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  #1  
Old 04-07-2008, 05:35 PM
zev_steinhardt zev_steinhardt is offline
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Legality of Copying an Out Of Print Book For Personal Use

I've been looking for a certain book for a few years now. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and has been for about a decade or more. There are no new plans (to my knowledge) to bring the book back into print. Worse, very few libraries seem to carry this book.

I finally managed to find a library (through another library) that has the book and they are sending it to me. I will have it for about two weeks or so before I have to give it back.

I would like to have this book in my library. I would like to know what the legality of copying the book FOR PERSONAL USE is. Unfortunately, I cannot call the author to ask permission, as he is deceased. I don't know who the actual copyright holder is today. If the book were in print, I would have long since gone out and bought a copy. If it comes back into print again after I read it, I'd probably go out and buy a copy as well.

Is this strictly a no-no? Or would the law allow me to do this?

Zev Steinhardt
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2008, 05:53 PM
docandjean docandjean is offline
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Randy Cohen, who writes "The Ethicist" column for The New York Times, says you're ethically okay.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:58 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Whether the book is out or print or not is irrelevant, legally. Copying an entire book for personal use is the only issue.

Technically, there is no fair use allowance or exception for copying an entire work for personal use.

I'm sure this issue will draw multiple opinions about what you should do in this instance. That's not a debate for GQ. On preview I see someone has already posted an opionion. I'll alert the mods.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:18 PM
mwbrooks mwbrooks is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Whether the book is out or print or not is irrelevant, legally. Copying an entire book for personal use is the only issue.
You might be OK if the book is in the public domain. I believe this is more likely if the edition you get was published before 1924. At least I recall that's one criterion Project Gutenberg uses. I suppose you've looked for the title at Project Gutenberg and other online publishers?

Even if it's in the P. D., you might encounter difficulties if you take the book to a shop to be copied. They tend to be sensitive about that kind of thing. Once I had trouble getting copies of a manual I wrote myself. (Not the kind of book that has an "author." Fortunately it had a forward for some reason, and the guy who wrote that mentioned me by name.)
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:34 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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As Exapno says, it is a violation of copyright law to make the copy. Some copy shops may even refuse to make the copy (Kinkos got sued a while back for doing so).

First, check out the Copyright Renewal Database to see if the book is under copyright (I'm assuming the book was copyrighted betwenn 1922 and 1977). It may give you an address to ask permission. The copyright office also has a database that might be helpful.

From the point of view of practicality, it's unlikely in the extreme that the copyright holders would know of your copying or be willing to sue you for it. But it's still not legal for you to copy the book without permission.
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  #6  
Old 04-08-2008, 05:04 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is online now
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Just because a book is out of print doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible to find a copy for sale. I turn to bookfinder.com when I want to find a hard-to-find book for sale. To track down nearby (and not-so-nearby) libraries that own the book, I use WorldCat. Although librarything is not really a book-swapping site, you might get lucky and find somebody there who owns the book and would be willing to part with it.

Last edited by bibliophage; 04-08-2008 at 05:05 AM..
  #7  
Old 04-08-2008, 06:58 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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It may not be legal, but I've no doubt that it happens all the time. And now that home printers generally have copying capability (and people can scan the book, if they wish, directly into their system), I expect it to happen more frequently. Nor does it bother me at all. The author isn't being deprived of monetary compensation when you buy a used book, or borrow it from the library. For everyone;'s sake, it's better when the book goes back into print, but if it's out of print for a long time, with little or no probability of being reprinted, I have no problem with someone copying it.
  #8  
Old 04-08-2008, 09:07 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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You may be able to get permission from the publisher that's listed on the book cover. A prof of mine had to do that when a core text he had been using to teach his course for decades when out of print. He contacted the publisher and they allowed him to make photocopies for the class.

Although I don't know what the final arrangment was (I don't think we paid for them, but I don't know if he did or the university did). He told us what the deal was, because we were all wondering about what looked like an illegal copy of our book, but I don't remember the specifics. And there was some kind of "re-printed with permission" thing on the front cover.
  #9  
Old 04-08-2008, 09:31 AM
Frylock Frylock is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham
The author isn't being deprived of monetary compensation when you buy a used book, or borrow it from the library.
By copying an out of print book, though, you reduce the value of the text in a way that makes it worth less financially to eventually reprint the book. By reducing the value of the copyright holder's assets, you do actual damage to him.

