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Re: [ebook-community] Copyright Expiration ?

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  • joseph h
    ... Dave, I have no idea where you have gained your information, but you need to seriously update yourself about copyright. Copyright is automatic, and is
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 1, 2012
      On 01/08/2012 2:35 AM, Dave wrote:
      >
      > I don't know if I'm beating a dead horse - But has there been any
      > consideration given to having copyrights expire if a printed work has
      > been out of print or unused for a prolonged period (perhaps 40 years)
      > and if the owner(s) do not renew their rights?
      >
      > I specified printed works to exclude art, ephemera and ebooks since
      > their values and characteristics are very different.
      >

      Dave,

      I have no idea where you have gained your information, but you need to
      seriously update yourself about copyright.

      Copyright is automatic, and is owned by the creator of a unique work.
      From the form of your question I assume you are in the US, since no
      other country has had a renewal process for over 150 years. In the US
      now, as in almost every other country, copyright lasts for the life of
      the creator plus 70 years. Protection of copyright tends to be
      vigorously pursued and discussed over published works [print and
      digital], but the protection exists for all original works from the
      moment of creation. All creative areas together enjoy the umbrella term
      Intellectual Property.

      And yes, there are many vigorous arguments about what copyright term and
      management might be changed to, but the current law is the one that
      operates at the moment.

      Joseph Harris


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dave
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 1, 2012
        --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > On 01/08/2012 2:35 AM, Dave wrote:
        > >
        > > I don't know if I'm beating a dead horse - But has there been any
        > > consideration given to having copyrights expire if a printed work has
        > > been out of print or unused for a prolonged period (perhaps 40 years)
        > > and if the owner(s) do not renew their rights?
        > >
        > > I specified printed works to exclude art, ephemera and ebooks since
        > > their values and characteristics are very different.
        > >
        >
        > Dave,
        >
        > I have no idea where you have gained your information, but you need to
        > seriously update yourself about copyright.
        >
        > Copyright is automatic, and is owned by the creator of a unique work.
        > From the form of your question I assume you are in the US, since no
        > other country has had a renewal process for over 150 years. In the US
        > now, as in almost every other country, copyright lasts for the life of
        > the creator plus 70 years. Protection of copyright tends to be
        > vigorously pursued and discussed over published works [print and
        > digital], but the protection exists for all original works from the
        > moment of creation. All creative areas together enjoy the umbrella term
        > Intellectual Property.
        >
        > And yes, there are many vigorous arguments about what copyright term and
        > management might be changed to, but the current law is the one that
        > operates at the moment.
        >
        > Joseph Harris
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >I have some general knowledge of the current US copyright law. I was asking about potential changes to the law. If one limits the period during which rights are protected one must provide a renewal mechanism or, among others, you will have some extremely irate corporations who own own fallow copyrights that they might want to reuse.
      • joseph h
        ... ... It is very unlikely the US would make any major changes unilaterally; it is now signatory to Berne, as well as belonging to WIPO and itself
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 2, 2012
          On 02/08/2012 5:04 AM, Dave wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com
          > <mailto:ebook-community%40yahoogroups.com>, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:
          >
          <snip>
          >
          > >
          > > And yes, there are many vigorous arguments about what copyright term
          > and
          > > management might be changed to, but the current law is the one that
          > > operates at the moment.
          > >
          > > Joseph Harris
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >I have some general knowledge of the current US copyright law. I was
          > asking about potential changes to the law. If one limits the period
          > during which rights are protected one must provide a renewal mechanism
          > or, among others, you will have some extremely irate corporations who
          > own own fallow copyrights that they might want to reuse.
          >

          It is very unlikely the US would make any major changes unilaterally; it
          is now signatory to Berne, as well as belonging to WIPO and itself
          insisting on observance of international IP rules in trade agreements.
          The only major change in the past 20 years was the lengthening of
          post-life protection to 70 years.

          Copyright is pretty standard now internationally, with rights applying
          for the lifetime of the creator, but varying from 50 to 90 years for
          heirs. Terms for companies - Disney for example - are different. There
          is no option for a rights owner to vary the term, but obviously owners
          of their individual rights can licence or give them away or exercise
          them on any terms they choose.

          Trade Marks are a different IP, where renewal is part of the process.
          Renewal for copyright no longer operates anywhere, so far as I know.

          As I said, there are vigorous discussions about term, and have been for
          as long as I've been interested in the area. In my opinion, the nature
          of the protection is such that one could not apply different terms to
          the right to control the issue of copies; which I think you were
          suggesting between print and digital.

          However, that said, I know of no logic or set of basic assumptions that
          supports any particular term. The trend, since since author rights were
          introduced in the Queen Anne Act at the beginning of the eighteenth
          century, has been to make protection longer. Berne, about midway between
          then and now, started at life plus 50.

          If you do have a good argument to support your idea I would certainly be
          interested in it.

          Joseph Harris



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Beth Young
          I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a book has been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years. One reason for
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 2, 2012
            I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a book has
            been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years.

            One reason for copyright is to establish conditions that nurture creators,
            because all society benefits from what is created. If someone creates a
            work but then that work is not made available to society for a significant
            length of time, it seems that copyright isn't fulfilling its whole purpose.

            There are problems with this point of view, of course. Suppose I write a
            book then disavow it--surely I should have the right to keep it
            unavailable. Or suppose I really want to make my book available but no one
            will publish it--it's not fair to punish me by taking away my copyright.
            (Plus that creates an incentive for works to not get published during the
            copyright period).

