Copyfraud: Poisoning the public domain

Your scan isn't necessarily copyrighted

In a book there are two pieces of copyright, one is the text and the other is the layout or typesetting.

The text of a book goes out of copyright 70 years after the death of the author. The layout of a particular edition goes out of copyright 90 years after the date of publication (I'm assuming it was typeset and published by a company.)

It's therefore possible for a company to print an edition 69 years after the death of an author; it would still be in copyright of the author's estate and the company would have to licence the text. by waiting a year and a day they can use the text for free, but so can anyone else. If they now print a new edition, it will still be in copyright for 90 years. If someone buys a copy and scans it as imgaes, the scans are a derivative work of the layout, and their copyright does not belong to the person who scanned them. However, someone could OCR scan the book, and the text is not copyrighted.

As far as I understand it, if an edition of a book is out of copyright, scans (or reprints) of the edition are also out of copyright, unless a substantial amount of creative work has been put in to creating a new work. The edition being out of copyright would not stop the publisher of the facsimile from charging for it, but he could not claim the copyright.


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