I still say copy that sucker though. Just be aware of what you are doing when you do so.

-FrL-

Last edited by Frylock; 04-08-2008 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:02 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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By copying an out of print book, though, you reduce the value of the text in a way that makes it worth less financially to eventually reprint the book. By reducing the value of the copyright holder's assets, you do actual damage to him.
This is one of those arguments that seems more theoretical than real. If large quantities of people (relative to the number that actually are likely to buy the book) do such copying, then the value will be lowered. Otherwise, this is hardly a practical argument.

I recall back when I was in grad school there was a particularly useful book that had gone out of print. The publisher wasnt going to republish it, despite the heavy interest. The grad students got together, photocopied the whole book, and they all paid for copies. This was done without the instructor's guidance or blessing -- they just wanted copies of the book. In those pre-internet-used-book markets, there really wasn't any other way to do it.
  #11  
Old 09-15-2011, 03:15 PM
ronald33 ronald33 is offline
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Copying Book For Personal Use

I just had this situation. I rarely collect "adult" books or magazines,but nearly forty years ago I bought a socially-redeeming book about sex in music. It's literally falling apart. I'm mainly interested in the text,plus a couple of photos,to be archived to modern digital format,mainly for my own personal use.


There's no chance whatsoever this is going to be republished. I scanned some of it in a local copy shop,but now I heard the shop owner is giving me heat about this.There's no way the copyright owner can be cheated.

Don't think the shop owner's heard of Fair Use.

BTW,maybe the USA needs to take Canada's lead....Wikipedia,under "orphaned works", talks about their re-licensing system.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:26 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by ronald33 View Post
BTW,maybe the USA needs to take Canada's lead....Wikipedia,under "orphaned works", talks about their re-licensing system.
Orphan(ed) works legislation has been on the table in Congress since at least 2006. The Copyright Office wants an orphan works law, librarians and archivists want an orphan works law, and Congress would love to enact it, but it has failed to make any headway.

It's being blocked by photographers, illustrators, textile makers, and furniture makers. These groups are not necessarily very powerful politically, but when it comes to intellectual property law, Congress prefers to wait until industries come to some degree of consensus before they take any major steps.

Even with an orphan works law in place, it's likely that it would set a very strict definition of what is an orphan works. It would require you to take "reasonable steps" to identify and locate copyright holder and ask for permission.

However, if you are a library or archivist or academic or educator, it's very likely that you already qualify for an exception for archiving.

Either way, any Kinko's is still probably going to hesitate to let you do it in the copy shop, because their employees don't know enough about copyright law to understand whether what you're doing is legal. They're likely to just take a CYA position and not let you do it there.

Last edited by Acsenray; 09-15-2011 at 03:30 PM..
  #13  
Old 09-15-2011, 03:32 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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[Orphaned works legislation] is being blocked by photographers, illustrators, textile makers, and furniture makers.
Any idea what the reasoning is behind this position?
  #14  
Old 09-15-2011, 03:33 PM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Originally Posted by docandjean View Post
Randy Cohen, who writes "The Ethicist" column for The New York Times, says you're ethically okay.
Yeah, well, he also says it's okay to steal an umbrella. So he's okay with the whole "stealing" thing...

From http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teac...brella&st=cse:

He says you shouldn't take the nicest umbrella in the pile, but..
"your taking an equivalent one provides a kind of rough justice. Everyone leaves with an umbrella more or less equal to what he arrived with and everyone stays dry. This system works only if people are honest and don't try to trade up. To be safe, you might want to err on the side of taking a lower quality umbrella, thus letting everyone rest easy when leaving an umbrella at the door."
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:37 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Any idea what the reasoning is behind this position?
Photographers in general are very gun-shy about any legislation that makes copyright protection more work for them and less work for a user.

As to why -- photographers tend to create tons of works, far more than most other kinds of creators. Photographers can quickly get into the thousands and thousands of works that they want to protect.

A lot of them are amateurs, freelancers, or part-timers who have little time or money to deal with legal/administrative functions or to hire someone else to handle them. A lot of photographers don't even bother to register every single one of their works, because it can be very burdensome and expensive for them.

Photographers would just prefer that the person who wants to use the work bears all the burden of tracking down the copyright owner, contacting him, and asking for permission. They see any lightening of that burden as being against their interest.
  #16  
Old 09-15-2011, 03:41 PM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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Don't think the shop owner's heard of Fair Use.
While i don't have any real problem with what you're doing, if the book is still under copyright, then your copying does not sound like Fair Use to me.