            But it's an interesting idea that helps tackle the orphan works problem.

            Beth


            On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:

            >
            >
            > On 02/08/2012 5:04 AM, Dave wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com
            > > <mailto:ebook-community%40yahoogroups.com>, joseph h <joe9438@...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > <snip>
            > >
            > > >
            > > > And yes, there are many vigorous arguments about what copyright term
            > > and
            > > > management might be changed to, but the current law is the one that
            > > > operates at the moment.
            > > >
            > > > Joseph Harris
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > >I have some general knowledge of the current US copyright law. I was
            > > asking about potential changes to the law. If one limits the period
            > > during which rights are protected one must provide a renewal mechanism
            > > or, among others, you will have some extremely irate corporations who
            > > own own fallow copyrights that they might want to reuse.
            > >
            >
            > It is very unlikely the US would make any major changes unilaterally; it
            > is now signatory to Berne, as well as belonging to WIPO and itself
            > insisting on observance of international IP rules in trade agreements.
            > The only major change in the past 20 years was the lengthening of
            > post-life protection to 70 years.
            >
            > Copyright is pretty standard now internationally, with rights applying
            > for the lifetime of the creator, but varying from 50 to 90 years for
            > heirs. Terms for companies - Disney for example - are different. There
            > is no option for a rights owner to vary the term, but obviously owners
            > of their individual rights can licence or give them away or exercise
            > them on any terms they choose.
            >
            > Trade Marks are a different IP, where renewal is part of the process.
            > Renewal for copyright no longer operates anywhere, so far as I know.
            >
            > As I said, there are vigorous discussions about term, and have been for
            > as long as I've been interested in the area. In my opinion, the nature
            > of the protection is such that one could not apply different terms to
            > the right to control the issue of copies; which I think you were
            > suggesting between print and digital.
            >
            > However, that said, I know of no logic or set of basic assumptions that
            > supports any particular term. The trend, since since author rights were
            > introduced in the Queen Anne Act at the beginning of the eighteenth
            > century, has been to make protection longer. Berne, about midway between
            > then and now, started at life plus 50.
            >
            > If you do have a good argument to support your idea I would certainly be
            > interested in it.
            >
            > Joseph Harris
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------
            > Post a message: ebook-community [[at]] *
            > Unsubscribe: ebook-community-unsubscribe [[at]] *
            > Switch to digest: ebook-community-digest [[at]] *
            > Switch to normal: ebook-community-normal [[at]] *
            > Put mail on hold: ebook-community-nomail [[at]] *
            > Administrator: ebook-community-owner [[at]] *
            >
            > (* == yahoogroups.com)
            > -------------------------------------------------------Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • joseph h
            ... ... Beth, One point I often make is that each of us knows only a tiny corner of the publishing industry. It is vast and varied and exists in most
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 2, 2012
              On 02/08/2012 4:11 PM, Beth Young wrote:
              >
              > I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a
              > book has
              > been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years.
              >
              <snip>
              >
              > (Plus that creates an incentive for works to not get published during the
              > copyright period).
              >
              > But it's an interesting idea that helps tackle the orphan works problem.
              >
              > Beth
              >

              Beth,

              One point I often make is that each of us knows only a tiny corner of
              the publishing industry. It is vast and varied and exists in most
              countries in the world. It is also international and the
              inter-relationships complex. Though some corners have seen dramatic
              changes in delivery and price systems and levels the industry,
              fundamentally, is not that much changed.

              Also it is a sad truth for authors that most works never used to get
              published, and that may still be true for the majority.

              But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense
              campaigning by Google, that there is some "orphan" problem. The reason
              it worries me is that the only protection for creative writing is
              copyright. Copyright only gives each originator control over the copies
              of their own works. Undermine that and copyright is dead, and incentives
              for creators all but disappear.

              The problem over "orphans" is that it is impossible to define them;
              because of that it becomes easy for one who wishes to take another's
              work to claim he thought it was an "orphan". I do urge you, and others
              who think there is some problem over works not available at a particular
              point, to think very carefully about the implications of any "orphan"
              permissions.

              Joseph Harris


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Beth Young
              But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense campaigning by Google, that there is some orphan problem. Well, in my job (university
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 3, 2012
                "But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense
                campaigning by Google, that there is some "orphan" problem. "

                Well, in my job (university teaching), orphan works have been a problem.
                When a copyright holder can't be located, I can't assign the work to my
                students because I can't be sure they can obtain it. They can't buy it, I
                can't include it in a coursepack, etc. I could put a single copy on reserve
                in the campus library, but these days, many courses are offered online and
                the students live too far away to go there.

                Perhaps what is a problem for educators is a boon for others--perhaps the
                benefits outweigh the drawbacks overall--but that doesn't make it less of a
                problem for educators.

