Author Topic: A copyright question  (Read 4817 times)

Offline gckatz

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A copyright question
« on: July 14, 2014, 01:58:27 PM »
So say there is a public domain book and you (or the elves at Project Gutenberg) have gone to all the work to scan it, transcribe it, error-check it, format it, incorporate scans of the cover and illustrations, and assemble it all into a nice ebook.

Is there anything preventing someone else from snagging your ebook and releasing it as their own?  After all, you haven't done anything copyrightable.

Offline bodwen

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 02:05:49 PM »
Public domain means exactly that.  Everyone owns it.

There is nothing to stop someone from copying a public domain e-book and selling it under their own imprint, as long as they keep the original author's byline and don't make any changes to the wording of the novel.

Project Gutenberg usually has all of disclaimers spelled out.

If this concerns you, you might want to release it as a paperback instead of an ebook, just to keep from making it easy.

Offline gckatz

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 02:19:55 PM »
Quote
If this concerns you, you might want to release it as a paperback instead of an ebook, just to keep from making it easy.

As it happens, I was actually planning on snagging someone else's ebook.   :emb:

Offline bodwen

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 02:34:33 PM »
Snag away.
 
If you read the fine print in project Gutenburg, they actually spell out that it's perfectly legal for you to do so.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 12:41:38 AM »
Never heard of Project Gutenberg so I just went out and looked it up.

Why would someone want to do this?
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline gckatz

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 02:41:42 AM »
To do which?  To work at Project Gutenberg, or to take someone else's public domain ebook?

Offline bodwen

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 02:19:21 PM »
Never heard of Project Gutenberg so I just went out and looked it up.

Why would someone want to do this?

Scan in 150 year old library books for no personal gain?  Probably to keep them from being lost to future generations.

Offline MichelleG

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 07:08:28 PM »
What I meant was, why would a author of today want to turn their work over to be an e-book  in public domain?
"You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of isolation and the impunity with which crime may be committed there." - Sherlock Homes, The Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline gckatz

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Re: A copyright question
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 08:21:36 PM »
You probably wouldn't, which is why nobody is doing that.