One of the key criteria for the Fair Use exception is the amount and substantiality of the work that is copied. While there's no absolute definition of how much is acceptable, and each case needs to be evaluated separately, if you're copying all of the text, as well as some of the photos, that probably wouldn't pass the test.
  #17  
Old 09-15-2011, 04:30 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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Fair Use - would be copying a few relevant pages for whatever you need.

OTOH, if you videotaped the book and watched it later you would be legally time-shifting. Buy a scanner and timeshift your book.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:38 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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OTOH, if you videotaped the book and watched it later you would be legally time-shifting.
Just in case anyone might actually try this argument: Not likely.
  #19  
Old 09-15-2011, 08:35 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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As a practical matter, isn't the liability for violation of a US copyright (one that's not registered with the Library of Congress) limited to the actual losses suffered by the copyright holder?
  #20  
Old 09-15-2011, 08:40 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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If the book was brought out by a commercial or academic publisher, then it is almost certain that the copyright is registered. If so, there are statutory penalties that go into effect.

You would be right if the copyright isn't registered, but that's unlikely.
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:10 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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What's the ethical consensus on copying a movie on to a DVD if it was never released in DVD format?
  #22  
Old 09-15-2011, 09:33 PM
Bearflag70 Bearflag70 is offline
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Can you buy it from the library?
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:43 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Originally Posted by zev_steinhardt View Post
I've been looking for a certain book for a few years now. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and has been for about a decade or more. There are no new plans (to my knowledge) to bring the book back into print. Worse, very few libraries seem to carry this book.

I finally managed to find a library (through another library) that has the book and they are sending it to me. I will have it for about two weeks or so before I have to give it back.

I would like to have this book in my library. I would like to know what the legality of copying the book FOR PERSONAL USE is. Unfortunately, I cannot call the author to ask permission, as he is deceased. I don't know who the actual copyright holder is today. If the book were in print, I would have long since gone out and bought a copy. If it comes back into print again after I read it, I'd probably go out and buy a copy as well.

Is this strictly a no-no? Or would the law allow me to do this?

Zev Steinhardt
It depends on if the book is copyrighted. Is it?
What is the book?

hh
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:20 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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I've been looking for a certain book for a few years now. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and has been for about a decade or more. There are no new plans (to my knowledge) to bring the book back into print.
I've had a great deal of success by simply Googling the book's title and author. Quite frequently, I'm able to find used copies for sale, not just on Amazon or similar book selling sites, but on odd little sites, like someone's home page where they list some things that they're selling off.
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:29 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
It depends on if the book is copyrighted. Is it?
What is the book?

hh
Note that the OP, which you quoted, was originally posted back in 2008.

ronald33, who revived the thread today, has a slightly different situation: he's talking about scanning a book he already owns a copy of. This seems to me to be the same kind of thing as digitizing a vinyl LP or cassette, copying a CD or LP onto cassette, or ripping a CD onto a computer or MP3 player, for one's own personal use: it's format shifting, which is explicitly legal in at least some situations in some areas.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:32 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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It's an utterly amoral and reprehensible idea to intentionally "lose" a library's book in order to add it to your personal collection, but that is certainly an option for the OP once they have a copy of this book in their hands.

I'll leave it to their conscience and budget if they can afford the financial penalties that the library will charge them with, as well as their own level of ethical pain related to depriving everyone else the opportunity to read this book.

I remember back in the days when you could rent 12" laserdiscs at Blockbuster, the store near me carried quite a few unusual and rare out-of-print titles, but they'd regularly become "lost" or "destroyed" by the customers. Even though they would be charged full retail for the disc, they were wiling to pay as it enabled them to own something that was otherwise impossible to buy. Everyone else, though, was faced with seeing an ever-growing number of titles being stricken from the catalog.

ETA: Looks like we're talking about zombie books in more than one sense of the term. Will we ever know what the OP wound up doing?
  #27  
Old 09-16-2011, 02:14 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by mwbrooks View Post
You might be OK if the book is in the public domain.
Emphasis on "might". In some jurisdictions is possible for a copyright on the typesetting to exist independently of the copyright on the content. If the content is in the public domain but the typesetting is not, then the only way of legally making a copy of the book would be to transcribe it manually.
  #28  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:29 AM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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If you never shared and never passed it on, who would know?

