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Re: Copyright-copywrite

> From:          "Sandra J. Still" <libsjs@xxxxxxxxx>
> Subject:       Re: Copyright-copywrite

> Dear Mr. Starr:
> I may be able to clear up some of the confusion based on my
> experience at Crown.   Outlet Book Company, which was owned by Crown


> You are exactly right.  This is what they do to protect their own
> version of public domain material.  I once wrote the introduction
> for a book on the railroad maps of North America that we had
> licensed from the Smithsonian for that very reason.  It had to fit
> exactly into a blank spot so the film didn't have to be re-shot and
> no type had to be reset. That was the "special material."
>   Confused? Join the club.

I am interested to hear from someone who has actually had experience
with these reprints from the "big" publishers.  I am of course aware
that even big publishers can't put materials that are out of
copyright back into copyright just by reprinting them; however, I
have wondered if such publishers ever "sneak" additional material
into the reprinted part (change a letter on page 10 or reduce part
of a page slightly; or on the other hand, with a reset text,
introduce minor changes, perhaps punctuation, etc., into the text) in
order to keep others from re- reprinting and also to be able, later,
if necessary, to prove that so-and-so reprinted from their own
reprint. If the reprint publisher changed the page, even in a minor
way, presumably if someone photographically (or otherwise) reproduced
that page with that change he/she would be liable. Such changes need
not be at all obvious. The question is, does this mildly deceptive
practice exist? I have, because of this, thought it safer to get hold
of an actual original copy of public domain material for reprints
rather than reprint from a reprint (which, if unchanged, should
theoretically be legal to copy). Further information from Sandra
Still would be of interest.

Bob Maxwell the Paranoid

Robert L. Maxwell
Special Collections and Ancient Languages cataloger
6428 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
(801) 378-5568
robert_maxwell@xxxxxxx  or  rlm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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