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Copyright and scanning old books, manuals etc.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:39 am    Post subject: Copyright and scanning old books, manuals etc. Reply with quote

Manuals and books long out of print and with no commercial presence on the market place. This is what we are scanning in this section and sharing and even though technically some are still in copyright we still post them.

Obviously copyright infringement is a hot topic with many members with many photos, mine included, being used for commercial purposes with no acknowledgement or payment to the owners.

Bearing this in mind, how can scanning and posting be acceptable to those members?

I have a few pdfs of important books, some recent but all out of print and with no sign that there will ever be a newer volume or that the books is still available on the 'new' market. What then?

For example Princelles book on FSU cameras? This has been out of print for almost 9 years and although listed by Waterstones and others it's not available new any more.

Copyright is a hot topic and I'd like to see other members comments on this.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a rather difficult subject as this is a worldwide forum and the copyright laws differ sometimes extremely between the countries. For example in my country (Austria) the copy for "private use" is not prohibited whereas in Germany the laws are much more prohibitive.
In the U.S. or even in the U.K. I remember the discussions to extent the copyrights to infinite as some creative guys wanted to make big business on that, even when the creator is already dead since centuries. Luckily this plan didn't work out....

However, the copyrights on books are nevertheless rather clear. When a book is out of print this doesn't necessarily mean that it's no longer copyright protected. In other words: The availability of a book has nothing to do with it's copyright protection. Google has made some quite informative experiences on that during their project to capture all written knowledge for the benefit of the public.

BTW, the mentioned book from Princelle isn't available on Google books, though it's known there. So this might be a clear indication on it's copyright status. Wink

The distribution of folders, advertisements and user manuals are IMHO a different story. There I don't see any problem with copyright issues. Articles published in newspapers or on the internet are somehow in a grey zone. I don't believe that there is a unique rule on worldwide basis.

Anyway, it's an interesting subject. That's rather sure.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the author being dead, doesnt alter the fact that an item can still be under copyright is a fact, I agree.

But if the publishers aren't ever going to make another edition of it, there is no money lost and no one to complain. So why not copy and redistribute?

I am not condoning the above, just pointing out an alternative way of looking at the situation.

Regarding selling of media like cd's, books videos second hand. This isn't making any money for the author, surely this could be seen the same as distributing copies.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essentially I'm on your side. However, this doesn't change the fact that it may infringe existing laws in some countries.

I think that's all I am able to say here about the subject without any risk to create troubles for the owner of the forum.
I am happy to discuss it further in a p.m. discussion if you like.

Cheers,


PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a published author and photographer, I'm somewhat sensitive to this issue, especially after seeing "the competition" lift information wholesale out of one of my editions and include it in his hastily put-together piece of trash. I contacted a lawyer about it and the way he explained things I quickly realized that there was little point in taking this dirtbag to court. My publisher and I agreed to stick to the highroad and ignore the riffraff. Turns out that was the best way to go.

The book I'm referring to has been out of print now for about 15 years -- well, do ebooks count? If so, then it's technically not out of print, since my publisher is selling ebooks of it now, and I'm actually received minute royalties from them. The book is called McBroom's Camera Bluebook. It went through six editions, the last of which was published in 2000. I gave up on it after that because the explosion of digital had drastically changed the market and there was no way that I, the only person involved in producing a tome that had swelled to over 300 pages, was able to keep up anymore. It was fun while it lasted, though. I didn't get rich from the royalties, but they did keep me and my daughter in new computer gear for several years, and I even bought a Norton Commando with the royalties from the last edition, and still had a lot left over.

It's still advertized at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/McBrooms-Camera-Bluebook-Michael-McBroom/dp/1584280131/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441767389&sr=8-1&keywords=mcbroom%27s+camera+bluebook

Now, here's the way I feel about sharing the content of my book, whichever edition it may be, and my photos. As long as it isn't being used for commercial purposes or something that I would consider detrimental or obscene, frankly I don't care. It would be nice if somebody let me know that they were using bits for various purposes because I'd like to know. And if somebody did want to use bits for commercial reasons, then I'd want my cut. But that's where it can get sticky because my publisher would want its cut too. So best to avoid commercial use entirely and stick to some sort of "fair use" doctrine.

