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Re: Copyright-copywrite

On Mon, 2 Sep 1996, R Starr wrote:

> I just got a copy of "The complete encyclopedia of illustration"
> (Grammercy, 1996).  It is a republication of the two volume 1851 book,
> "The Iconographic Encyclopaedia of Science, Literature, and Art" and has
> added editorial revisions and a plate indexed table of contents (12,000
> illustrations) that the dust jacket says are:
>         "copyright free and clearly reproducible"
> The introduction says:
>         "This edition, at the most modern level reproduces the entire
> body of plates by means of fine-line offset lithography, which will
> enable their most successful use by artists, designers, and others"
> However, the above statements are contradicted by the copyright notice:
>         "No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any
> form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying,
> recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without
> written permission in writing from the publisher."
> Things get more interesting when the actual copyright information is
> examined.  It says:
>         "Special material copyright c 1979 by Crown Publishers, Inc. All
> rights reserved under International and Pan American Copyright Convention."
> My assumption is that the special material is the index and other
> additions, not any of the actual illustrations and that the warning about
> reproduction is Grammercy's boiler plate and that they received
> authorization from Crown for the republication of that material.
> Confused? Join the club.
> Does anyone have experience with whether or not the drawings are indeed
> public domain.  What about any restrictions on any other published "clip
> art" manuals such as the Hart Picture Archives?
> Comments appreciated.
> Ray*
The big confusion always centers around the term "public domain" which
really means "not eligible for US copyright protection"  ANY original
work made in the 19th century is no longer under copyright protection,

You are correct to point out that current additions of indexing, page
layout and design, and new annotations of any kind ARE copyrighted by
the publisher.  So if you photocopy, scan or otherwise reproduce the
images be sure to remove or avoid any captions or anything added by the

If a publisher has edited the text, the edited version can be copyrighted
if the changes create in effect an new work.  So it can be a bit tricky
to figure how you stand

Public Domain is often confused with Copyright-free.  They are not the
same.  Today I might write a computer program and give away as
"freeware".  At any point I could decide to charge for this material.  It
does not loose any copyright protections until the time period of 50
years after my death has elasped. Me or my heirs can control the cost
free status at any point but it cannot be placed in "public domain" until
the time ha elapsed and then the work can not be copyrighted any longer.

Hope this helps you with your questions.


     M I C H A E L   M O R I N                M.F.A., M.L.S.

Director Celtic Press               Instructional Media Librarian
  Buffalo  New York                  D'Youville College Library
         Co-Moderator Buffalo Free-Net Preservation SIG
    Member Buffalo Free-Net Information Development Committee

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