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Re: Re: Re: Image of Public Domain document


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Posted by M Arthur Auslander on December 09, 2002 at 23:42:45:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Image of Public Domain document posted by Cyndie on December 09, 2002 at 08:49:37:

: : : Can you legally transcribe the contents of a Public Domain document, such as 1910 U.S. Census Records or original cemetery interment records prior to 1923, from a commercially published and copyrighted CD or microfilm of images of the source documents (not a database, but actual images)? It is my understanding that the CD and the Images themselves on the CD are copyrighted, but the contents of the embodied document in the image resides with the original author, which in these examples are Public Domain.

: : : Thanks for your advise.

: : Dear Cyndie,
: : I seem to recollect that the Register of Copyrights has a memo that says all works prior to about 1923 are in the public domain. Reproducctions of works are registerable. Without taking professional responsibility and without research, I think you are at risk copyiing from a copyrighted publication as you have put it.

: : I've registered copyrights on reproductions of ancient works that I feel sure would stand up in court if copied.

: : The whole legality has to be understood and looked into.

: : M. Arthur Auslander
: : Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
: : 505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
: : 212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028, aus@auslander.com
: : ELAINE's Workshop®
: : E arly L egal A dvice I s N ot E xpensive™
: : Reality Check®

:
: I sent a message to the US Copyright Office, and they responded that this is okay to do. Changing the format that the work is in does not change the fact that the work is in the Public Domain.

Dear Cyndie,
If I represented the copyright holder, based on the facts as stated by you I would recommend legal action against you. I think I'd win. There is a very distinct fact pattern here.

M. Arthur Auslander
Auslander & Thomas-Intellectual Property Law Since 1909
505 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018
212-594-6900, fax 212-244-0028, aus@auslander.com
ELAINE's Workshop®
E arly L egal A dvice I s N ot E xpensive™
Reality Check®





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