Technically making a personal copy is illegal, sharing is illegal, but AFAIK possessing a personal copy from some unknown source is not illegal.
  #29  
Old 09-16-2011, 07:45 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Emphasis on "might". In some jurisdictions is possible for a copyright on the typesetting to exist independently of the copyright on the content. If the content is in the public domain but the typesetting is not, then the only way of legally making a copy of the book would be to transcribe it manually.
How about scanning, then OCR-ing it? The typesetting would then no longer be an issue, and no one could argue that the particular font or layout was a factor of any kind contributing to the final text.
  #30  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:01 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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One point about so-called intellectual property is that it is not property at all because one of the main characteristics of property is that if you transfer you don't have it any more. That is the wrong metaphor. Do you realize how painful it is that, in order to get published, an author must generally transfer all rights to the publisher and forgo the ability to copy it even for his own work. The whole copyright law is out of control.

Once I found a book that I wanted to use for a course. It had been written in the late 1920s and reprinted in the 1950s by a well-known reprint house (Dover). I started by writing to them (this was pre-email days). No they had no intention of reprinting it again and, in any case, the copyright was owned by the author's widow who had since died and they had no idea who were the heirs. End of idea.

One reasonable compromise would be to require copyright holders to re-register when the work became unavailable and regularly thereafter. If it is not worth their effort, then it goes into the public domain. Which wouldn't stop another publisher from reprinting it and copyrighting that version.

It is not generally understood that the original purpose of the copyright law was to encourage creative people to eventually have their works go into the public domain. The current laws have turned this upside down and appear designed to prevent works from going public.
  #31  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:07 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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How about scanning, then OCR-ing it?
Depending on the law (or how the courts have interpreted it), scanning could be viewed as copying, and therefore prohibited, even as an intermediate step to producing a non-infringing copy.

Last edited by psychonaut; 09-16-2011 at 08:07 AM..
  #32  
Old 09-16-2011, 08:29 AM
md2000 md2000 is online now
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... If it is not worth their effort, then it goes into the public domain. Which wouldn't stop another publisher from reprinting it and copyrighting that version.
Really? To what extent would a reprint of a public domain work become copyright? (Other that the typeface mentined above)?

Isn't that already case law, that you would have to substantially alter ("transformative"?) to establish this was something more than just a copy of public domain?

Last edited by md2000; 09-16-2011 at 08:29 AM..
  #33  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:04 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Really? To what extent would a reprint of a public domain work become copyright? (Other that the typeface mentined above)?
A reprint of a public domain work would in theory never come under copyright again. Only the novel elements added to the reprint might be subject to copyright. The typesetting (not the typeface—typesetting refers to the physical arrangement of text on the page) is one thing which might be copyrightable. Similarly, if the original medium was a printed book, and your new edition is an audio book, then copyright would subsist in the recording you made. Another thing to consider is the aggregation of a public domain work with other works; in some jurisdictions a compilation may be copyrightable even if the individual members of it are not.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:07 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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It depends on if the book is copyrighted. Is it?
What is the book?
The question of whether a book is "copyrighted" is rarely an important question. Unless it's a very old book, it's likely protected by copyright law.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by zev_steinhardt View Post
I've been looking for a certain book for a few years now. Unfortunately, the book is out of print and has been for about a decade or more. There are no new plans (to my knowledge) to bring the book back into print. Worse, very few libraries seem to carry this book.

I finally managed to find a library (through another library) that has the book and they are sending it to me. I will have it for about two weeks or so before I have to give it back.

I would like to have this book in my library. I would like to know what the legality of copying the book FOR PERSONAL USE is. Unfortunately, I cannot call the author to ask permission, as he is deceased. I don't know who the actual copyright holder is today. If the book were in print, I would have long since gone out and bought a copy. If it comes back into print again after I read it, I'd probably go out and buy a copy as well.

Is this strictly a no-no? Or would the law allow me to do this?

Zev Steinhardt
Have you spent over a decade trying to find it? I ask, because I almost did what you're thinking of, and instead decided that I'd love the thrill of the hunt.
And finally after...hmmm...has it been eighteen years?... found it in a used bookstore. One whose inventory was decidedly not online.
  #36  
Old 09-16-2011, 12:37 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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Even if it IS a Zombie, it deserves a factual answer

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyrigh...pter7/7-d.html

From the text box on the bottom:

Quote:
In 1998, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extended the period of copyright protection for an additional 20 years. As part of the Act, Congress provided that during the last 20 years of any term of copyright of a published work, a library or archives may reproduce a copy of the work for purposes of preservation, scholarship, or research provided that: the work was not being distributed commercially; the work cannot be obtained at a reasonable price; or the copyright owner or its agent provides notice that either of the above conditions applies.
Bolding mine.