                Beth


                On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 5:39 PM, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:

                >
                >
                > On 02/08/2012 4:11 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                > >
                > > I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a
                > > book has
                > > been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years.
                > >
                > <snip>
                > >
                > > (Plus that creates an incentive for works to not get published during the
                > > copyright period).
                > >
                > > But it's an interesting idea that helps tackle the orphan works problem.
                > >
                > > Beth
                > >
                >
                > Beth,
                >
                > One point I often make is that each of us knows only a tiny corner of
                > the publishing industry. It is vast and varied and exists in most
                > countries in the world. It is also international and the
                > inter-relationships complex. Though some corners have seen dramatic
                > changes in delivery and price systems and levels the industry,
                > fundamentally, is not that much changed.
                >
                > Also it is a sad truth for authors that most works never used to get
                > published, and that may still be true for the majority.
                >
                > But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense
                > campaigning by Google, that there is some "orphan" problem. The reason
                > it worries me is that the only protection for creative writing is
                > copyright. Copyright only gives each originator control over the copies
                > of their own works. Undermine that and copyright is dead, and incentives
                > for creators all but disappear.
                >
                > The problem over "orphans" is that it is impossible to define them;
                > because of that it becomes easy for one who wishes to take another's
                > work to claim he thought it was an "orphan". I do urge you, and others
                > who think there is some problem over works not available at a particular
                > point, to think very carefully about the implications of any "orphan"
                > permissions.
                >
                > Joseph Harris
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------
                > Post a message: ebook-community [[at]] *
                > Unsubscribe: ebook-community-unsubscribe [[at]] *
                > Switch to digest: ebook-community-digest [[at]] *
                > Switch to normal: ebook-community-normal [[at]] *
                > Put mail on hold: ebook-community-nomail [[at]] *
                > Administrator: ebook-community-owner [[at]] *
                >
                > (* == yahoogroups.com)
                > -------------------------------------------------------Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • joseph h
                ... Beth, In part that is the concept and wording of the Queen Anne Act, Berne and the US Constitution. I imagine you are working from the last of these. There
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 3, 2012
                  On 02/08/2012 4:11 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                  >
                  > I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a
                  > book has
                  > been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years.
                  >
                  > One reason for copyright is to establish conditions that nurture creators,
                  > because all society benefits from what is created. If someone creates a
                  > work but then that work is not made available to society for a significant
                  > length of time, it seems that copyright isn't fulfilling its whole
                  > purpose.
                  >
                  > There are problems with this point of view, of course. Suppose I write a
                  > book then disavow it--surely I should have the right to keep it
                  > unavailable. Or suppose I really want to make my book available but no one
                  > will publish it--it's not fair to punish me by taking away my copyright.
                  > (Plus that creates an incentive for works to not get published during the
                  > copyright period).
                  >
                  > But it's an interesting idea that helps tackle the orphan works problem.
                  >
                  > Beth
                  >

                  Beth,

                  In part that is the concept and wording of the Queen Anne Act, Berne and
                  the US Constitution. I imagine you are working from the last of these.
                  There is no question that the case for copyright legislation is the
                  contribution to society that comes from the activity as a whole. In
                  variations of detail that applies to other IP of course.

                  With certain exceptions I have always thought that outside attempts to
                  micromanage how the author handles their works is defeating the
                  objective of the legislation. Creativity does not work, or works far
                  less well, in a restrictive environment. So, if an author must, as you
                  appear to be saying, publish his work it removes the opportunity to
                  experiment; not only that it raises an almost impossible question about
                  when do the words on paper change from research to outline to first
                  thinking to first draft to any number of drafts to ready manuscript? And
                  how is that affected by the method of publishing - thus one may
                  self-publish what one pleases (though that is unlikely to please
                  buyers), one may utilise some editing and design services, or one may
                  seek the fine sifting of a traditional publisher.

                  At what point is that the book that must be published under the regime
                  that interests you?

                  Then we are at a watershed where, in effect, no new book will be out of
                  print/availability. Between ebooks, POD and print the issue will not
                  arise. Books made before about ten years ago are in a different category
                  where many are not available. I have no understanding of why, as a
                  general rule, that is necessarily a bad thing. There are some specific
                  titles mentioned from time to time, but I have seen few titles offered
                  as serious examples.

                  As regards not publishing a work, there are many authors of note who
                  have not, or did not in their lifetimes, offer everything they wrote. We
                  know this in part from 'previously unpublished works' that are
                  publicised from time to time. But I must make another point to you.
                  Copyright applies to ALL original written work. This will include
                  private and personal items like diaries.

                  What I simply do not understand in what you write is the points "it's
                  not fair to punish me by taking away my copyright" and "creates an
                  incentive for works to not get published during the copyright period" .
                  First, while a pirate might steal your work, or an "orphan chaser"
                  pretend he can't find you, there is no legal way for anyone to take away
                  your copyright - not even yourself. You can licence for free use, thus
                  gaining no commercial benefit - or at least not directly; or you can
                  licence it through Creative Commons - which is the creation of standard
                  licences under copyright law for specific sharing purposes; or you can
                  choose to keep it out of sight, or simply publish it.

                  As I already pointed out, the copyright period now, and in most
                  countries is life of the author plus 70 years. So I can see no
                  commercial benefit in not publishing until the heirs no longer have any
                  rights. Even your concept of being "punished" by no one publishing your
                  work is no longer an argument; the barriers to self publishing are now
                  so low that it can be done with less effort than seeking a conventional
                  publisher.

                  There is a further problem with the description "out of print",
                  something I raised when Google ignorantly included it in its now stalled
                  Book Agreement. The term itself is usually used in contracts with
                  publishers, and its definition can vary across a number and range of
                  agreements. Book print runs, like medical tablet production, are in
                  batches. The date of printing itself will offer no indication of whether
                  copies of the book are available or not. While most bookshops return
                  books that have occupied space for a while, books may stay on some
                  shelves for years. If it is still available in one is it unavailable? Is
                  being remaindered still available? Or out of print? And if it is
                  remaindered, in any case, is there a market that makes it worth worrying
                  about?

