Wikisource:Copyright discussions/Archives/2013-02

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Kept[edit]

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Keep, License {{PD-US-no-renewal}}, note that the work is an excerpt, so fails WS:WWI, it will be posted at WS:DEL for consideration. Jeepday (talk) 11:15, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
w:Swami Nikhilananda died in 1973. So this should be copyrighted (info: according to w:Swami_Nikhilananda#Translations, this work is from 1942.)--Mpaa (talk) 22:55, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
The translation appears to have been published in the United States (by the Ramakrishna Vivekanada Center in New York) , so the death date of the author is irrelevant. The Bengali original would seem to be out of copyright (published late 1800s, and its Indian author died in 1932). Although, we appear to have only the 1942 introduction text here, so that is original text. So, the question is if the introduction (and translation, if we ever host that part) got its copyright renewed in 1969 or 1970. I see here a renewal for an abridged version published in 1948 and renewed in 1975, but I'm not sure that renewal would count for the 1942 work, but only material added (or newly arranged) in 1948. The registration even notes it was previously published in 1942. This seems to be another related renewal, but for something published in 1958 and renewed in 1986. Unless we can find a renewal, this may be PD-US-not_renewed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:16, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Copyright Law of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea[edit]

The following discussion is closed: License {{PD-EdictGov}} and keep. Jeepday (talk) 11:20, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Previous discussion: Wikisource:Possible copyright violations/Archives/2010-02#Copyright Law of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Wikisource hosts the copyright act of 2001. According to the copyright act of 2001, laws are not subject to copyright. However, at Commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-DPRKGov, it was discovered that the copyright law was changed in 2006. In the translation of the 2006 act, it seems that laws aren't subject to copyright unless commercial purpose is pursued. This may mean that North Korean laws can't be used for commercial purposes.

The copyright act of 2001 was created and published before the copyright act of 2006 was published. I don't know whether copyright to the copyright act of 2001 might have been restored in North Korea in 2006, and I don't know if the change in law resulted in a change of the copyright status of old works outside North Korea. I'm bringing the question here for discussion so that it can be sorted out. --Stefan2 (talk) 16:07, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand what your concern is, but {{PD-EdictGov}} covers Wikisource publication of any written acts by any government. Are you questioning the appropriateness of the work being on Wikipedia, or lack of related works? JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 20:04, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
en-wikisource uses U.S. law exclusively I think, so PD-EdictGov is the relevant tag. We don't require the work to be PD in the source country. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:51, 13 January 2013 (UTC)


Deleted[edit]