So, if you guys want to quote from my book, or post images found in it (probably not, they got smaller with each edition, it seemed), then go right ahead.

Oh, and if I'm not mistaken, here in the US, copyright lasts for 70 years, whether or not the author is alive, and it can be renewed at the end of that 70 years by the author's estate or family. I don't know about "in perpetuity" though.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Copyright and scanning old books, manuals etc. Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:
Manuals and books long out of print and with no commercial presence on the market place. This is what we are scanning in this section and sharing and even though technically some are still in copyright we still post them.

Obviously copyright infringement is a hot topic with many members with many photos, mine included, being used for commercial purposes with no acknowledgement or payment to the owners.

Bearing this in mind, how can scanning and posting be acceptable to those members?

I have a few pdfs of important books, some recent but all out of print and with no sign that there will ever be a newer volume or that the books is still available on the 'new' market. What then?

For example Princelles book on FSU cameras? This has been out of print for almost 9 years and although listed by Waterstones and others it's not available new any more.

Copyright is a hot topic and I'd like to see other members comments on this.

One important concept here is that of Fair Use. It allows, in certain conditions, for third parties to use material that may still be under copyright protection. It is my understanding that not all of these conditions need to be met at all times, but the existence of circumstances some of them refer to, in various combinations, has been recognized by courts, notably in the US, as meeting the conditions for Fair Use. To the best of my recollection, those conditions are:
1) the material may not be used for financial gain, but only for educational or information purposes, in order to illustrate a point, for example;
2) the material may not be used in its entirety, but only in part;
3) the use of such material should not impair the copyright owners present or future earnings from the material;
4) the material must have been widely available for a long time;
5) the use of the material contributes to the public interest.
Some of these conditions are more important that others, some may be met while others not. Also, legal interpretations differ according to jurisdiction and in some areas there is no such thing as Far Use.
I am no copyright expert, but it seems to me that reproducing 40-year old camera promotion brochures or instruction manuals probably meets the requirements of Fair Use, even if condition no. 2 is not met. They have been around for decades, their authors have not earned anything from them for almost as long, the community of amateur photographers is benefiting from the information they contain, etc. Needless to say, the picture changes diametrically for those who reproduce such brochures to sell them on Ebay for $15 a pop.
I strongly suspect, however, that the situation is very different for books and even magazine articles from decades ago. Books and magazine articles are extensive works in contrast to most brochures and in connection with them I think Fair Use would be limited to quoting short excerpts or reproducing a photo, but here again, solely for illustrative purposes. Once again, I have no legal training so dont take my word for it, but this is my understanding of the question.
As far as my own photos are concerned, I dont make a living from photography, and my photos have no earning potential. Ive seen some photos from my Konica site, for example, around the web a few times. While its a bit annoying, going in hot pursuit after some South-East-Asian teenage photo fan who liked my photo would be absolutely pointless. I ask people who would like to reproduce or quote passages from my site to kindly acknowledge where it came from and I think thats all most of us can do.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the long replies to this. Konicamera has some interesting points to make and the list is interesting.

cooltouch, I understand your points as much of my material has been used without payment and without my permission.

A book out of print but replaced by an e-book is still a commercial concern to the author/publisher/estate.

Many books out of print and with no market presence are so damn hard to get. I have a series of novels by a writer who died in 1980, and according to the publishers and his estate. There are no plans to re-issue them. I'd love to scan and share.

The selling of books and other copyrighted materials second hand is usually prohibited if you read the legal notices yet shops, Amazon and ebay allow it all the time.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:
The selling of books and other copyrighted materials second hand is usually prohibited if you read the legal notices yet shops, Amazon and ebay allow it all the time.

I thing this prohibition is a disgrace. Intellectual property aside, a book is still a physical object which someone purchased and which that person owns. I feel what such a person does with his/her property is that person's private business and there is nothing wrong with selling it on. In any case, that person probably paid far more for it when it was new than what it's likely to fetch when sold used, so it's not like it's a treasure trove, is it? And even if one is in the business of buying up used books and selling them at a profit (like used book shops), there's nothing wrong with that as long as one's not making additional copies for sale. I am sure such a prohibition wouldn't stand up in court and is just something publishers stick in their books because it increases sales.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philslizzy wrote:

The selling of books and other copyrighted materials second hand is usually prohibited if you read the legal notices yet shops, Amazon and ebay allow it all the time.