                  I think you can see that I have a serious problem with your idea. That
                  centres on the question of what need there is for any vigorous work on
                  "orphan works", and on the dangers of any weakening of copyright, which
                  is difficult enough to defend as it is.

                  Joseph Harris


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Beth Young
                  Hi Joseph, You flatter me by reading what I wrote so carefully. Thank you. :) I didn t mean anything in particular by my copyright --I have zero valuable
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 3, 2012
                    Hi Joseph,

                    You flatter me by reading what I wrote so carefully. Thank you. :)

                    I didn't mean anything in particular by "my copyright"--I have zero
                    valuable copyrights--I was just speculating about drawbacks to including
                    "how long out of print" as a factor in determining when copyright would
                    lapse (which is what I thought Dave was suggesting).

                    All the points you make are good ones. These issues are interesting to
                    think about,

                    Beth


                    On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:

                    >
                    >
                    > On 02/08/2012 4:11 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I am intrigued by the idea of taking into consideration how long a
                    > > book has
                    > > been out of print as well as life of the author plus X years.
                    > >
                    > > One reason for copyright is to establish conditions that nurture
                    > creators,
                    > > because all society benefits from what is created. If someone creates a
                    > > work but then that work is not made available to society for a
                    > significant
                    > > length of time, it seems that copyright isn't fulfilling its whole
                    > > purpose.
                    > >
                    > > There are problems with this point of view, of course. Suppose I write a
                    > > book then disavow it--surely I should have the right to keep it
                    > > unavailable. Or suppose I really want to make my book available but no
                    > one
                    > > will publish it--it's not fair to punish me by taking away my copyright.
                    > > (Plus that creates an incentive for works to not get published during the
                    > > copyright period).
                    > >
                    > > But it's an interesting idea that helps tackle the orphan works problem.
                    > >
                    > > Beth
                    > >
                    >
                    > Beth,
                    >
                    > In part that is the concept and wording of the Queen Anne Act, Berne and
                    > the US Constitution. I imagine you are working from the last of these.
                    > There is no question that the case for copyright legislation is the
                    > contribution to society that comes from the activity as a whole. In
                    > variations of detail that applies to other IP of course.
                    >
                    > With certain exceptions I have always thought that outside attempts to
                    > micromanage how the author handles their works is defeating the
                    > objective of the legislation. Creativity does not work, or works far
                    > less well, in a restrictive environment. So, if an author must, as you
                    > appear to be saying, publish his work it removes the opportunity to
                    > experiment; not only that it raises an almost impossible question about
                    > when do the words on paper change from research to outline to first
                    > thinking to first draft to any number of drafts to ready manuscript? And
                    > how is that affected by the method of publishing - thus one may
                    > self-publish what one pleases (though that is unlikely to please
                    > buyers), one may utilise some editing and design services, or one may
                    > seek the fine sifting of a traditional publisher.
                    >
                    > At what point is that the book that must be published under the regime
                    > that interests you?
                    >
                    > Then we are at a watershed where, in effect, no new book will be out of
                    > print/availability. Between ebooks, POD and print the issue will not
                    > arise. Books made before about ten years ago are in a different category
                    > where many are not available. I have no understanding of why, as a
                    > general rule, that is necessarily a bad thing. There are some specific
                    > titles mentioned from time to time, but I have seen few titles offered
                    > as serious examples.
                    >
                    > As regards not publishing a work, there are many authors of note who
                    > have not, or did not in their lifetimes, offer everything they wrote. We
                    > know this in part from 'previously unpublished works' that are
                    > publicised from time to time. But I must make another point to you.
                    > Copyright applies to ALL original written work. This will include
                    > private and personal items like diaries.
                    >
                    > What I simply do not understand in what you write is the points "it's
                    > not fair to punish me by taking away my copyright" and "creates an
                    > incentive for works to not get published during the copyright period" .
                    > First, while a pirate might steal your work, or an "orphan chaser"
                    > pretend he can't find you, there is no legal way for anyone to take away
                    > your copyright - not even yourself. You can licence for free use, thus
                    > gaining no commercial benefit - or at least not directly; or you can
                    > licence it through Creative Commons - which is the creation of standard
                    > licences under copyright law for specific sharing purposes; or you can
                    > choose to keep it out of sight, or simply publish it.
                    >
                    > As I already pointed out, the copyright period now, and in most
                    > countries is life of the author plus 70 years. So I can see no
                    > commercial benefit in not publishing until the heirs no longer have any
                    > rights. Even your concept of being "punished" by no one publishing your
                    > work is no longer an argument; the barriers to self publishing are now
                    > so low that it can be done with less effort than seeking a conventional
                    > publisher.
                    >
                    > There is a further problem with the description "out of print",
                    > something I raised when Google ignorantly included it in its now stalled
                    > Book Agreement. The term itself is usually used in contracts with
                    > publishers, and its definition can vary across a number and range of
                    > agreements. Book print runs, like medical tablet production, are in
                    > batches. The date of printing itself will offer no indication of whether
                    > copies of the book are available or not. While most bookshops return
                    > books that have occupied space for a while, books may stay on some
                    > shelves for years. If it is still available in one is it unavailable? Is
                    > being remaindered still available? Or out of print? And if it is
                    > remaindered, in any case, is there a market that makes it worth worrying
                    > about?
                    >
                    > I think you can see that I have a serious problem with your idea. That
                    > centres on the question of what need there is for any vigorous work on
                    > "orphan works", and on the dangers of any weakening of copyright, which
                    > is difficult enough to defend as it is.
                    >
                    > Joseph Harris
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------
                    > Post a message: ebook-community [[at]] *
                    > Unsubscribe: ebook-community-unsubscribe [[at]] *
                    > Switch to digest: ebook-community-digest [[at]] *
                    > Switch to normal: ebook-community-normal [[at]] *
                    > Put mail on hold: ebook-community-nomail [[at]] *
                    > Administrator: ebook-community-owner [[at]] *
                    >
                    > (* == yahoogroups.com)
                    > -------------------------------------------------------Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • joseph h
                    ... Ah, Beth, right. Now I understand where you are looking at this from. I do know that views on copyright and publishing are different in the educational
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 3, 2012
                      On 03/08/2012 3:19 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                      >
                      > "But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense
                      > campaigning by Google, that there is some "orphan" problem. "
                      >
                      > Well, in my job (university teaching), orphan works have been a problem.
                      > When a copyright holder can't be located, I can't assign the work to my
                      > students because I can't be sure they can obtain it. They can't buy it, I
                      > can't include it in a coursepack, etc. I could put a single copy on
                      > reserve
                      > in the campus library, but these days, many courses are offered online and
                      > the students live too far away to go there.
                      >
                      > Perhaps what is a problem for educators is a boon for others--perhaps the
                      > benefits outweigh the drawbacks overall--but that doesn't make it less
                      > of a
                      > problem for educators.
                      >
                      > Beth
                      >