Small Town[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Delete, a very long discussion that does not provide consensus of an appropriate license for Wikisource. One of the primary participants in the discussion has not edited Wikisource since the last entry here (6 weeks ago), If desired a new discussion can be started to consider restoring the work. Jeepday (talk) 11:03, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Small Town (1954) by Philip K. Dick, published in Amazing Stories, May 1954. Not currently proofread or transcluded from Index:Small Town.djvu. I am not sure about this and would like more opinions about it (even though we have no text yet; I wouldn't want to waste anyone's time if there is a problem). SFFaudio claims that this story in in the public domain. Evidentally, the copyright renewals were not correctly made by the author's estate (more information at that link). However, as part of an attempt to compile every Amazing Stories copyright renewal (work in progress currently listed here), I recognised the issue date. This was the first ever issue of Amazing Stories to have its copyright renewed as a whole; by TSR Hobbies, Inc., on the 14th December 1982, under renewal number RE0000147985. So, assuming that the author-renewal was indeed invalid, I would normally say it is covered by the periodical-renewal. That is, unless they interact in some way I don't know about. Does the author-renewal override the periodical-renewal (in a way that would invalidate both)? I left a note on the talk page of the work but there was no response there. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 13:47, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
If you'd left a note on my Wikisource Talk page I'd have gotten an email notification and been aware of this earlier. There is a response on the Small Town Talk page now. Regarding your question here, you misunderstand what a renewal of a registration as proprietor of copyright in a composite work (PCW) (the "periodical-renewal" in this instance) means and I presume you misunderstand what the original registration meant in terms of possessing copyright in individual components of the composite work. The link to the Copyright Office's May 17, 2012 NPRM and associated links should clarify this; especially if you read some of the Copyright Office circulars linked to the main page of its website. BTW, the TSR PCW renewal is an "author" renewal in the legal terms of this context and covers only the components that originally were copyrighted by Ziff-Davis(including arrangement of all components to form the whole work so reproducing all the public domain material in this composite work in the same order in another composite work probably would be a copyright infringement as the selection and arrangement seem to possess sufficient creativity to be copyrightable). I.e., the PCW renewal essentially covers "work made for hire" which in terms of copyright law Ziff-Davis was the original "author" of but transferred its rights by written instrument to TSR or some intermediary that subsequently transfered its rights by written intrument to TSR. I'm not certain transferred is the correct or best word to use here but trust the meaning is clear. Law often distorts the English language more than Humpty Dumpty.
There was no author renewal of the story Small Town which was first published in Amazing Stories, May 1954 (author = heirs in the case of RE0000190631 which is an apparently fraudulent 1983 group renewal for contributions to periodicals first published in the calendar year 1955 and contains 25 entries for non-existent works which have the same titles as genuine works which were first published in 1954 and entered the public domain due to failure to renew their copyrights in 1982). RE0000190631 is literally not a renewal claim on the 1954 stories which is something people seem to have difficulty grasping although people seem to be perfectly aware that "renewing" a vehicle registration with a fake VIN and other false required individual identifying information does not create a valid registration for that vehicle and many people seem familiar with some slang term, such as "mace", for a stolen car with false paperwork that makes it appear to be a different vehicle than it really is and "identity theft" has become a common term and very familiar concept in recent decades. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 08:45, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
First, I apologise for not leaving a note on your talk page. Most of the other Philip K. Dick works were added by IPs and, having recently gone through all of them in sequence, I got stuck in that mindset. Hence the note on the work's talk page instead.
Now, to the periodical: I'm not sure that you are correct about "work made for hire". To the best of my knowledge, assuming a standard contract for the period, a publisher's copyright notice and renewal covers all works within the publication. Goodis vs. United Artists Television, Inc. appears to be the precedent most commonly used to establish this (point 8 especially). I believe this was also the basis for the Greg Bear/Project Gutenberg legal fight over Poul Anderson's copyrights; which I mention only as a similar situation involving the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
I hope I have not appeared to be antagonistic, I just noticed this work as I was cleaning up something else. I would like for this work to be in the public domain and it would help me in my own projects if it were. Both for current Weird Tales work and because I plan to transcribe many issues of Amazing Stories in the future (although we are still in the 20s here and I've still only got to 1930 on archive.org, I will hit that 50s block of renewals eventually). From everything I have read to date, however, I think this one might have been correctly renewed, albeit not by the Dick estate, hence bringing it here for further discussion. (I have not looked into the Dick estate's renewal with any real depth; my suspicion of copyright violation is entirely based on Ziff-Davis and TSR Hobbies, which I believe is now owned by Hasbro). - AdamBMorgan (talk) 12:45, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Apology accepted, of course. I hope I don't seem antagonistic either or to be claiming expertise I don't possess. For the moment I'm just copying and Pasting something I wrote on the Small Town talk page because I'm in a hurry. I believe your concern is over a settled issue but as stated below think it would be beneficial to seek "expert advice". I've done quite a bit of research in last few days when able and learned many things but the research has also raised questions about various matters I've not considered before (not entirely relevant to Wikisource or Wikimedia Foundation projects) and very pleasingly seem to have stumbled across a section of the USC that specificly contradicts a sourceless claim by Greg Bear that has been harmful to Project Gutenberg and those who rely on its very litigation averse rules and statements. PG has to be very litigation averse to avoid being sued out of existence or functionality simply due to the immense financial and other expenses involved in litigation but people often misunderstand this is the basis of some of its rules or some of its public statements which can be misleading occassionally as I believe was the public response to Greg Bear. I hope you won't actually delete anyone's contributions due to PCW renewal concerns pending further exploration of the matter as I'm very sure the concern is misplaced. BTW, you might recall that standard advice for determining copyright renewal status of contributions to periodicals includes looking for a renewal registration of the periodical to help determine what registration the contribution would state in its renewal so you can search the registration number and see what renewals, if any, show up. Also you may have noticed that the Copyright Office practice for renewing contributions to periodicals that were published with notice but not registered is/was to create a registration number for that periodical which contribution renewers then use to timely renew their works. This does not give the contributors any renewal claim of the periodical as such to either their benefit or the benefit of the magazine publisher as they are not within any class of entities eligible to renew the periodical.
Oops. I overlooked your first paragraph here and much of the above (and maybe below) may be irrelevant. The case you cite is probably the leading case holding that copyright notices of periodicals are also "blanket" notices protecting the individual contributions regardless of whether they have seperate notice under the 1909 Act (and subsequent acts) which was not the case under the 1831 Act. It's also something that's been explictly in the USC for many decades now. The proposed revisions quoted in footnote 6 look so familiar I suspect they were enacted without revision. By Point 8 are you referring to paragraph 8?

We unanimously conclude that where a magazine has purchased the right of first publication under circumstances which show that the author has no intention to donate his work to the public, copyright notice in the magazine's name is sufficient to obtain a valid copyright on behalf of the beneficial owner, the author or proprietor.

