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Old 12-30-2020, 12:30 PM   #1
JSWolf
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Why is The Mysterious Affair at Styles offline when it's legal to be here?

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie is offline? According to Project Gutenberg, the copyright was not renewed thus making it public domain.

What was the reasoning for removing it?

Last edited by JSWolf; 12-30-2020 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:19 PM   #2
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I suspect this is from a strict adherence to life+70. Since Dame Christie passed away in 1976, her works would not be available until 2047 despite many of them being covered under older copyright rules which required renewal or had shorter terms. It seems that many people forget that in the US which seems to be where most of this fuss comes from, the life+70 protection only applies to works created on of after 1978-Jan-01 but other countries extended the life+70 protection to any works created by an author. That had the somewhat humourous side effect of books that were out of copyright going back into copyright.

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Old 12-30-2020, 01:34 PM   #3
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Blame Disney and friends, the US Government and the USPTO.

I'd like to see this Corporate landgrab wound back to the Berne Convention and life + 25 to 50. The present basically US imposed rules are not about rewarding the estates of Creators.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
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Please refer to the General Book Uploads Posting Guidelines:

"0. MobileRead follows the life+70 copyright rule."

and:

"For the purposes of MobileRead, only works where the author has been dead for 70 or more years are in the public domain."

We don't care what Project Gutenberg says, or what the status in the US is. Agatha Christie's works will, with the current state of affairs, be moved back online in 2047.
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Old 12-30-2020, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie is offline? According to Project Gutenberg, the copyright was not renewed thus making it public domain.

What was the reasoning for removing it?
More generally speaking, anything published in the US in 1924 or earlier is in the public domain (day after tomorrow, it’ll be 1925 or earlier) and PG reflects US copyright.

MobileRead, however, changed its policy to adhere to Life + 70, which as DNSB said, excludes Christie. The results was that some books which had been available at MR were withdrawn until their author comes under Life + 70.

MR recognizes that different rules apply to various members based on their location; we assume people observe their local copyright restrictions. Hence EU residents ought not to download from Project Gutenberg unless the book is out of copyright under Life + 70; similarly Americans ought not to download from MR titles not available to them. But of course as with many things, the trick is not to talk about it if you do.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:02 PM   #6
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But why remove perfectly legal public domain eBooks regardless of life+70? The Mysterious Affair at Styles is perfectly legal to post here. There are a number of copies on Amazon US because it's legally public domain.

It's up on Project Gutenberg because the copyright was not renewed and puts it in the public domain.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
But why remove perfectly legal public domain eBooks regardless of life+70? The Mysterious Affair at Styles is perfectly legal to post here. There are a number of copies on Amazon US because it's legally public domain.

It's up on Project Gutenberg because the copyright was not renewed and puts it in the public domain.
It’s on PG because it was published in the US in 1920 and thus in the US public domain. Its copyright in Europe and other Life + 70 areas won’t expire until 2047. MobileRead observes Life + 70 because of server location and the nationality of its owner. Ηowever, what is legal for people to download depends on where they are, irrespective of whether or not a book is in the public domain elsewhere. So even if the MR copy of Styles were available, someone who wasn’t physically in the US couldn’t legally download it anyway.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:23 PM   #8
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They are only legal in the US. Maybe the servers are located in another country.
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The Mysterious Affair at Styles is perfectly legal to post here.
That is not necessarily true. It may be legal for you to post it, it may be illegal for the site (depending on where it's located, and which jurisdiction it must follow) to host it or to offer it for download.

But most important: Even if it was true, it's irrelevant. MR is a privately-owned site that chooses which rules to follow. The owner decided to allow only life+70 books, so that's it. It's also "legal" for you to do some other things on this site that could get you banned...
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