                      Ah, Beth, right. Now I understand where you are looking at this from. I
                      do know that views on copyright and publishing are different in the
                      educational community generally for two reasons. One is the one you
                      state, availability of specific works for courses. The other is that -
                      broadly speaking - academics are more interested in disseminating their
                      works where it will improve career prospects (in particular) than in any
                      commercial aspects.

                      Dissemination is covered without affecting overall copyright, both by
                      free licence and by Creative Commons.

                      But the other is a problem. and it is made more complex by the wide
                      variations in copyright laws, both within America over the past 80 or
                      so years, and variations between American and international laws for the
                      similar period.

                      Without having an idea of the field or specific works you are concerned
                      with I can't comment on your own problem. But I am surprised that there
                      would be many scientific works that are difficult to link up. In the
                      literary field, for some areas, it can be a problem because there is
                      just so much stuff, and so many publishers have disappeared or been
                      swallowed up. None of that is helped either by the fact that ISBNs are
                      not all that old!

                      And I have had he experience myself, so I am aware of how annoying it
                      is. That was about finding a copy of the book at all! Even so, I do not
                      feel that my frustration is reason for risking a whole industry. That
                      does not mean there might not be useful changes; which is why I
                      expressed interest in what you were saying. Do you want to expand either
                      on the books involved in your own problem, or on the way your idea might
                      work, or both?

                      Joseph Harris


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Beth Young
                      Even so, I do not feel that my frustration is reason for risking a whole industry. That does not mean there might not be useful changes; which is why I
                      Message 10 of 16 , Aug 5, 2012
                        "Even so, I do not
                        feel that my frustration is reason for risking a whole industry. That
                        does not mean there might not be useful changes; which is why I
                        expressed interest in what you were saying. Do you want to expand either
                        on the books involved in your own problem, or on the way your idea might
                        work, or both?"

                        Not being smarter than all the bright minds who have already thought about
                        this, I really don't know what would be best. I think the last time I ran
                        into the problem was a few years ago when I wanted to teach part of Jim
                        Quinn's _Tongue and Cheek: A populist guide to our language_ to a graduate
                        linguistics class. Quinn had retained his own copyright and our bookstore
                        couldn't find him anywhere. I just assigned something else, so the world
                        didn't end, and it wouldn't be worth risking an industry over. But it did
                        seem a shame to have to deny him readers.

                        That's why I was intrigued by what Dave wrote about including availability
                        as a consideration. I wonder if anything like that has been
                        proposed/discarded by policymakers? Or if it is just too unworkable to
                        consider?