That's a hugely important matter regarding sufficiency of notice in first publication to obtain valid copyright "on behalf of..." and it's independent of contracts. But the issue we are dealing with is who may claim renewal registration in a work which is a seperate issue. In the case of a periodical this question often relates to various works which are components of the periodical as a whole but which have seperate copyright ownership.
What I wrote about "work made for hire" above is very badly worded and not right in the sentence beginning "I.E.,...". I think I lost a rewording of "(including arrangement of all components to form the whole work so reproducing all the public domain material in this composite work in the same order in another composite work probably would be a copyright infringement as the selection and arrangement seem to possess sufficient creativity to be copyrightable)". My understanding is that PCW in a periodical such as this would cover use of the non-owned components so long as there was a valid written contract allowing this reuse and many standard contracts would allow this. However, that's a contractual use right not a right of ownership in the components. I'll refind the relevant law to cite later if you wish. IIRC, those reuse rights may be subject to reversion under present law but the reversion requires a recorded Notice Of Intent five years ahead of time and can't be initiated until 35 years after the original contract; something like that anyway. I wasn't paying a lot of attention when reading about that recently or interested enough when reading about it previously to remember it too clearly.
I'll want to reread and reference present law and relevant history & revision. Cornell is an excellent site when you want that sort of information as well as information of current law affected by new legislation. Here's a link to Title 17. However, for the moment let me direct your attention to footnote 6 of Goodis. I believe the proposed act sections there are the same or substantially the same as current enacted law. Notice the legal presumption in "(c) Contributions to Collective Works. — Copyright in each separate contribution to a collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole, and vests initially in the author of the contribution. In the absence of an express transfer of copyright or of any rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only the privilege of reproducing and distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the same series.", the wording of 403(a) and 405(a). BTW, I think "Error in name" is what the Copyright Office uses as the basis for creating the registration numbers I mention above to allow copyright registration renewals by contributors to periodicals that weren't previously registered but were published with notice.
Is your link to Goodis correct? The part about the contract involved in the case seems to be to a dissenting opinion on that issue. Anyway, the contract involved has little to do with standard publishing contracts of the time and was a contract concerning derivative rights. First North American Serial Rights would be a decent search term to get results about standard publishing contracts though they'll likely be mostly current information. Still they'll include ones much like they were decades ago. Maybe search for publishing contracts, history of standard 20th century American publishing contracts or something of the sort or look for old books in a library or used bookstore. What you want are books aimed at beginning writers that include discussion of marketing and contract negotiation that are old or have some information on the history of publishing contracts as well as current standard contract types and terms. I expect the Amazing contract for Small Town was for First English Language Serial Rights or something of the sort. At any rate your presumptions about standard contracts of the time for magazine contributions are far from what was common and your inference about copyright protection differs from the legal presumption. Writers and their agents wanted to be able to sell rights as many times as possible and tried to negotiate terms that gave away as few rights as possible. I think FNASR would have been the most common contract used for sales to periodicals that didn't publish outside the US and Canada and first English (language) or first world publishing rights next most commonly used.
I'm going about half-blind and half-witted from the computer screen and looking at the editing window plus different tabs and probably doing cut and paste things that just garble matters more plus time seems to have flown away like I've been in a trance so I'll just stop now if the preview doesn't look FUBAR. I still think it a good idea in general to seek out disinterested "expert advice" about the PCW renewal issue even if this and other information seems to resolve the question. Perhaps competing POV "expert advice" is more realistic than disinterested "expert advice" and it's not such a good idea on reflection. I have almost nothing good to say about the "new" copyright law or its effects.


Philip K. Dick died intestate on March 2, 1982 in his resident state of Californis. IIRC, the probate proceedings dealt with many complex matters and/or time prolonging matters,including at least one lawsuit disputing ownership of some materials in the CSUF Special Collections (the state of California prevailed in that suit) and other disputed matters and took very many years. I don't know if the pre-emptive federal law governing copyright inheritance complicated or simplified this [process] but the probate proceedings would have insured court supervision and determination of what his property was, and how it was distributed including who held what rights in his copyrights at time of death and after any actions necessary to secure assets, pay debts, fullfill obligations and so on to distribute his property and clear up his relevant financial matters according to law. Notification of potential claimants individually and by publication of constructive notice of the matter would have been part of the process. Regardless of the inherent defects of constructive notice by publication it is improbable that any publisher with interests in the probate proceedings would have missed their day in court as his death was widely publicized and he had been a client of the same literary agency since 1952 so information about his copyright-related domestic and foreign contractual agreements would have been easy to ascertain from the agency files. I don't know if there were any appeals or any federal court proceedings specific to copyright matters. I think Wikisource should defer to court determinations here as AdamBMorgan has not raised any issues that are not extremely speculative, creditably acknowledged his concern is not based on strong knowledge of how relevant copyright law works or explained how Hasbro is potentially the copyright owner. Perhaps he meant TRS rather than Hasbro but this would still apparently relate to Copyright vs. Use Rights, i.e., contractual use rights rather copyright ownership. However his basic concern is about PCW registration renewal and whether "the proprietor's claim in the entire work covers everything in the work that is not separately renewed". I believe this a settled question but for the moment will note publication history of Small Town does not support this idea and that The Golden Man (short story collection including Small Town) is copyright 1980 by Philip K. Dick except for a seperate copyright to the foreword by Mark Hurst, on the copyright page of this book the publisher states, "published by arrangement with the author" and while the Acknowledgements page lists the original publications of the stories in the format showing copyright in the original periodical where first published without any reprint permission statements I recognize some of the stories as previously published in anthologies showing copyright in the original periodical where first published followed by statements such as "Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent". I believe Belmont was one of the publishers that made such full statements even in the 1950s and 1960s. I have more to say and of a more general nature regarding PCW renewals relevant to the time periods that matter to Wikisource but no time to do so at the moment except to ask if Wikisource would object to asking outside sources knowledgeable about the PCW renewal matter for information and comment. Indeed that seems a useful idea for reference by other Wikimedia Foundation projects to help avoid improper inclusion or exclusion of materials due to lack of clarity about the law. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 07:55, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


If I'd responded to the December 11 notation by citing 17 USC 201 and pasting that in with with a public domain portion of Historical and Revision Notes and few words indicating some parts I wanted to emphasize plus a link to what was pasted in, would that have cleared up the question without all the tongue-twisted, time consuming blather I've previously written? Possibly with citations to other parts of Title 17 and reference to relevant history & revision?