Not in my country. In Austria this is 100% legal, no matter what's written in legal notices. The state law overrules always everything else and e.g. any U.S. law has no effect in our country whatsoever, though their law system doesn't recognize territories which is strange enough. In other words: As long as something is allowed in Austria any other law which may prohibit the same has no effect.
That's btw. our most important argument against any open trade agreement with the U.S. as this would include the acceptance of their crazy law system on our territory. No way! Wink


PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The history of Amazon and Google efforts to provide book interiors online is worth some study here.


PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
philslizzy wrote:

The selling of books and other copyrighted materials second hand is usually prohibited if you read the legal notices yet shops, Amazon and ebay allow it all the time.


Not in my country. In Austria this is 100% legal, no matter what's written in legal notices. The state law overrules always everything else and e.g. any U.S. law has no effect in our country whatsoever, though their law system doesn't recognize territories which is strange enough. In other words: As long as something is allowed in Austria any other law which may prohibit the same has no effect.
That's btw. our most important argument against any open trade agreement with the U.S. as this would include the acceptance of their crazy law system on our territory. No way! Wink


As a sometimes reluctant citizen of the aforementioned country with its crazy laws, I think it is only fair to point out that, where they do seem to be a bit crazy, nay going off the deep end, is when it comes to copyright law as it applies to items such as software. When I buy a book, I own that book. I may not own the copyright to it, but I still own that physical copy. Not so with software. I'm buying a license that entitles me to use the software under very highly restricted circumstances. Often, the software I buy -- such as Microsloth products -- cannot be resold legally. Especially MS's operating systems. I personally resent most aspects of copyright law when it comes to computer software.

It is mostly because of software that the US has become so interested in international copyright laws. Because all it takes is for one copy of MS's OS to make it to Taiwan or China and that's it. Millions of copies are made from that one legit copy. Or so the argument goes. So as a way of saving a substantial portion of MS's earnings, the US is attempting, at least, to head off such blatant infringement. Personally, I don't care if MS goes bankrupt. Personally, I think the computer world would be better off if it did. But that's just me -- an unabashed MS hater. Cool

Anyway, back to print media. I'm sure we are all aware of Mike Butkus's site that has thousands of pdf's of camera and photo accessory manuals. I doubt seriously he has been bothered by any of the camera makers for supplying owners with pdfs of manuals. At least, he makes no mention I've seen of this. In fact, he even mentions others who have taken his FREE pdfs and are selling them. So here we have examples of entities on the Internet who are involved in the direct commercial business of violating copyright -- but the camera makers don't seem to care.

Here's another example -- I own a couple of books that were printed by Canon on the old F-1 system. One was "published" for the original F-1, and the second was "published" for the second version of the original F-1. Now, I've put quotes around the word "published" because there are no copyright notices anywhere in these books -- which are quite sizable, somewhere in the range of 200 pages. Full color, very high quality. But no copyright notices. Now, it is my understanding of copyright law, what little I know about it, is that even if a copyright notice is not listed in the material, the copyright is still implied and carries the legal protections of copyright, same as if it were listed. But somehow I doubt that Canon would much care if I were to copy large sections of these books wholesale and disseminate them. Canon has moved on way beyond the old F-1 and doesn't care about it anymore, except for its historical significance.

But when it comes to regular books that go out of print -- like mine, for example -- and let's say for now that my publisher had not decided to resurrect my book as an ebook -- copyright, in this country at least, extends forward for 70 years and can be renewed. So what does this mean for books that are out of print? Mostly I'd say it means you're just S.O.L. There's also something else to consider and that's publishing rights. Publishing rights are one aspect of copyright. For example: you might own the copyright on images for a book, but you grant a specific publisher the right to publish those images in a certain country for a certain period of time, under specific conditions. So the publisher definitely has a say-so in how copyrighted material can be used which goes beyond the copyright holder's rights.