                        Beth


                        On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > On 03/08/2012 3:19 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                        > >
                        > > "But what worries me most is an assumption, following very intense
                        > > campaigning by Google, that there is some "orphan" problem. "
                        > >
                        > > Well, in my job (university teaching), orphan works have been a problem.
                        > > When a copyright holder can't be located, I can't assign the work to my
                        > > students because I can't be sure they can obtain it. They can't buy it, I
                        > > can't include it in a coursepack, etc. I could put a single copy on
                        > > reserve
                        > > in the campus library, but these days, many courses are offered online
                        > and
                        > > the students live too far away to go there.
                        > >
                        > > Perhaps what is a problem for educators is a boon for others--perhaps the
                        > > benefits outweigh the drawbacks overall--but that doesn't make it less
                        > > of a
                        > > problem for educators.
                        > >
                        > > Beth
                        > >
                        >
                        > Ah, Beth, right. Now I understand where you are looking at this from. I
                        > do know that views on copyright and publishing are different in the
                        > educational community generally for two reasons. One is the one you
                        > state, availability of specific works for courses. The other is that -
                        > broadly speaking - academics are more interested in disseminating their
                        > works where it will improve career prospects (in particular) than in any
                        > commercial aspects.
                        >
                        > Dissemination is covered without affecting overall copyright, both by
                        > free licence and by Creative Commons.
                        >
                        > But the other is a problem. and it is made more complex by the wide
                        > variations in copyright laws, both within America over the past 80 or
                        > so years, and variations between American and international laws for the
                        > similar period.
                        >
                        > Without having an idea of the field or specific works you are concerned
                        > with I can't comment on your own problem. But I am surprised that there
                        > would be many scientific works that are difficult to link up. In the
                        > literary field, for some areas, it can be a problem because there is
                        > just so much stuff, and so many publishers have disappeared or been
                        > swallowed up. None of that is helped either by the fact that ISBNs are
                        > not all that old!
                        >
                        > And I have had he experience myself, so I am aware of how annoying it
                        > is. That was about finding a copy of the book at all! Even so, I do not
                        > feel that my frustration is reason for risking a whole industry. That
                        > does not mean there might not be useful changes; which is why I
                        > expressed interest in what you were saying. Do you want to expand either
                        > on the books involved in your own problem, or on the way your idea might
                        > work, or both?
                        >
                        > Joseph Harris
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • joseph h
                        ... Thank you for the response Beth. I do understand the frustration of your situation; these days I get quite irritated if I can t get hold of something I am
                        Message 11 of 16 , Aug 5, 2012
                          On 05/08/2012 9:20 PM, Beth Young wrote:
                          >
                          > "Even so, I do not
                          > feel that my frustration is reason for risking a whole industry. That
                          > does not mean there might not be useful changes; which is why I
                          > expressed interest in what you were saying. Do you want to expand either
                          > on the books involved in your own problem, or on the way your idea might
                          > work, or both?"
                          >
                          > Not being smarter than all the bright minds who have already thought about
                          > this, I really don't know what would be best. I think the last time I ran
                          > into the problem was a few years ago when I wanted to teach part of Jim
                          > Quinn's _Tongue and Cheek: A populist guide to our language_ to a graduate
                          > linguistics class. Quinn had retained his own copyright and our bookstore
                          > couldn't find him anywhere. I just assigned something else, so the world
                          > didn't end, and it wouldn't be worth risking an industry over. But it did
                          > seem a shame to have to deny him readers.
                          >
                          > That's why I was intrigued by what Dave wrote about including availability
                          > as a consideration. I wonder if anything like that has been
                          > proposed/discarded by policymakers? Or if it is just too unworkable to
                          > consider?
                          >
                          > Beth
                          >

                          Thank you for the response Beth. I do understand the frustration of
                          your situation; these days I get quite irritated if I can't get hold of
                          something I am researching.

                          In a sense that is a victory of the internet, which has so quickly made
                          us all think we should have 'what we want when we want it.' Yet only a
                          dozen years ago we all worked quite easily with the truth that very
                          little of what we can find today in a quick search was available - or
                          easily available. I imagine Quinn, or his publisher, was among those
                          very suspicious of the internet and of piracy.

                          It is a pity about that, as you say. But the availablity issue was the
                          test suggested by Google in the Book Agreement. If you read that
                          agreement - which had, I think fourteen extensively cross referenced and
                          woolly files - it showed just how dangerous the concept was, and how
                          Google was planning to use that as the thin end of a very fat wedge.
                          This was one of dozens of terms used loosely and often incorrectly.
                          Every time one finds the place of definition of a term one found wording
                          which said something like "as will be determined by Google".

                          Knowing how Google uses its 'saintly' image to mobilise users, I have
                          tried to bring to the attention of anyone interested in their ideas
                          exactly what effect is likely from the move. It is a while since I read
                          the agreement [2008] but they tended also to use terms as synonyms, and
                          they did so with out of print and availability. As I said the first
                          varies in a million contracts, and the latter requires probably pages of
                          definition.

                          Knowing it is a frustration, I am quite keen to find an answer. Which is
                          why I hoped you had a new thought on it. Even with my own frustration at
                          times I am not convinced it truly is a problem that must be solved. But
                          if solution is wanted the best answer might be some sort of panel in
                          each country that searches when asked, and acts 'in loco licensor' for
                          the item. What I would strongly oppose is allowing anyone or any company
                          to make the decision and pretend a search. What a gift to pirates! And
                          one reason I opposed the Google registry was because the costs of
                          running it were to come out of the royalties instead of from Google -
                          the major beneficiary - or those wishing to licence works.