17 USC § 201 - Ownership of copyright

(a) Initial Ownership.— Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work. (b) Works Made for Hire.— In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright. (c) Contributions to Collective Works.— Copyright in each separate contribution to a collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole, and vests initially in the author of the contribution. In the absence of an express transfer of the copyright or of any rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only the privilege of reproducing and distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the same series. (d) Transfer of Ownership.— (1) The ownership of a copyright may be transferred in whole or in part by any means of conveyance or by operation of law, and may be bequeathed by will or pass as personal property by the applicable laws of intestate succession. (2) Any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, including any subdivision of any of the rights specified by section 106, may be transferred as provided by clause (1) and owned separately. The owner of any particular exclusive right is entitled, to the extent of that right, to all of the protection and remedies accorded to the copyright owner by this title. (e) Involuntary Transfer.— When an individual author’s ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, has not previously been transferred voluntarily by that individual author, no action by any governmental body or other official or organization purporting to seize, expropriate, transfer, or exercise rights of ownership with respect to the copyright, or any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, shall be given effect under this title, except as provided under title 11. prev \ next (a) Initial Ownership.— Copyright in a work protected under this title vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work. (b) Works Made for Hire.— In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright. (c) Contributions to Collective Works.— Copyright in each separate contribution to a collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole, and vests initially in the author of the contribution. In the absence of an express transfer of the copyright or of any rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is presumed to have acquired only the privilege of reproducing and distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the same series. (d) Transfer of Ownership.— (1) The ownership of a copyright may be transferred in whole or in part by any means of conveyance or by operation of law, and may be bequeathed by will or pass as personal property by the applicable laws of intestate succession. (2) Any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, including any subdivision of any of the rights specified by section 106, may be transferred as provided by clause (1) and owned separately. The owner of any particular exclusive right is entitled, to the extent of that right, to all of the protection and remedies accorded to the copyright owner by this title. (e) Involuntary Transfer.— When an individual author’s ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, has not previously been transferred voluntarily by that individual author, no action by any governmental body or other official or organization purporting to seize, expropriate, transfer, or exercise rights of ownership with respect to the copyright, or any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, shall be given effect under this title, except as provided under title 11.

Source

(Pub. L. 94–553, title I, § 101,Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2568; Pub. L. 95–598, title III, § 313,Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2676.) Historical and Revision Notes