All publishers have quantities of "out of print" titles, but in this digital age, these OOP titles, in many cases, are slowly being converted to ebooks, such that a book may never go out of print. I mean, once it is an ebook, the whole notion of being "in print" or not becomes meaningless. But it seems to me that, once a book has been digitized, it would be easier to quote portions of an ebook than a print book, and be able to use the quote under the aegis of "fair use." Or so it seems to me.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Ever Happened to Google Books?

Quote:
It was the most ambitious library project of our timea plan to scan all of the worlds books and make them available to the public online. We think that we can do it all inside of ten years, Marissa Mayer, who was then a vice-president at Google, said to this magazine in 2007, when Google Books was in its beta stage. Its mind-boggling to me, how close it is.

Today, the project sits in a kind of limbo. On one hand, Google has scanned an impressive thirty million volumes, putting it in a league with the worlds larger libraries (the library of Congress has around thirty-seven million books). That is a serious accomplishment. But while the corpus is impressive, most of it remains inaccessible. Searches of out-of-print books often yield mere snippets of the textthere is no way to gain access to the whole book. The thrilling thing about Google Books, it seemed to me, was not just the opportunity to read a line here or there; it was the possibility of exploring the full text of millions of out-of-print books and periodicals that had no real commercial value but nonetheless represented a treasure trove for the public. In other words, it would be the worlds first online library worthy of that name. And yet the attainment of that goal has been stymied, despite Google having at its disposal an unusual combination of technological means, the agreement of many authors and publishers, and enough money to compensate just about everyone who needs it.

The problems began with a classic culture clash when, in 2002, Google began just scanning books, either hoping that the idealism of the project would win everyone over or following the mantra that it is always easier to get forgiveness than permission. That approach didnt go over well with authors and publishers, who sued for copyright infringement. Two years of insults, ill will, and litigation ensued. Nonetheless, by 2008, representatives of authors, publishers, and Google did manage to reach a settlement to make the full library available to the public, for pay, and to institutions. In the settlement agreement, they also put terminals in libraries, but didnt ever get around to doing that. But that agreement then came under further attacks from a whole new set of critics, including the author Ursula Le Guin, who called it a deal with the devil. Others argued that the settlement could create a monopoly in online, out-of-print books.

Four years ago, a federal judge sided with the critics and threw out the 2008 settlement, adding that aspects of the copyright issue would be more appropriately decided by the legislature. Sounds like a job for Congress, James Grimmelmann, a law professor at the University of Maryland and one of the settlements more vocal antagonists, said at the time. But, of course, leaving things to Congress has become a synonym for doing nothing, and, predictably, a full seven years after the court decision was first announced, were still waiting.

There are plenty of ways to attribute blame in this situation. If Google was, in truth, motivated by the highest ideals of service to the public, then it should have declared the project a non-profit from the beginning, thereby extinguishing any fears that the company wanted to somehow make a profit from other peoples work. Unfortunately, Google made the mistake it often makes, which is to assume that people will trust it just because its Google. For their part, authors and publishers, even if they did eventually settle, were difficult and conspiracy-minded, particularly when it came to weighing abstract and mainly worthless rights against the publics interest in gaining access to obscure works. Finally, the outside critics and the courts were entirely too sanguine about killing, as opposed to improving, a settlement that took so many years to put together, effectively setting the project back a decade if not longer.

In the past few years, the Authors Guild has usefully proposed a solution known as an extended collective licensing system. Using a complex mechanism, it would allow the owners of scanned, out-of-print libraries, such as Google or actual non-profits like the Hathitrust library, to make a limited set of them available with payouts to authors. The United States Copyright Office supports this plan. I have a simpler suggestion, nicknamed the Big Bang license. Congress should allow anyone with a scanned library to pay some pricesay, a hundred and twenty-five million dollarsto gain a license, subject to any opt-outs, allowing them to make those scanned prints available to institutional or individual subscribers. That money would be divided equally among all the rights holders who came forward to claim it in a three-year windowsplit fifty-fifty between authors an publishers. It is, admittedly, a crude, one-time solution to the problem, but it would do the job, and it might just mean that the world would gain access to the first real online library within this lifetime.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court | Reuters


PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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