Dear Dave,
thank you very much for this long letter from last mounth. I read it NOW 
because I have been to my other house (without telephon, internet and all 
this). I'll study it soon. 
Have a nice summer.
Wolf
PS: thanks again !!! 



At 06.13 14/07/04 -0500, you wrote:
Dear Wolf

While doing some research into other things I came across some information 
that will either prove useful or make things more confusing than ever.

At website #1 (http://www.patent.gov.uk/copy/indetail/ownership.htm) I found 
that in England the copyright lasts for 70 years after the authors death. 
Blackwood died in 1951, so his work does not become public domain in England 
until 2021. However, it may be possible to write to the person or persons 
who own the copyright and get permission to put it on the net. My copy of 
'The Olive' is in a collection called, 'Tales of the Mysterious and 
Macabre', published by Spring Books in 1967. There is no address listed for 
them; rather it just says, 'London, New York, Sydney, Toronto'. Oddly, there 
is no copyright mark on the book.

Website #2 (http://www.ibiblio.org/ccer/) deals with United States 
copyrights. In the past US copyrights ran for 75 years after the publication 
of the work. While 'The Olive' has been published in several Blackwood 
collections, as near as I can figure it, it made its first appearance in 
1924. So by US law it would have became public domain in 1999, except for 
Sonny Bono.

Now you are probably asking, 'Is that the same Sonny Bono of the singing 
team, Sonny and Cher, and, if it is, what does he have to do with it?'

Well, it is the same Sonny Bono and after he broke up with Cher, she went on 
become a major singing star and Sonny went on to playing small roles in TV 
comedies. So Sonny decided to change careers. He ran for public office and 
became a senator from the state of California. He introduced a law that 
changed the number of years from 75 to 90. Anything published in the United 
States before 1922 is public domain. But, seeing as how 'The Olive' was 
published in 1924, it won't be public domain until 2014.


Site #3 is (http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/okbooks.html) which has 
more information on US laws.

I don't know if any of this helps or makes things even more confusing, but 
you might want to look at these sites. I am including some of the material 
from them listed as #1, #2. and #3. I hope this might be helpful. The 
European Union may have a whole different set of rules. Good luck.

Best Wishes
Dave McCourt

#1



How long does UK copyright last?

Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (including a 
photograph) lasts until 70 years after the death of the author. The duration 
of copyright in a film is 70 years after the death of the last to survive of 
the principal director, the authors of the screenplay and dialogue, and the 
composer of any music specially created for the film. Sound recordings are 
generally protected for 50 years from the year of publication.  Broadcasts 
are protected for 50 years and published editions are protected for 25 
years.

For copyright works created outside the UK or another country of the 
European Economic Area, the term of protection may be shorter. There may 
also be differences for works created before 1 January 1996.

Is there any protection after copyright expires?

If a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or film for which the 
copyright has expired has never been made available to the public, it may be 
protected by publication right. This is granted automatically to the first 
person to make a relevant work or film available to the public within the 
European Economic Area, lasts for 25 years from the time of making 
available, and gives rights broadly similar to those given by copyright.


#2

Let's take a look at published works in a library's special collection. 
>Maybe there are some special local newspaper issues, like these ones 
published in 1912 after the sinking of the Titanic. Is this in the public 
domain?


How long does UK copyright last?

Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (including a 
photograph) lasts until 70 years after the death of the author. The duration 
of copyright in a film is 70 years after the death of the last to survive of 
the principal director, the authors of the screenplay and dialogue, and the 
composer of any music specially created for the film. Sound recordings are 
generally protected for 50 years from the year of publication.  Broadcasts 
are protected for 50 years and published editions are protected for 25 
years.

For copyright works created outside the UK or another country of the 
European Economic Area, the term of protection may be shorter. There may 
also be differences for works created before 1 January 1996.

Is there any protection after copyright expires?

If a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or film for which the 
copyright has expired has never been made available to the public, it may be 
protected by publication right. This is granted automatically to the first 
person to make a relevant work or film available to the public within the 
European Economic Area, lasts for 25 years from the time of making 
available, and gives rights broadly similar to those given by copyright.


Look at the Public Domain Chart. The basic rule for works published before 
1978 is that copyright lasts for 95 years past the date of publication.

CURRENT YEAR PUBLISHED OR REGISTERED BEFORE 1978
Rules Publication or Reg. Date + 95 yrs

You would think that you could logically add 1912 + 95 and calculate a term 
lasting through the end of 20073. But you would be wrong. Copyright terms 
have some irregularities. If you look more closely at the chart, you'll see 
that throughout this year of 2002, the public domain consists of works 
published on or before the year 1922. But wait -- either I fell asleep at 
the keyboard in a drunken stupor, or something very odd happened. The year 
1922 is repeated until 2019!!