house report no. 94–1476

Initial Ownership. Two basic and well-established principles of copyright law are restated in section 201 (a): that the source of copyright ownership is the author of the work, and that, in the case of a “joint work,” the coauthors of the work are likewise coowners of the copyright. Under the definition of section 101, a work is “joint” if the authors collaborated with each other, or if each of the authors prepared his or her contribution with the knowledge and intention that it would be merged with the contributions of other authors as “inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” The touchstone here is the intention, at the time the writing is done, that the parts be absorbed or combined into an integrated unit, although the parts themselves may be either “inseparable” (as the case of a novel or painting) or “interdependent” (as in the case of a motion picture, opera, or the words and music of a song). The definition of “joint work” is to be contrasted with the definition of “collective work,” also in section 101, in which the elements of merger and unity are lacking; there the key elements are assemblage or gathering of “separate and independent works * * * into a collective whole.” The definition of “joint works” has prompted some concern lest it be construed as converting the authors of previously written works, such as plays, novels, and music, into coauthors of a motion picture in which their work is incorporated. It is true that a motion picture would normally be a joint rather than a collective work with respect to those authors who actually work on the film, although their usual status as employees for hire would keep the question of coownership from coming up. On the other hand, although a novelist, playwright, or songwriter may write a work with the hope or expectation that it will be used in a motion picture, this is clearly a case of separate or independent authorship rather than one where the basic intention behind the writing of the work was for motion picture use. In this case, the motion picture is a derivative work within the definition of that term, and section 103 makes plain that copyright in a derivative work is independent of, and does not enlarge the scope of rights in, any preexisting material incorporated in it. There is thus no need to spell this conclusion out in the definition of “joint work.” There is also no need for a specific statutory provision concerning the rights and duties of the coowners of a work; court-made law on this point is left undisturbed. Under the bill, as under the present law, coowners of a copyright would be treated generally as tenants in common, with each coowner having an independent right to use or license the use of a work, subject to a duty of accounting to the other coowners for any profits. Works Made for Hire.Section 201(b) of the bill adopts one of the basic principles of the present law: that in the case of works made for hire the employer is considered the author of the work, and is regarded as the initial owner of copyright unless there has been an agreement otherwise. The subsection also requires that any agreement under which the employee is to own rights be in writing and signed by the parties. The work-made-for-hire provisions of this bill represent a carefully balanced compromise, and as such they do not incorporate the amendments proposed by screenwriters and composers for motion pictures. Their proposal was for the recognition of something similar to the “shop right” doctrine of patent law: with some exceptions, the employer would acquire the right to use the employee’s work to the extent needed for purposes of his regular business, but the employee would retain all other rights as long as he or she refrained from the authorizing of competing uses. However, while this change might theoretically improve the bargaining position of screenwriters and others as a group, the practical benefits that individual authors would receive are highly conjectural. The presumption that initial ownership rights vest in the employer for hire is well established in American copyright law, and to exchange that for the uncertainties of the shop right doctrine would not only be of dubious value to employers and employees alike, but might also reopen a number of other issues. The status of works prepared on special order or commission was a major issue in the development of the definition of “works made for hire” in section 101, which has undergone extensive revision during the legislative process. The basic problem is how to draw a statutory line between those works written on special order or commission that should be considered as “works made for hire,” and those that should not. The definition now provided by the bill represents a compromise which, in effect, spells out those specific categories of commissioned works that can be considered “works made for hire” under certain circumstances. Of these, one of the most important categories is that of “instructional texts.” This term is given its own definition in the bill: “a literary, pictorial, or graphic work prepared for publication with the purpose of use in systematic instructional activities.” The concept is intended to include what might be loosely called “textbook material,” whether or not in book form or prepared in the form of text matter. The basic characteristic of “instructional texts” is the purpose of their preparation for “use in systematic instructional activities,” and they are to be distinguished from works prepared for use by a general readership. Contributions to Collective Works.Subsection (c) ofsection 201 deals with the troublesome problem of ownership of copyright in contributions to collective works, and the relationship between copyright ownership in a contribution and in the collective work in which it appears. The first sentence establishes the basic principle that copyright in the individual contribution and copyright in the collective work as a whole are separate and distinct, and that the author of the contribution is, as in every other case, the first owner of copyright in it. Under the definitions in section 101, a “collective work” is a species of “compilation” and, by its nature, must involve the selection, assembly, and arrangement of “a number of contributions.” Examples of “collective works” would ordinarily include periodical issues, anthologies, symposia, and collections of the discrete writings of the same authors, but not cases, such as a composition consisting of words and music, a work published with illustrations or front matter, or three one-act plays, where relatively few separate elements have been brought together. Unlike the contents of other types of “compilations,” each of the contributions incorporated in a “collective work” must itself constitute a “separate and independent” work, therefore ruling out compilations of information or other uncopyrightable material and works published with editorial revisions or annotations. Moreover, as noted above, there is a basic distinction between a “joint work,” where the separate elements merge into a unified whole, and a “collective work,” where they remain unintegrated and disparate. The bill does nothing to change the rights of the owner of copyright in a collective work under the present law. These exclusive rights extend to the elements of compilation and editing that went into the collective work as a whole, as well as the contributions that were written for hire by employees of the owner of the collective work, and those copyrighted contributions that have been transferred in writing to the owner by their authors. However, one of the most significant aims of the bill is to clarify and improve the present confused and frequently unfair legal situation with respect to rights in contributions. The second sentence of section 201 (c), in conjunction with the provisions of section 404 dealing with copyright notice, will preserve the author’s copyright in a contribution even if the contribution does not bear a separate notice in the author’s name, and without requiring any unqualified transfer of rights to the owner of the collective work. This is coupled with a presumption that, unless there has been an express transfer of more, the owner of the collective work acquires, “only the privilege of reproducing and distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the same series.” The basic presumption of section 201 (c) is fully consistent with present law and practice, and represents a fair balancing of equities. At the same time, the last clause of the subsection, under which the privilege of republishing the contribution under certain limited circumstances would be presumed, is an essential counterpart of the basic presumption. Under the language of this clause a publishing company could reprint a contribution from one issue in a later issue of its magazine, and could reprint an article from a 1980 edition of an encyclopedia in a 1990 revision of it; the publisher could not revise the contribution itself or include it in a new anthology or an entirely different magazine or other collective work. Transfer of Ownership. The principle of unlimited alienability of copyright is stated in clause (1) of section 201 (d). Under that provision the ownership of a copyright, or of any part of it, may be transferred by any means of conveyance or by operation of law, and is to be treated as personal property upon the death of the owner. The term “transfer of copyright ownership” is defined in section 101 to cover any “conveyance, alienation, or hypothecation,” including assignments, mortgages, and exclusive licenses, but not including nonexclusive licenses. Representatives of motion picture producers have argued that foreclosures of copyright mortgages should not be left to varying State laws, and that the statute should establish a Federal foreclosure system. However, the benefits of such a system would be of very limited application, and would not justify the complicated statutory and procedural requirements that would have to be established. Clause (2) of subsection (d) contains the first explicit statutory recognition of the principle of divisibility of copyright in our law. This provision, which has long been sought by authors and their representatives, and which has attracted wide support from other groups, means that any of the exclusive rights that go to make up a copyright, including those enumerated in section 106 and any subdivision of them, can be transferred and owned separately. The definition of “transfer of copyright ownership” in section 101 makes clear that the principle of divisibility applies whether or not the transfer is “limited in time or place of effect,” and another definition in the same section provides that the term “copyright owner,” with respect to any one exclusive right, refers to the owner of that particular right. The last sentence of section 201 (d)(2) adds that the owner, with respect to the particular exclusive right he or she owns, is entitled “to all of the protection and remedies accorded to the copyright owner by this title.” It is thus clear, for example, that a local broadcasting station holding an exclusive license to transmit a particular work within a particular geographic area and for a particular period of time, could sue, in its own name as copyright owner, someone who infringed that particular exclusive right. Subsection (e) provides that when an individual author’s ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, have not previously been voluntarily transferred, no action by any governmental body or other official or organization purporting to seize, expropriate, transfer, or exercise rights of ownership with respect to the copyright, or any of the exclusive rights under a copyright, shall be given effect under this title. The purpose of this subsection is to reaffirm the basic principle that the United States copyright of an individual author shall be secured to that author, and cannot be taken away by any involuntary transfer. It is the intent of the subsection that the author be entitled, despite any purported expropriation or involuntary transfer, to continue exercising all rights under the United States statute, and that the governmental body or organization may not enforce or exercise any rights under this title in that situation. It may sometimes be difficult to ascertain whether a transfer of copyright is voluntary or is coerced by covert pressure. But subsection (e) would protect foreign authors against laws and decrees purporting to divest them of their rights under the United States copyright statute, and would protect authors within the foreign country who choose to resist such covert pressures. Traditional legal actions that may involve transfer of ownership, such as bankruptcy proceedings and mortgage foreclosures, are not within the scope of this subsection; the authors in such cases have voluntarily consented to these legal processes by their overt actions—for example, by filing in bankruptcy or by hypothecating a copyright. [There's a little more info on Amendments but I'm not sure if it's OK to include that here.]

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/201

Forgot to sign comment. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 10:57, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


  • Delete - There is no indication that the author intended to reserve rights from the publishing periodical in this case (no seperate copyright notice/indication pointing to the specific contribution/author in the publication; no separate registration/notice on file for the story under the author's name since that publication).

