parts raise(s) a concern.

It might be that there wasn't a common understanding of what's accepted and what isn't, and maybe that wasn't an issue before as mobileread can ignore third parties and concentrate on the mere distribution of text towards readers, but the cases in 2007, 2011 and 2015 showed that it would be of help to have some certainty regarding this question, so it hopefully will become clear what can and can't be done in the future. If uploaders interpreted the existing statements differently, we might be stuck with a library which can't realize its full potential, but maybe uploaders did the right thing even if it wasn't explicitly stated.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:14 PM   #25
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[...] we might be stuck with a library which can't realize its full potential, [...]
I really don't like the attitude in statements like that. As I said in the German thread, I have nothing against your project per se - you can use my books for it, if you wish - but I am worried that if you keep on pursuing your project with this attitude you are going to change the rules for us uploaders and destroy the character of the library, which is working very nicely and is in no need of any substantial changes. If you want to use it as it is, that's fine by me, but I am going to resist any pressure for changes to suit your project.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:45 AM   #26
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If other licenses or “all rights reserved” are accepted as well, the copyright notices in the upload posts should reflect it, because then it would be very likely that any given book contains material which is restrictively licensed, so the reader needs to be aware to handle them with great care.
Notices in the posts are welcome, but readers should always look for notices or license terms in the book itself, especially if they plan to distribute it.

Quote:
if there's a particular CC license required or just “any” (not all of them are libre licenses)
I believe this part of the Guidelines should be read as "the book should be released under some license that allows your posting it here (such as some CC licenses) or otherwise be posted with the copyright holder's permission"

Quote:
and if this is stated somewhere on the site, so uploaders were able to know about it prior to today.
As far as I can remember, this part of the Guidelines was changed when we made the move to life+70, and even now it's not very prominent, so I don't think uploaders could know about it before. I would assume most uploaders would just assume something like my interpretation above.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #27
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This discussion may be of interest as well, therefore I link them together.
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