                          Joseph Harris


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Dave
                          ... My only reason for suggesting a limited term was to make orphan works more accessible. Please note that I originally suggested that such limit would only
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 9, 2012
                            --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On 02/08/2012 5:04 AM, Dave wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com
                            > > <mailto:ebook-community%40yahoogroups.com>, joseph h <joe9438@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > <snip>
                            > >
                            > > >
                            > > > And yes, there are many vigorous arguments about what copyright term
                            > > and
                            > > > management might be changed to, but the current law is the one that
                            > > > operates at the moment.
                            > > >
                            > > > Joseph Harris
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > > >I have some general knowledge of the current US copyright law. I was
                            > > asking about potential changes to the law. If one limits the period
                            > > during which rights are protected one must provide a renewal mechanism
                            > > or, among others, you will have some extremely irate corporations who
                            > > own own fallow copyrights that they might want to reuse.
                            > >
                            >
                            > It is very unlikely the US would make any major changes unilaterally; it
                            > is now signatory to Berne, as well as belonging to WIPO and itself
                            > insisting on observance of international IP rules in trade agreements.
                            > The only major change in the past 20 years was the lengthening of
                            > post-life protection to 70 years.
                            >
                            > Copyright is pretty standard now internationally, with rights applying
                            > for the lifetime of the creator, but varying from 50 to 90 years for
                            > heirs. Terms for companies - Disney for example - are different. There
                            > is no option for a rights owner to vary the term, but obviously owners
                            > of their individual rights can licence or give them away or exercise
                            > them on any terms they choose.
                            >
                            > Trade Marks are a different IP, where renewal is part of the process.
                            > Renewal for copyright no longer operates anywhere, so far as I know.
                            >
                            > As I said, there are vigorous discussions about term, and have been for
                            > as long as I've been interested in the area. In my opinion, the nature
                            > of the protection is such that one could not apply different terms to
                            > the right to control the issue of copies; which I think you were
                            > suggesting between print and digital.
                            >
                            > However, that said, I know of no logic or set of basic assumptions that
                            > supports any particular term. The trend, since since author rights were
                            > introduced in the Queen Anne Act at the beginning of the eighteenth
                            > century, has been to make protection longer. Berne, about midway between
                            > then and now, started at life plus 50.
                            >
                            > If you do have a good argument to support your idea I would certainly be
                            > interested in it.
                            >
                            > Joseph Harris
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            My only reason for suggesting a limited term was to make orphan works more accessible. Please note that I originally suggested that such limit would only to apply out of print. Presumably this will not happen with ebooks.

                            Regarding the need for a renewal mechanism I think you made my point with Disney. And others with similar similar assets - i.e. the recent (relatively) resurrection of Betty Boop.

                            I raised this question as an avid reader who is not involved in publishing. I'm encouraged that the flogged horse isn't dead but sorry that you feel it isn't going anywhere soon.
                          • joseph h
                            ... Dave, My difficulty is not that I don t understand your points, nor that I am unaware of the changes that have been happening for the past two decades, and
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 9, 2012
                              On 09/08/2012 4:49 PM, Dave wrote:

                              > >
                              > My only reason for suggesting a limited term was to make orphan works
                              > more accessible. Please note that I originally suggested that such
                              > limit would only to apply out of print. Presumably this will not
                              > happen with ebooks.
                              >
                              > Regarding the need for a renewal mechanism I think you made my point
                              > with Disney. And others with similar similar assets - i.e. the recent
                              > (relatively) resurrection of Betty Boop.
                              >
                              > I raised this question as an avid reader who is not involved in
                              > publishing. I'm encouraged that the flogged horse isn't dead but sorry
                              > that you feel it isn't going anywhere soon.
                              >

                              Dave,

                              My difficulty is not that I don't understand your points, nor that I am
                              unaware of the changes that have been happening for the past two
                              decades, and particularly the last 5 years. But the situation that may
                              be hard for an observer to recognise is that copyright is 'indivisible'.
                              By that I mean that it specifically gives control of copying; without
                              that there would be no, could be no, publishing or film or music industry.

                              We tend to always look at the major players, the giant companies, the
                              best sellers, the multi-millionaire pop artistes for our judgements;
                              "Why should they...?" we ask.

                              But the industries that rely on IP, and particularly copyright, are
                              really made up of millions and millions of ordinary people like us, who
                              put the family bread on the table because that contract between creative
                              people and the state (and the state is you and I) is honoured and fairly
                              clear to understand. Writers and publishers of course, but those who
                              benefit do all the jobs that need to be done in any business, and all
                              the contractors like designers, like printers or converters of formats,
                              like booksellers - print or digital, for example. And that even spills
                              over into delivery, like post offices and bookseller hosts online.

                              The problem about unavailable works is one of impatience, rather than
                              any fundamental fault in the system. Like all systems, all industries,
                              all individuals like you and I, there is a lack of perfection; there are
                              some desirable things that have to give way to the practical and the
                              necessary. And, let's face it honestly, we all suffer at times from
                              sheer bloody-mindedness - and even stupidity.

                              Are there faults, things to be improved, things that inconvenience us?
                              Sure there are. But does the business as a whole deliver an incredible
                              array of material of countless kinds to satisfy a range and complexity
                              of demand and interest with amazing peaks of quality [and maybe much
                              dross]? You betcha! And is that worth praising and recognising, even
                              while we look to improve every possible area?

                              I think so. In all honesty, don't you?