    A PCW renewal, RE0000147985 / 1982-12-14, for initial registration B00000460794 / 1954-02-09 exists in the proper name of periodical's current proprietor(s). For the SFFaudio argument to hold, the application should have not only stated the Small Town 1954 title as it did but also the associated intial reg # for that 1954 issue, B00000460794 / 1954-02-09, Not the original reg. # B00000530393 / 1955-02-10 (which was also properly renewed under RE0000160484 / 1983-02-28 in case that fact wasn't made clear).

    And I don't get where a 2nd Circuit, 1970 decision can cite yet-to-be-passed 1976 law based only on a committee report of the day and "get away with it" (yes Congress came within inches of passing what eventually became the 1976 act once or twice before) in Goodis v. United Artists Television Inc., but the 1909 act and only the 1909 Act, as amended, was the authority of the day in 1969/1970 and that means for the most part we're still under the 'indivisibility of copyright' principle and Section 24 of the 1909 act, not section 201, 401 or whatever else they stated in that footnote(See here for the ultimate date vs. copyright-law-in-effect search engine).

    Aside from that, the opinion seems to mirror my understanding when it comes to the "4 exceptions" to the normal renewal right statutes for pre 1963 (or pre 1978) works & I see no indication that the author or his statutory kin have any standing in this work as the PCW renewal seems to own the day... from 1954 on forward. -- George Orwell III (talk) 11:13, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

"(See here for the ultimate date vs. copyright-law-in-effect search engine)". I've seen and this looks like a very handy resource but a search for the law in effect during the period within which Philip K. Dick died doesn't support your position. I'd like to particularly draw your attention to some sections though it naturally needs to be read as a whole and interaction with law outside Title 17, regulations made under valid delegated authority, case law, subsequent changes in law and who knows what else may be important to correct interpretation for general copyright status and Wikisource purposes. Note sections 101-106 especially relevant 101 definitions and 103(b); 201-205; 301-305 especially 301 and 304(a); 401-412 especially 404(a), 404(b), 406(a), 408(c)(3), and section 409.

§ 301. Preemption with respect to other laws

(a) On and after January 1, 1978, all legal or equitable rights that are equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright as specified by section 106 in works of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression and came within the subject matter of copyright as specified by sections 102 and 103, whether created before or after that date and whether published or unpublished, are governed exclusively by this title. Thereafter, no person is entitled to any such right or equivalent right in any such work under the common law or statutes of any State.

304. Duration of copyright: Subsisting copyrights

(a) COPYRIGHTS IN THEIR FIRST TERM ON JANUARY 1, 1978.—Any copyright, the first term of which is subsisting on January 1, 1978, shall endure for twenty-eight years from the date it was originally secured: Provided, That in the case of any posthumous work or of any periodical, cyclopedic, or other composite work upon which the copyright was originally secured by the proprietor thereof, or of any work copyrighted by a corporate body (otherwise than as assignee or licensee of the individual author) or by an employer for whom such work is made for hire, the proprietor of such copyright shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for the further term of forty-seven years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the Copyright Office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopedic or other composite work, the author of such work, if still living, or the widow, widower, or children of the author, if the author be not living, or if such author, widow, widower, or children be not living, then the author’s executors, or in the absence of a will, his or her next of kin shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for a further term of forty-seven years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the Copyright Office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in default of the registration of such application for renewal and extension, the copyright in any work shall terminate at the expiration of twenty-eight years from the date copyright was originally secured.


The text of Title 17 as it existed on the date Small Town was published in 1954 doesn't appear to support your position either though I think we should leave discussion about that for later except that I wish to remind you Section 24 cannot be read in isolation. Please read Title 17 as it existed on March 2, 1982 and whatever else you think relevant and let me know whether you think Small Town is currently public domain in the US. If you still think Small Town is not public domain please explain the basis of your position. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 03:59, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Dick did not (actually could not) have negotiated the publication of his story in the periodical in question back in 1954 with the "benefits" of the amended provisions only enacted for the first time in 1976 and then put into effect by 1978 in mind. Didn't happen.

He had to negotiate that deal, if he did any negotiating at all, under the statutes of the day in effect in 1954 and that would be the 1909 Act, as amended, as codified and applied in practice at the time. That means simply cashing a check from the publishers prior to first publication could be construed as the complete sale of the story and any of the rights that the law may have provided for back then as well as any rights provided by the law since (if still applicable). You argue 'of course he meant to retain his rights as the author' and that all he did was 'merely contract with the publisher for a single first publication in a sole periodical'. I would like to believe that but I just don't see any clear evidence of that intent. Remember, under the 1909 Act there was no stipulation for written agreements to facilitate the transfer of copyright ownership or the Christmas tree of derived rights based in that ownership; Common law still had standing back then.

If he didn't want to sell the "whole" story, he would have made that clear in the original negotiation and a 2nd copyright notice should have appeared along with his name when the periodical was published. No evidence of this. If the publisher agreed to the 2nd notice but did not fulfill their commitment, the practice of the day would have been filing a separate registration under his name and the stand-alone title. No evidence of this either.

