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 Post subject: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Master
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EWTN hosts the entirety of "A Map of Life" by Frank Sheed
http://www.ewtn.com/library/spirit/maplif.txt

Is this book in the Public Domain? Mr Sheed seems to have only died 37 years ago (50 years is automatic PD in Canada) so did he just simply not apply or renew the copyright?

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:30 pm 
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I am confident that EWTN would not host it illegally.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:33 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I am confident that EWTN would not host it illegally.


I am as well. But is it only something that can be legitimately viewed through their website, or am I free to distribute a pdf or printed version of it?

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Now that, I couldn't say, especially as you are in the Frozen North, where laws may be different.

ETA: Given this: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/onlin ... sheed-ward I would have no qualms about assuming this is one of those works which has been "allowed to lapse into public domain."

EATA: I checked the copyright renewal database, and it does not seem to have been renewed.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:13 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Now that, I couldn't say, especially as you are in the Frozen North, where laws may be different.



The rules are the same worldwide (that is the entire point of the Bern Convention to which nearly every country on the planet is a signatory) with only one difference: in the United States, copyrights last 20 years longer than anywhere else in the world. Thus, Canada's laws are less restrictive than in the US.

Looking up the book in question, it was first published in 1933, under the pre-1978 law. In the pre-1978 law, copyright lasted for 28 years, and could be renewed once, in the last year, for an additional 28 years. That means that the 1933 copyright expired in 1971, if Sheed chose not to renew it, it then entered into the public domain in 1972.

Under the old law, more than 75% of all copyrights expired after one 28 year term and were never renewed (which means that the system worked just fine, authors got their money and after 28 years were either dead, or simply felt content to let the copyright lapse, and there was no need to make copyrigths last longer), which means there's a good chance that Sheed never renewed the copyright. Indeed, given the vast number of websites (not just EWTN) that host digital copies of it, it seems clear that it must not have been renewed.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest side effects of the extension of copyrights is that there is a vast number of 'orphaned' works for which the author is long dead and has no heirs, or even the heirs are long dead, and thus NO ONE owns the copyright meaning that the work can never be republished ever because there is no one to grant permission for re-publication. This is clearly stupid and if there is ever another copyright act, this issue needs to be addressed.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:23 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The rules are the same worldwide (that is the entire point of the Bern Convention to which nearly every country on the planet is a signatory) with only one difference: in the United States, copyrights last 20 years longer than anywhere else in the world.

The Berne Convention establishes minimums, not strict maximums. So in the UK individual copyrights expire 70 years after the death of the author, just as in the United States. And there are countries in which copyrights last longer than they do in the U.S.

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 Post subject: Re: "A Map of Life" Usage Rights
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:55 am 
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Someone owns the copyrights of "orphan" works. It's just well-nigh impossible to figure out who.

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