Rules Publication or Reg. date + 95 yrs
2002 1922
2003 1922
2004 1922
2005 1922
... 1922
2018 1922
2019 1923

What happened? The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act FROZE Twenty 
years of works out of the public domain.4 The Act was passed in 1998 and 
went into effect immediately that year. Works published in 1923, 24, 25, had 
been due to enter the public domain in the years 1998, 1999, 2000. And so 
forth. This Act extended the terms for these works from 75 years to 95 
years. The works that had already safely made it to the public domain remain 
in the public domain.

Table of Contents>

The 1912 newspaper on the Titanic entered the public domain after 75 years. 
Copyright terms last until the end of a calendar year. Thus this paper 
joined the public domain on January 1, 1988, and remains in the public 
domain.

But get this: No more published works will enter the public domain until the 
year 2019, when works published in 1923 finally thaw out. Only then will we 
regain a schedule of one year's work expiring into the public domain each 
year. For a list of important works that are frozen, see the Subverted 
Public Domain List.5



2. Giant Exceptions to the 95 Year Rule for Published Works

a) Published in the U.S. before 1978 with No Copyright Notice = PUBLIC 
DOMAIN

    Here is a baseball card showing two of Jim Thorpe's teammates on the New 
York Giants. This is not a giant exception for baseball cards per se, but 
let's use it as an example of a works that have fallen into the public 
domain.6 The Copyright Law today is a patchwork of old laws and new. Works 
published in the United States before January 1, 1978 are required to have a 
proper copyright notice.7 If the notice was not given (or improperly given), 
all copyright protection for that work was permanently lost in the United 
States.


Example:  Hypothetical Baseball Card Company 1933

If the baseball card (or any other U.S. published work in your library) has 
no copyright notice on it, it's in the PUBLIC DOMAIN.

b) Published in the U.S. before 1964 without Renewal =PUBLIC DOMAIN

Published works today need no renewals to enjoy a 95 year term. But they 
used to. If they weren't renewed properly, they fell into the public domain, 
never to return to copyrighted status. Owners didn't bother to keep track of 
works that lost commercial value. To renew, they had to keep track of the 
work and renew it in its 28th year. Works with a limited time of commercial 
value (such as some baseball cards) may not have been renewed. A study by 
the U.S. Copyright Office in 1961 showed that less than 10% of all 
copyrights were renewed and fewer than 5% of copyrighted books and pamphlets 
were renewed, and thus fell into the public domain.8

Unfortunately, unlike a missing Copyright Notice on a work, it's not a 
simple matter to figure out if a work was properly renewed. In fact it's a 
bear to figure out. The Copyright Office offers guidance on How to 
Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work 
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ22.pdf.9

It's not pretty. Essentially, you need to take a trip to Washington D.C. and 
search the Copyright Office's files. Or you could pay the Copyright Office 
or hire someone else to do the search.10 Or you could find a large library 
such as the Los Angeles Public Library or the San Francisco Public Library, 
and look through the Catalog of Copyright Entries, a book version of the 
Copyright Office files.

You will be researching the way your grandmother did, looking volume by 
volume, pausing for cross-references, and possibly losing track of what 
you've checked. The good news is that you no longer need airfare and a hotel 
room. The Online Books Page an enterprising project supported by the 
Universal Library Project at Carnegie Mellon has scanned in the volumes of 
the Catalog of Copyright Entries so that you can search these books from 
anywhere. The bad news is that this is not a database that allows you to 
search with elegance and speed, (anyone have some grant money lying around?) 
but an exact replication of the real thing. See also a work-in-progress 
transcribing the Catalog of Copyright Entries at kingkong.demon.co.uk.

3. Rule of Thumb: Sail the Ocean Blue through 1922

So what do libraries do? Many go with the safe rule of thumb for published 
works: Sail the ocean blue through 1922. Note that you don't need to update 
that rhyme until the year 2019, because 1922 is going to be with us a long, 
long time.

Is that what I advocate? No. Remember that a vast majority of the older 
published items in your old collection has probably fallen into the public 
domain. Do I understand it when libraries use the simple 1922 rule? Of 
course. Some libraries have to use staff time and money to actually keep the 
doors open.



But if there is a little staff (or volunteer) time, check to see if there's 
a proper copyright notice on works published before 1978. Remember, if not, 
it's in the public domain.

If you have some time and money, investigate the items published before 1964 
that have a copyright notice on them, to see if they were renewed. Designate 
a staff member to learn how to check the renewal records. If they weren't 
renewed properly, they're in the public domain.

Remember, anything in the public domain can be digitized and flung onto the 
web without copyright worries (don't forget there could be other 
restrictions like privacy and publicity concerns).

<Table of Contents>

4. Rocks at the Edges

The clear sailing rule is pretty secure, but I wouldn't be a lawyer if I 
could give you a bright-line rule without some rocks at the edges. There are 
only a few, but if one of them applies directly to you, you should probably 
know about them.

a) Don't Use Newer Versions of Expired Works

This may be obvious, but stick with the work that actually expired. That is, 
if you want to use Peter Pan, use a version by J.M. Barrie (he wrote

b) Don't Use Trademarks: Like Diamonds, Trademarks Last Forever

Trademarks can last forever, unlike the limited terms of copyright. Although 
you can digitize a book on Peter Pan, published by 1922, you can't digitize 
the Peter Pan image that's on the peanut butter jars. To figure out if it's 
a trademark, see Nolo's online encyclopedia. If you're interested in 
understanding the double copyright and trademark protection sometimes given 
to graphic characters, see The Publishing Law Center.

