public domain books from 1924-1963

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LaurelFaye
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Joined: July 29th, 2019, 10:06 pm

Post by LaurelFaye » August 4th, 2019, 10:52 am

Had anyone else seen/heard about this? Supposedly around 80% of books published between 1924-1963 didn't renew their copyrights, so they're now in the public domain.

https://www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/clvwyt/datamining_reveals_that_80_of_books_published/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
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Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » August 4th, 2019, 10:58 am

Yes, we are aware that many books are PD because of non-renewal of copyright. The trick is PROVING this, so that a mistake isn't made, and we're approached by a copyright holder with a claim that we're violating their copyright. :hmm: It has happened.

So we allow 1924-and-later works ONLY IF they're cleared by one of two trustworthy sources: gutenberg.org and hathitrust.org

If Gutenberg.org (the US branch) clears a work, then it's almost certainly PD and can be recorded by LibriVox.
If HathiTrust.org makes the text available as Full View, then it's almost certainly PD and can be recorded by LibriVox.

Other claims? We don't know them or trust them, so they don't count.
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mightyfelix
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Joined: August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

Post by mightyfelix » August 4th, 2019, 11:06 am

Yes, this is true, but it's very hard to prove for a given work.

Think about it. What it involves is finding proof that something didn't happen. If I need to prove to someone that I went to WalMart last year (don't know why I'd need to, but it's the best example I can think of), then I can show them my receipt. But how would I go about proving that I never set foot in any WalMart for an entire year? That would be very difficult and require a lot of research.

That's why we only do works from these years if they're on Project Gutenberg or available at HathiTrust in full view. We know that these two sources are really good at doing their research, and we can trust them. We don't have the expertise or manpower to do this research ourselves, and don't want to risk any legal surprises.

EDIT: Also, what Tricia said. :wink:

LaurelFaye
Posts: 6
Joined: July 29th, 2019, 10:06 pm

Post by LaurelFaye » August 4th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Thanks so much for the info!

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