                              Joseph Harris


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Dave
                              ... Agreed. An observation - institutions change slowly in a stable environment, it is only when it is stressed by rapid that it evolves or dies. None of these
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 10, 2012
                                --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, joseph h <joe9438@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > On 09/08/2012 4:49 PM, Dave wrote:
                                >
                                > > >
                                > > My only reason for suggesting a limited term was to make orphan works
                                > > more accessible. Please note that I originally suggested that such
                                > > limit would only to apply out of print. Presumably this will not
                                > > happen with ebooks.
                                > >
                                > > Regarding the need for a renewal mechanism I think you made my point
                                > > with Disney. And others with similar similar assets - i.e. the recent
                                > > (relatively) resurrection of Betty Boop.
                                > >
                                > > I raised this question as an avid reader who is not involved in
                                > > publishing. I'm encouraged that the flogged horse isn't dead but sorry
                                > > that you feel it isn't going anywhere soon.
                                > >
                                >
                                > Dave,
                                >
                                > My difficulty is not that I don't understand your points, nor that I am
                                > unaware of the changes that have been happening for the past two
                                > decades, and particularly the last 5 years. But the situation that may
                                > be hard for an observer to recognise is that copyright is 'indivisible'.
                                > By that I mean that it specifically gives control of copying; without
                                > that there would be no, could be no, publishing or film or music industry.
                                >
                                > We tend to always look at the major players, the giant companies, the
                                > best sellers, the multi-millionaire pop artistes for our judgements;
                                > "Why should they...?" we ask.
                                >
                                > But the industries that rely on IP, and particularly copyright, are
                                > really made up of millions and millions of ordinary people like us, who
                                > put the family bread on the table because that contract between creative
                                > people and the state (and the state is you and I) is honoured and fairly
                                > clear to understand. Writers and publishers of course, but those who
                                > benefit do all the jobs that need to be done in any business, and all
                                > the contractors like designers, like printers or converters of formats,
                                > like booksellers - print or digital, for example. And that even spills
                                > over into delivery, like post offices and bookseller hosts online.
                                >
                                > The problem about unavailable works is one of impatience, rather than
                                > any fundamental fault in the system. Like all systems, all industries,
                                > all individuals like you and I, there is a lack of perfection; there are
                                > some desirable things that have to give way to the practical and the
                                > necessary. And, let's face it honestly, we all suffer at times from
                                > sheer bloody-mindedness - and even stupidity.
                                >
                                > Are there faults, things to be improved, things that inconvenience us?
                                > Sure there are. But does the business as a whole deliver an incredible
                                > array of material of countless kinds to satisfy a range and complexity
                                > of demand and interest with amazing peaks of quality [and maybe much
                                > dross]? You betcha! And is that worth praising and recognising, even
                                > while we look to improve every possible area?
                                >
                                > I think so. In all honesty, don't you?
                                >
                                > Joseph Harris
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                Agreed.

                                An observation - institutions change slowly in a stable environment, it is only when it is stressed by rapid that it evolves or dies. None of these is bad, it has to protect itself and its purpose but when faced with change it must evolve or it will fail to fulfill its function.

                                I remember when Ace wrongly assumed that Burroughs' copyrights' had had expired and started reprinting his works. One hopes Ace got what it deserved but it did do a service to readers that enjoy Tarzan or John Carter Smith. Nobody seriously suggested then that the copyright law needed change.

                                However decades later and ago Ben Bova an editor as well as an author wrote Cyber Book a novel which is basically a complaint about the publishing industry's conservatism. The book was published and forgotten.

                                Now publishing is being stressed and must evolve. This seems to me to the best chance to make changes that will correct what seems to me to be a minor flaw in the existing system - but only if it is addressed.
                              • joseph h
                                ... ... If one looks at the Big Six in New York the sense of conservatism is very strong. But the industry as a whole has changed and evolved quite
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 10, 2012
                                  On 10/08/2012 12:42 PM, Dave wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  <snip>
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > However decades later and ago Ben Bova an editor as well as an author
                                  > wrote Cyber Book a novel which is basically a complaint about the
                                  > publishing industry's conservatism. The book was published and forgotten.
                                  >
                                  > Now publishing is being stressed and must evolve. This seems to me to
                                  > the best chance to make changes that will correct what seems to me to
                                  > be a minor flaw in the existing system - but only if it is addressed.
                                  >

                                  If one looks at the Big Six in New York the sense of conservatism is
                                  very strong. But the industry as a whole has changed and evolved quite
                                  remarkably and continuously. Consolidation of publishers has been a
                                  feature of the past fifty years or so, itself a change to meet the
                                  growth of bigger and more international markets and greater competition
                                  from other forms of entertainment. The leviathan feel is from the
                                  conglomerates that built the Big Six from hundreds of small and medium
                                  publishers.

                                  In a sense they are less part of the industry, despite their size. Like
                                  Amazon and Google, they treat publishing as merely a profit centre, or
                                  lossleader for other parts of the business. If you examine the changes
                                  in the past decade you find a lot of these do come from new players. But
                                  it was ever thus. The 1940s and 1950s saw many small bookseller
                                  publishers enter the industry, some of whose names now are famed,
                                  sometimes alone, sometimes merged with others.

                                  Authors, artists, photographers enter the industry because it is there,
                                  and now easier to function in than ever. This was already becoming very
                                  true over twenty years ago, and then was added to by POD, and swiftly
                                  followed by digital possibilities - many stand-alone ebooks with .exes -
                                  and that was recently boosted by Amazon's Kindle. Pressure on the
                                  copyright aspect came from Google first; or at least most seriously.
                                  But this pressure is not new, in either direction. Track copyright
                                  changes in the UK, US and France from 1710 and one sees bigger fights
                                  and attempted resolutions than even today. And a lot of that was
                                  technology driven too.

                                  While the internet has brought a whole new dimension to book marketing
                                  and formats, the traditional print market is still very strong indeed -
                                  even in America. Copyright itself is a compromise, not only between
                                  state and creator, but between the mass of conflicting interests in the
                                  creative industries, and by different countries and formats. That is why
                                  WIPO is kept very busy discussing and negotiating changes and definitions.

                                  If you were to look under the seemingly unchanging skin you might be
                                  amazed and how much change is going on, and how many moves there are to
                                  find that balance point on issues such as unavailable works.

                                  Joseph Harris






                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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