Is it a trademark infringement when you digitize the logo as part of the New 
York Times 1912 edition? Not likely. The Times would have to show that the 
library's use of the logo is likely to cause customer confusion, the basis 
of a trademark infringement suit.11  Alternatively, if the mark is a famous 
mark, it would have to show the library "diluted" the trademark's 
distinctive quality.12 The logo would be seen in its exactly correct 
context, making such a case extremely difficult to make.13

Is it a trademark infringement if your library uses the Times' stylized 
lettering (from the 1912 issue of the paper) to put out its own newspaper, 
called The New York Library Times? If the logo in use then has not been 
abandoned (is still used today), the Times could make a case that library 
users be confused. Library users might think the New York Times owned or 
endorsed the library's paper, for example. In this case, the library could 
expect a lawsuit.14

c) Special Concerns about Digitizing Foreign Works

First, you may have noticed that Peter Pan is a foreign work, written by a 
Scottish author. That doesn't mean you can't digitize it, and in fact 
Project Gutenberg project has put it on the web. You might look at the 
wording (under "bibliographic details") that Project Gutenberg uses with the 
Peter Pan text, recognizing that the laws of other nations differ from the 
United States.

Second, if a foreign work has fallen into the public domain in the United 
States, it may be clear sailing to digitize it and use it in-house. 
Publishing on the web is international, however, and owners of works that 
still enjoy copyright in another country may challenge you on their soil. 
These immense problems in jurisdiction and conflicts of laws are currently 
under discussion internationally by the Hague Special Commission.15

Third, the GIANT EXCEPTION (see II.B.2) that tells us works without proper 
copyright notice and renewals fell into the public domain only applies to 
works published or registered in the United States. Think of it as an 
All-American baseball Giant exception. It doesn't apply to works published 
elsewhere, and in fact some of these works that had fallen into the public 
domain have since had their copyright status restored. See Circular 38b, 
Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). 
For a list of countries that the U.S. has treaties with, see Circular 38a, 
International Copyright Relations of the United States.

Fourth, although in general you needn't worry about works published by 1922, 
look to be sure that is the United States publication date. If it's not, 
take a look at a controversial court decision that found that Bambi's U.S. 
copyright term did not commence until it was first published in the United 
States, even though it had been published three years earlier in Germany. It 
had been published in Germany without a copyright notice (required by U.S. 
law for copyright protection at that time), and was in the public domain in 
the United States during those three years.16


#3

How Can I Tell Whether a Copyright Was Renewed?
A reader asks:

How could I find out whether a book... has had its copyright renewed? Is 
there any method other than paying a copyright search company?

First of all, you need to know when renewal matters. In the US, books 
published before 1964 had to get their copyrights renewed at the Library of 
Congress Copyright Office in their 28th year, or they'd fall into the public 
domain. Some books originally published outside the US by non-Americans are 
exempt from this requirement, and in fact some such books had their 
copyrights restored recently. If you need to know more about the rules for 
books published outside the US, see this page from the Copyright Office, 
explaining recent changes in copyright law imposed by GATT. Basically a work 
is exempt from renewal requirements if all of the following conditions 
apply:
At least one author was a citizen or resident of a foreign country (outside 
the US) that's a party to the applicable copyright agreements. (Almost all 
countries are parties to these agreements.)
The work was still under copyright in at least one author's "home country" 
at the time the GATT copyright agreement went into effect for that country 
(1 January 1996 for most countries).
The work was first published abroad, and not published in the United States 
until at least 30 days after its first publication abroad.

If you can prove any of these conditions don't apply, and the work was 
originally published or copyrighted before 1964, then the work had to be 
renewed in order to stay copyrighted in the US.

Up until recently, renewed copyrights ran an additional 47 years (hence, 75 
years total), rounded up to the end of the calendar year. A copyright 
extension bill signed in 1998 extended copyrights still in force for an 
additional 20 years. However, since copyrights from 1922 had already 
expired, anything published before 1923 is now in the public domain in the 
United States, even if its copyright was renewed. Copyrights from 1923 to 
1963, if not renewed, and not made exempt from the renewal requirement (see 
above) have also expired.


Cuddle up with a corpse tonight...
Read Intercourse With the Dead...
The most frightening horror story ever told!
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Dear Dave,
yep, I think quite the same about publishing this story ... I did it this 
way:
http://www.bussanavecchia.blogspot.com/
http://www.livejournal.com/users/bussana/

soon I should have more time and will check the copyright thing. Would you
like a "hardcopy" (a little booklet I printed) of TheOlive? I still keep
the adress of yours when you were so kind to snailmail me the story.

that's it. Wolf