Both of the querents were concerned with preservation of their items, and perhaps for personal research.

Find a copy of the Act, take it with you to a library or a preservation room (along with the item in question if you own it) and copy away. If you have a copy of the statute with you, I imagine you could act to copy it yourself, but that is bending the rule as cited. Although, in this day and age, I'd say if you can get an Archive to do it for you, scanning it to a personal storage device would be a vastly preferable option than producing a paper copy.

Last edited by Lasciel; 09-16-2011 at 12:38 PM..
  #37  
Old 09-16-2011, 12:52 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Either way, any Kinko's is still probably going to hesitate to let you do it in the copy shop, because their employees don't know enough about copyright law to understand whether what you're doing is legal. They're likely to just take a CYA position and not let you do it there.
^ This.

I've been refused at Kinko's for copying my very own work, even when I can prove I'm the copyright holder. I think after that lawsuit they just don't want to get burned again.

If you do this - and, as noted, it's not fair use or legal - use a home scanner and, if you want hardcopy, your own printer.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:57 PM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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If you do this - and, as noted, it's not fair use or legal - use a home scanner and, if you want hardcopy, your own printer.
Or a university library.

Many universities allow non-students to use the library, and also provide facilities for copying. You can usually purchase a copycard from a machine, and do all the copying you like. A lot of universities now also have photocopiers with scanning capability, that allow you to scan directly to a USB key.
  #39  
Old 09-16-2011, 01:34 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
Find a copy of the Act, take it with you to a library or a preservation room (along with the item in question if you own it) and copy away. If you have a copy of the statute with you, I imagine you could act to copy it yourself, but that is bending the rule as cited. Although, in this day and age, I'd say if you can get an Archive to do it for you, scanning it to a personal storage device would be a vastly preferable option than producing a paper copy.
Note that the exemption applies, as I said before, to a library or archives, not just to a guy who wants to have a copy of something.
  #40  
Old 09-16-2011, 01:43 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Lasciel View Post
[Find a copy of the Act, take it with you to a library or a preservation room (along with the item in question if you own it) and copy away. If you have a copy of the statute with you, I imagine you could act to copy it yourself, but that is bending the rule as cited. Although, in this day and age, I'd say if you can get an Archive to do it for you, scanning it to a personal storage device would be a vastly preferable option than producing a paper copy.
I'm hoping this is some kind of bizarre whoosh, because I can't believe anyone is suggesting it seriously.

The law is perfectly clear that libraries and archives can make copies for their own collections. They cannot make copies for anyone who walks in off the street and wants it for their own purposes.

I mean, seriously?
  #41  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:26 PM
Lasciel Lasciel is offline
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I'm hoping this is some kind of bizarre whoosh.
(snipped)

See, this is what happens when you read statutes from non-primary sources.

Here's the actual wording from the law in question:

http://copyright.gov/legislation/s505.pdf (page 3)

The print source I was using (not the Stanford site, btw) had omitted sub-paragraph 3 from their quotation. (the gist of which is exactly as EM states)

Additionally, my original source had text after their butchered quotation which gave the strong impression that this in their opinion thus extended the permissions granted for copying portions of works for research or personal use by individuals to include entire works, restricted only by whether they were "subject to commercial exploitation" and that copies couldn't be obtained "at a reasonable price."

Needless to say, on review of the actual text of the change, that isn't right at all. The 20 years before copyright actually expired bit should have twinged my double-check meter enough to actually look at it myself.

Serves me right for posting before actually checking. I was simply surprised that something I was reading had relevance to an active GQ thread.

That said: if a book is so rare and difficult to acquire, why not ask the lending archive or library if they can help you acquire a copy of your own? Sometimes libraries are even willing to sell their books to people if they aren't getting a lot of use (more likely with a library than an archive).

On further thought, why would someone have to own an item if it is available either electronically or for lending by libraries? A person could simply keep borrowing it.

I would say that ethically speaking, "losing" or "destroying" a book because you want it for your own and offering to pay for it (or not) is pretty far down the ethical slope.

