back to article EC: New principles agreed for out-of-print book licensing

Libraries, publishers, authors and collecting societies have agreed principles that will shape future licensing agreements on digitising out-of-print books, the European Commission said. Out-of-print books are works that are copyright-protected but are either no longer being published or are not generally available to the public …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

So

what about music albums that are out of print

1
0
Anonymous Coward

already covered

They did that last month by allowing them to extend ther protection on music. Though how that is reflected in music song books I have no idea. All I know is next software release I'm doing will come as a musical audio book as the copyright/patent and other aspects make it way easier for me and very cost effective:|

0
0

Abandon ware

What about out software that is no longer published? Or software code that is not accecable to the public? Plenty of good old games from companies that have gone down the pan lying around somewhere...

0
0
WTF?

There is no such thing as "abandonware".

ALL those companies were owned by *someone*. Ergo, their IP belongs to that someone, unless they sold it to someone else.

Either way, *someone* owns that IP. It is not "abandoned". It's just not being used.

Contrary to popular belief, you are not *entitled* to the fruits of other peoples' labours regardless of their own wishes while their works are still covered by copyright. If that work is lost as a result, it's not going to be the end of the world.

If the copyright holder doesn't want you to have a *copy* of their work, that is their *right*. "Right" to "copy". "Copyright". See? It's not that difficult a concept to grasp.

Of course, it's amazing how few people bother doing the research to find out who the copyright owners are. Most assume the copyright is owned by the developer(s), but this is unusual.

In almost every case, it's relatively easy to track down the IP owner, because the IP is generally owned by whomever funded the development. In the UK, for example, you can contact Companies House for details of businesses and their owners. The US and other nations have similar institutions that keep records of businesses within their borders; it's a legal requirement to register with these in most cases.

(There are some exceptions to the above, particularly with sole trader-type businesses, but these are unusual at the publishing level.)

0
1
WTF?

No excuses for something being out of print....

what about POD (Print On Demand) editions then? It's used a lot in the USA, and it's not at all difficult or expensive for a publisher to set up if the work is already in digital format. For older out-of-print works, scan and POD publish is simple enough. Heck, they clould even publish the stuff as PDFs or as E-Books.

There are no, read again, no, excuses for anything in the last thirty years to ever go out of print now, and for older work, it's merely neccessary to scan and POD or E publish, as required.

So all these excuses regarding copyright and expense of publishing are, frankly, complete Scheiße.

Regarding libraries being allowed to scan/difitise, and whatever, yep, good idea, and frn\kly, shold have been set up decades ago.

Still, better late than never.

0
0
Unhappy

Loop Hole

You may have identified a loop hole to allow a publishing house to hold on to works indefinably. If they offer a print of demand service where items are offered at the cost of a print run on 1 then they are not out of print or abandoned.

True paying the £200 for a work with some colour in it might be a bit steep to make it viable for the customer but that is not the point (you think they will offer soft back or digital prints?)

0
0
Silver badge
WTF?

What Purlieu said

A book can be out of print in as little as a decade (I've come across some such on Amazon, for instance). The EU decides to allow the book to be scanned and released after a reasonable effort to contact the rights holder, with an opt-out provision...

...yet in the *SAME* week grants, thanks to music/movie pressures, a twenty year extension to the duration of "copyright"?

Is copyright not copyright? Are all created works not protected equally? Or does your level of copyright provision depend upon the size of cigar you smoke? The real stinker will be when they get around to approving the outright theft of so-called orphaned images.

Icon says it all.

2
0
Silver badge
Pirate

@Purlieu

Even thinking about that makes you a pirate and the RIAA will hunt you and your children and your children's children down and sue you out of existence.

0
0
Bronze badge

At the end of the day, book production is relatively inexpensive, compared to movies. Sound recordings are somewhere in between. But the costs of making an adequate copy have changed a lot in the last twenty years.

Print-on-Demand, and the effect on rights reversion, does worry authors. That "loophole" is already there. If I recall right, the usual terms put an absolute time limit on the contract, with a conditional reversion if the book stays out of print. The awkwardness is that many publishing companies are components of large media conglomerates, and head office imposes policies on ebooks and PoD which are designed for big-budget movies. The people in the publishing houses don't want to get a bad reputation with authors, and using PoD to get around a reversion clause on a book you're not really selling is not good business.

This can all fit rather well with what libraries do, keeping material available. It might also fit well with systems such as PLR. There's no reason why authors of old books shouldn't be able to get some money out of it.

The big problem is that some authors are still bemused by computers, and some inheritors of rights are clueless about publishing. There are authors who can set up their own ebooks, as the rights revert. They don't really get much, if anything, from this. It's all the stuff that's locked away by ignorance where we might, as readers, gain from this.

1
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums