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Cantor
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Post by Cantor » June 10th, 2010, 8:07 am

Can we read the books from forgottenbooks.org? All their stuff is in the public domain, but they seem to have some sort of renewed copyright on it or something, but on the other hand again, they are letting people read their stuff for free... so I'm not sure, you see.
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Nicholas19
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Post by Nicholas19 » June 10th, 2010, 10:09 am

They have a copy of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (from a translation first published in 1992) on their website.

This book is copyrighted, not public domain, so I don't see how forgottenbooks thinks it has the right to republish it and put their own copyright label on the pdf that they're distributing.
Nicholas J. Bridgewater

"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."
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See: http://bahai.org/

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chocoholic
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Post by chocoholic » June 10th, 2010, 10:11 am

I'm afraid not; here is their statement:
Although many of the originals of the books we republish are now public domain, all our editions are copyright to Forgotten Books and not public domain. You may reproduce any part of our books for non-commercial purposes.
Although Librivox itself is non-commercial, our recordings are public domain and can be used for any purpose, so the source texts have to be public domain as well (as opposed to free, which is different).

That said, sometimes websites will claim copyright but the copyright is to things like formatting and web page layout, not to the content of the text. If the content is the same as the public domain original, then the text is still public domain. Is there a particular book you had in mind? If so, perhaps it can be found elsewhere on the Internet -- Google Books and Archive.org are good places to look (though Google Books restricts access in some countries).
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thistlechick
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Post by thistlechick » June 10th, 2010, 11:25 am

The ones that I looked at are just scans from old books... so they cannot claim a new copyright over the text (yes, they can claim copyright over the formatting and layout, but we're not interested in reproducing formatting).

We observe Project Gutenberg's "No Sweat of the Brow" policy: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:No_Sweat_of_the_Brow_Copyright : "Non-authorship activities do not create a new copyright."
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Steampunk
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Post by Steampunk » June 10th, 2010, 12:06 pm

Also, it looks like the registrant for forgottenbooks.org is in New Zealand. NZ is a life + 50 country, so PD for Kiwi's ain't necessarily PD for LV.

It looks like their server, however, is in the US, so they may be in trouble one day, anyway...

Plus, as stated above, just 'cuz someone says something is copyrighted (or free of copyright) don't make it so. Always best to verify. So I guess to answer to your question, Cantor, is: maybe. :)


Jim
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Lucy_k_p
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Post by Lucy_k_p » June 10th, 2010, 2:52 pm

Also they have 'high quality' e-books, which are not particularly good quality and cost money to read and 'low quality' e-books which are free but basically unreadable. And they have an annoying watermark on every page of their e-books to 'stop people printing them.' (If you're happy to read them on-line with the watermark, why would you be upset about a physical version with the same watermark?)

Overall my gut feeling is I don't like them.
So little space, so much to say.

Nicholas19
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Post by Nicholas19 » June 10th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Well, claiming a copyright on a book that is already copyrighted by someone else is deceptive and illegal.

The Kitab-i-Aqdas which forgottenbooks claims a copyright on, was translated and published in 1992. My copy says Copyright 1992, 1993 by the Universal House of Justice. Copyright under the Berne Convention. All Rights Reserved. It also says:

"The Kitab-i-Aqdas was first issued in 1992 in a hardcover edition by the Baha'i World Center, Haifa, Israel."

So forgottenbooks is being deliberately deceptive by claiming a copyright on the same book.
Nicholas J. Bridgewater

"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."
- Baha'u'llah
See: http://bahai.org/

Some Answered Questions.
The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Vol. I.
An Elementary Greek Grammar.

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