If (on the outside chance) the book is outside of copyright, then there are a lot of print-on-demand services that allow people to submit anything they want to be bound as a book. You can even legally sell them afterwards, if you can find anyone that wants to buy them. There are electronic services that do the same - check out the thousands of hack-job copies of old free works selling for a penny on Amazon for the Kindle.

However, the question of library/archives use does beg the question - who determines whether someone has an archive or library? Does it have to be recognized as official in some capacity by some specific agency? If someone has a private library (of the Andrew Jackson/Thomas Jefferson variety), particularly if it was for a particular type of resource, would they be protected by this clause if they wished to make themselves copies of other resources they didn't own?
  #42  
Old 09-16-2011, 03:35 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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I'm surprised that no one has discussed Google books case yet.

http://techland.time.com/2011/03/23/...oks-case-saga/

I also have followed this for some time on Jerry Pournelle's blog:

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/2...ml#Googlebooks

He seems to moderated his position quite a bit. He seems to seriously concerned about orphaned works disappearing. I also noticed he has started making a lot of his stuff available on Kindle lately.

I find Google books handy even when I'm trying to find quotes from books I own.
  #43  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:28 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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The Google case is almost impossibly complicated and has engendered thousands of posts over many years in the sf community, and that's just on the sites I read.

The shortest possible explanation of why it does not apply here is that Google makes money from Google Books. Every time you click on something there you will sooner or later come across other links for Google. It is a commercial operation, rather than use for personal purposes, and that's part of the overall reason the judge ruled against them.

I don't know the legal meaning of "libraries and archives" but I would bet large sums that at the very least you would have to be either a governmental entity or incorporated as a non-for-profit organization.
  #44  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelUpchurch View Post
I'm surprised that no one has discussed Google books case yet.
Probably the reason is that all the issues remain unresolved, and even if resolved would likely offer little relief to the individuals in this thread.
  #45  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:06 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Makes me think back to when photocopiers first became common in libraries. When my library in West Texas first got them, it put up signs warning that you needed the author's or publisher's written permission before you copied anything. WTF? Why install copiers in the first place? I guess they figured that absolved them from any liability. This was early days for public photocopiers, and no one could be sure of copyright issues.
  #46  
Old 09-16-2011, 11:35 PM
JoelUpchurch JoelUpchurch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Probably the reason is that all the issues remain unresolved, and even if resolved would likely offer little relief to the individuals in this thread.
You don't think it is useful at least go to

http://books.google.com/

and find out what Google thinks is the copyright status of the book?
  #47  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:02 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The Google case is almost impossibly complicated and has engendered thousands of posts over many years in the sf community, and that's just on the sites I read.

The shortest possible explanation of why it does not apply here is that Google makes money from Google Books. Every time you click on something there you will sooner or later come across other links for Google. It is a commercial operation, rather than use for personal purposes, and that's part of the overall reason the judge ruled against them.

I don't know the legal meaning of "libraries and archives" but I would bet large sums that at the very least you would have to be either a governmental entity or incorporated as a non-for-profit organization.
FWIW Archive.org claimed many years back that they were the "only official" online archive to be designated a "library", whatever that means.

Last edited by Una Persson; 09-17-2011 at 12:02 AM..
  #48  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:39 AM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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Eh, who cares. Most books I like are many hundreds of dollars for a scant few hundred pages (Nijhoff, I'm looking at you!) so just photocopy it and screw if it's legal. It's not like there's cops at every photocopy machine waiting to catch scofflaws.

May I suggest Mr. Hoffman, Steal This Book? You could always do that, I guess, and who would blame you unless it's some mass-market literary fiction or little-press poetry jam.
  #49  
Old 09-17-2011, 01:25 AM
Becky2844 Becky2844 is offline
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Does the Law live in your house and have a grudge against you? Who's going to know (or care)? There's absolutely nothing I wouldn't copy/take/steal just for my own use. I call it research. On the first page I write the title and the author. So if, later, I want to delve into it deeper, I can. If it's out there it's mine. I'm not trying to publish something and say it's mine. I'm reading/digesting/reacting.
From reading your question, I'm just afraid that you'd ask your own fiancee if it was okay to kiss her.
  #50  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:33 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelUpchurch View Post
You don't think it is useful at least go to

http://books.google.com/

and find out what Google thinks is the copyright status of the book?
I don't understand this comment. What Google thinks about the copyright status of a book is exactly what everybody else in the world thinks. The Google case has nothing to do with copyright status, per se. It's about notification to and permission of copyright owners.
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