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On Thu, 23 Nov 1995, PMW Matheson wrote:
 
> Surely copyright adheres to individual works? If a book was
> published in the US, US copyright rules apply to it. If it was
> published in the UK, then UK rules apply. It sounds as though the
> author's longevity is relevant to the copyright of works
> published in the UK in a way that it is not to books published
> in the US, at least before a certain date.
dearie me, i had not thought to generate such a storm with
mere information. the UK, as part of the EU (European Union)
has harmonised many aspects of its copyright laws. the EU
has a fairly large population, larger than the US, although
it is possible that it doesn't produce as much copyright material
(i offer that as a sacrificial sop). yes, it is the death of the author
which is the cut off date here. there appear to be ways to
extend by granting copyright to the estate, but i'm
not at all clear about this. we had the odd situation of
some out of copyright material (rudyard kipling, for example)
falling back into copyright when harmonisation took place
(it used to be 50 years). i didn't make the laws. honest. trust me.
>
> So if Borneo has a 200-year copyright rule, then any works
> published in Borneo could not be offered on the Internet before
> its author had been dead for 200 years, but if the same author
> from Borneo publishes a book in New York that book would be
> subject to US copyright rules and could appear on the Internet
> even before the author's demise, if the copyright for that work
> was calculated from date of publication.
why pick on borneo? seriously. i suspect our political incorrectness
is showing through. do we somehow suspect that as a technologically
backward stone age society (as in headhunters from borneo) that they
would have repressive laws? try this for size. sarawak, the only part
of borneo that i have been to is a modern, soon to be s.e.asian tiger
state. i don't think i have seen so many cell phones. and pcs are cheap
and easy to get. more solid comms are coming along quite quickly,
just like the rest of malaysia. i can't really talk for brunei (the
only independent state on borneo) or the indonesian part of the island.
(oh, and while i remember, one of the things it doesn't have is
unemployment.)
 
lets change this to some hypothetical country like narnia, middle
earth, gont or hy-brasil.
>
> the cover for the UK and for Canada but not for the US. But as Mr
> Peterson says, he is not publishing for profit, so I should not
> imagine that there was any infringement there either.
um. is this to say that if i take the latest tom clancy,
retypeset it at my own expense and give it away, so that there
is no profit motive involved i am in the clear?
>
> More power to your page, Mr. Peterson!
i find the strictures of copyright just as annoying as
you folk, and the inconsistencies between countries
most frustrating. clarity, with some legal backing, would help.
(but when my royalties check comes winging in, i thank the
wise sould who thought up copyright.)
 
malcolm clark              tel: (+44) 01203 523365
computing services         fax: (+44) 01203 523267
university of warwick      url: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/~cudax/egotrip.html
coventry, cv4 7al, uk    email: [log in to unmask]
     "none but ourselves can free our minds" r.marley