So I have no evidence of any intent to first retain some degree of his rights back in 1954 nor any evidence of the intent to challenge the infringement of those supposed rights since 1954 (never mind the 4-6 years between the passage of the 1976 Act and his eventual death in 1982). If first publication equated to the initial establishment of copyright rights, one still needed to have affixed proper copyright notice at the time and register separately if one ever hoped to prosecute infringement afterward. Again, ther is no evidence that this was the author's intent. Sorry, I just don't see all that being a coincidence nor supporting arguement. -- George Orwell III (talk) 06:06, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Are we at least in agreement that the issue relevant to Wikisource is whether the story Small Town was timely renewed in 1982? That won't settle all the major copyright renewal issues important to Wikisource but if it is the case we can start with the narrower PCW related issues concerning renewals of works in their first term of copyright on January 1, 1978. Title 17 seems clear on that to me and the author's desires in 1954 are of no more significance to Congress than they would have been to his local draft board. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 16:32, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

That was established early on & the reason this discussion was opened. A PCW renewal, RE0000147985 / 1982-12-14, for initial registration B00000460794 / 1954-02-09 exists in the proper name of periodical's current proprietor(s). Nobody has provided a copyright registration, notice, certificate, etc. that refutes that singularity (well, as far as I can tell) and that would make sense to me if indeed the ownership of the copyright was transfered by what was considered a valid means of conveyance or operation of law at the time (& as informal as that might have been by today's standards) to the periodical's proprietors. Again, the operating premise at the time was an 'indivisibility of copyright' and that lines up with the lack of any 2nd copyright notice credited to the author in the initial print run as well as the lack of a separate copyright filing under the author's name citing the single work. It doesn't matter what the 1976 Act was suppose to revive, restore or terminate - based on what we can all agree upon (i.e. the aforementioned 1982 renewal @ copyright.gov), Dick was never the owner of the copyrightThe lack of any proactive action on Dick's part or his potential interests makes me think he was never the owner of that copyright. That's the way I judge his intent. -- George Orwell III (talk) 17:19, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
Copied from Talk:Small Town by AdamBMorgan (talk) 00:31, 17 December 2012 (UTC):
Philip K. Dick died intestate on March 2, 1982 in his resident state of Californis. IIRC, the probate proceedings dealt with many complex matters and/or time prolonging matters,including at least one lawsuit disputing ownership of some materials in the CSUF Special Collections (the state of California prevailed in that suit) and other disputed matters and took very many years. I don't know if the pre-emptive federal law governing copyright inheritance complicated or simplified this process but the probate proceedings would have insured court supervision and determination of what his property was, and how it was distributed including who held what rights in his copyrights at time of death and after any actions necessary to secure assets, pay debts, fullfill obligations and so on to distribute his property and clear up his relevant financial matters according to law. Notification of potential claimants individually and by publication of constructive notice of the matter would have been part of the process. Regardless of the inherent defects of constructive notice by publication it is improbable that any publisher with interests in the probate proceedings would have missed their day in court as his death was widely publicized and he had been a client of the same literary agency since 1952 so information about his copyright-related domestic and foreign contractual agreements would have been easy to ascertain from the agency files. I don't know if there were any appeals or any federal court proceedings specific to copyright matters. I think Wikisource should defer to court determinations here as AdamBMorgan has not raised any issues that are not extremely speculative, creditably acknowledged his concern is not based on strong knowledge of how relevant copyright law works or explained how Hasbro is potentially the copyright owner. Perhaps he meant TRS rather than Hasbro but this would still apparently relate to Copyright vs. Use Rights, i.e., contractual use rights rather copyright ownership. However his basic concern is about PCW registration renewal and whether "the proprietor's claim in the entire work covers everything in the work that is not separately renewed". I believe this a settled question but for the moment will note publication history of Small Town does not support this idea and that The Golden Man (short story collection including Small Town) is copyright 1980 by Philip K. Dick except for a seperate copyright to the foreword by Mark Hurst, on the copyright page of this book the publisher states, "published by arrangement with the author" and while the Acknowledgements page lists the original publications of the stories in the format showing copyright in the original periodical where first published without any reprint permission statements I recognize some of the stories as previously published in anthologies showing copyright in the original periodical where first published followed by statements such as "Reprinted by permission of the author and his agent". I believe Belmont was one of the publishers that made such full statements even in the 1950s and 1960s. I have more to say and of a more general nature regarding PCW renewals relevant to the time periods that matter to Wikisource but no time to do so at the moment except to ask if Wikisource would object to asking outside sources knowledgeable about the PCW renewal matter for information and comment. Indeed that seems a useful idea for reference by other Wikimedia Foundation projects to help avoid improper inclusion or exclusion of materials due to lack of clarity about the law. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 00:55, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
It's not TRS, it's TSR, which was bought out by the Wizards of the Coast, which was bought out by Hasbro. The Amazing Stories article mentions that TSR bought out the copyrights, and while Paizo briefly published it, it was under license from Hasbro, and the article mentions that Steve Davidson bought out the trademark, not the copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:24, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
George Orwell III, I can and will document this story's copyright status with the detailed sort of information you want. Likely will do the same for some other stories in the process as its inclusion in The Golden Man (the 1980 single author collection of short stories, not the title story) was copyrighted by PKD as author and I can provide a scan of the copyright and acknowledgements pages from this along with other information. Indeed I tried to do some of that a while back with an offer to do more, such as post that TGM scan, but lost what I'd written in an edit conflict. Will also address other matters raised. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 23:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Not that it has any bearing on this discussion or the uploaded 1954 scans in particular, but what is wrong with just citing the needed info from copyright.gov? (I'm assuming that information would be online). -- George Orwell III (talk) 03:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
FWIW... The registration info for The Golden Man is TX0000437281 / 1980-03-20. The 'Basis of Claim' given is: New Matter: compilation, introductions, story notes & afterword.

