Re: computerization project comments
Jul 30, 1994 07:40 PM
by Michael W. Grenier
>Books have to have been copyrighted 1918 or earlier to be in the
>public domain--there's an automatic extension of their copyrights
>to 75 years. That is, unless, they were put in the public domain.
The following info comes from "The Writer's Law Primer" written by
Linda Pinkerton, an attorney with the J. Paul Getty Trust in LA..
There is the case of books published after 1909 and books published
after 1978. In the former case, "the term of a properly noticed
and registered copyright under the old Copyright Act was 28 years
after first publication with a right to renew the term for a second
28 year period. Under the new law (1978), the second 28 year term
becomes 47 years if the first copyright was in effect as of 1/1/78
and the renewal was properly filed. If the renewal term was
already in effect as of 1/1/78, the revised law added the same 19
years to it."
For books originally published after 1/1/78, the copyright is good
for the authors lifetime plus 50 years or 75 years, which ever is
I hope this frees up lots of Theosophical Literature. As Eldon
says, the law is complicated - I recommended this book for
starters. It also has a chapter on Computer Programming
Eldon, thanks for the information on what it takes to prepare an
electronic copy of a book.
Michael W. Grenier 612-464-7382
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