Question about Copyright

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prodigy
Posts: 82
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 8:40 am

Question about Copyright

Postby prodigy » April 15th, 2016, 12:24 am

Apologies in advance if this question has been answered before on this forum.

I was looking at the following link earlier today: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

The copyright question I have is related to small booklets/notes/newsletters/periodicals published around the 1930s-1950s. Some of these publications do not have a © symbol or any wording along the lines of "copyright <year> by <company/person>". According to the link above, works published from 1923 through 1977 without a copyright notice are in the public domain due to failure to comply with required formalities.

Let's say for example, some of Lloyd Jones or U F Grant's early work in the 1930s did not have any copyright notice of any sort in a few of their publication, does this somehow imply that those writings are in public domain? I've noticed sites like Lybrary and Conjuring Arts releasing some very old works in ebook format. It is reasonable to assume that they had gotten permission to publish these, but in cases where the work fits the criteria I mentioned above, is permission required?

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4229
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Question about Copyright

Postby Bill Mullins » April 15th, 2016, 1:24 am

Short answer is probably yes.

Long answer is, are you sure? If you see a booklet from that era that isn't properly marked, what if it is a second edition, and the first one was correctly marked? It wouldn't be in the public domain then.

Suppose the contents had been previously published in a correctly-marked magazine. It wouldn't necessarily be public domain then.

It's hard to be sure about these things.


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