I don't see what relevance can be gained from citing this as "support" for anything conclusive - the simple fact being this collection re-used previously registered work(s); Small Town not having reached its renewal term yet by roughly two years to boot. Information Circular 14 at Copyright.gov pretty much covers the nuances at play here...

“The copyright in a derivative work covers only the additions, changes, or other new material appearing for the first time in the work. It does not extend to any preexisting material and does not imply a copyright in that material.

“One cannot extend the length of protection for a copyrighted work by creating a derivative work. A work that has fallen in the public domain, that is, which is no longer protected by copyright, may be used for a derivative work, but the copyright in the derivative work will not restore the copyright of the public domain material. Neither will it prevent anyone else from using the same public domain work for another derivative work. In any case where a protected work is used unlawfully, that is, without the permission of the owner of copyright, copyright will not be extended to the illegally used part.”

I don't see how this invalidates the renewal previously cited or the rational I've given behind it. -- George Orwell III (talk) 00:07, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

However, I still don't see support for your arguement that the copyright of a contribution to a periodical in the relevant time period somehow becomes property of whoever files a PCW renewal for the periodical issue for whatever contributions weren't renewed by the author. Can you cite post-1978 statutes, regulations, court cases or other evidence to support this belief which I've not come across before? This is a matter of general importance to Wikisource and elsewhere. Indeed, I believe we need to seek some authoritative advice on the general issue and have some thoughts on how we can do that to mutual satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 23:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Well the one that's recently come to light is the ruling in Self-Realization v. Ananda Church (9th Circuit, 2000). The case involves matters other than just contributions to periodicals but the point there still hinges on the author's intent, the relationship of certain registrations made in his name that seemingly ran contrary to that intent to the proprietors of the magazine and the 1909 copyright statutes on thru the latest at the time of the ruling. -- George Orwell III (talk) 03:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
BTW, it's been a long time since I've read any 1950's books written for new or aspiring authors but my recollection is that those I read had a great deal of discussion about rights and contract negotiation that contradicts what you seem to believe about "indivisibility" (an admittedly murky subject which I'm not well informed about),relevant standard business practices or standard copyright registration practices. Also, I'll mention the unlikeliness that in 1954 either publisher or author would have been negotiating with any belief the story would not be in the public domain now so there was presumably a meeting of the minds that it would be public domain after 56 years maximum. Additionally, it seems unlikely to me that anything but an All Rights contract in 1954 would cover ebook publication rights which apparently could be relevant to this issue for Wikisource. Still, the law is full of things that seem unlikely, invalid or simply wrong to me but that doesn't change what the law is in theory or practice and it doesn't change Wikisource policies based on what the Wikisource powers believe. Refrigerator Heaven (talk) 23:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Beg to differ. You are making assumptions and assertions based on your knowledge of the copyright laws as they eventually came to be with the benefit of hindsight; not as if the law was going remain relatively static as would be the most logical train of thought back in 1954. They had no idea Title 17 would ever be revised to the degree or scope that it was - this is why following the rules and regulations of the day is key for gaining insight in the absence of more specific evidence such as the wriiten contracts parties are forced to submit nowadays to transfer ownership and/or rights.

With the absence of Henn freely online, I suggest you look over Mayer, The Transfer of Copyright Ownership to Periodicals, 46 Fordham L. Rev., p. 907 (1978) for the realities of the common law pitfalls facing authors prior to the 1976 Act taking effect. (Please note how Mr. Mayer affixed a 2nd copyright notice to his article separate from the Law Review's "blanket-copyright"; this was inline with the stipulations outlined in the law that were still in effect at the time. As a result, his 'intent' is far less ambiguous when tested.) -- George Orwell III (talk) 03:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

The Theory of Matrix[edit]

The following discussion is closed: Delete, copyvio Jeepday (talk) 11:22, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
This is a direct copy of this page on which copyright is claimed. Normally I would speedy this as G6 (Clear copyvio). However, it is the author who has uploaded it and she appears (from her User page) to be associated with the publisher, so there may be some release involved. If it wasn't for the copyvio issue I would have listed this work at Proposed Deletions as it seems to me that this work is "vanity" published. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 00:17, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Note There is a CC non-commercial license http://www.coresynthesis.org.uk/copyright.php, on the page which is not consistent with Wikisource Licensing requirements. 11:46, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Haunting Columns[edit]

The following discussion is closed: page changed to use {{Bibliowiki page}}, which should prevent re-creation
This whould be a quick one: "Haunting Columns" by Robert Ervin Howard. Published in Weird Tales (February 1938), copyright renewed by Howard's estate (in the form of Mrs. P. M. Kuykendall), renewal number R369099. It is already on Wikilivres (wikilivres:Haunting Columns). I suggest deletion and replacement with a soft redirect to the wikilivres page. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 18:25, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
A soft redirect will be removed in the clean-up process. Either a normal redirect or another solution should be chosen--Mpaa (talk) 21:20, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
How would a soft redirect be removed? Jeepday (talk) 22:30, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
By this bot Wikisource:Bot_requests/Persistent_tasks#Soft_redirect_maintenance.--Mpaa (talk) 23:50, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
That says "double redirects and other anomalies (redirects with no target or with a target outside this wiki)" will be deleted, and "dated soft redirects older than two months" will be deleted. If you use {{Soft redirect}} and not {{Dated soft redirect}} it should be relatively permanent, unless I have missed something. JeepdaySock (AKA, Jeepday) 11:44, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you are right. I had dated redirects in mind for other reasons and forgot about the difference.--Mpaa (talk) 12:25, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Even better, I've remembered we already have a template for this: {{Bibliowiki page}}. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 17:30, 16 January 2013 (UTC)


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