Re: reprinting city directory ad in public domain
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Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on January 20, 2001 at 04:09:22:
In Reply to: reprinting city directory ad in public domain posted by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack on January 19, 2001 at 15:27:22:
: I found an advertisement in an 1869 city directory I want to reprint in a book Iím writing. My understanding is that this work would be in the public domain, so I can reprint freely from the original. I initially found this directory on microfilm, and at the beginning of the microfilm it says that no copies may be made from it without permission of the "publisher," who was listed as the American Antiquarian Society. When I wrote for permission, they wanted a $75 reprint fee. Do I need to pay this to reprint from a work in the public domain? I have also found an original copy of the directory that is not on microfilm in a public library. Both are identical. Thank you.
Dear Ms. Carmack,
My understanding of the law is that a copyright on a reproduction of a public domain work is valid. What you have found sounds like it is in the public domain. If it is owned by the library, it is not clear if you have a right to repoduce what you down own.
I don't believe that you could go to the Lourve and select and photograph from what is shown and reproduce for your own benefit.
M. Arthur Auslander
The Intellectual Property Law Server
Old Copyright Forum