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DCM Download Site => What you can upload => Topic started by: John C on February 11, 2011, 05:34:18 AM

Title: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on February 11, 2011, 05:34:18 AM
Hi there,
First off here's the basics on US Copyright over at Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:Copyright_FAQ) to get you familiar with terms.

The best bet (for books prior to 1950) is the Catalog of Copyright Entries, of which there are scans here:

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/cce/

You need to check the renewal 28 years after the book was published (plus, to be sure, the end of the previous year and the start of the next year).  If there's no renewal, the book is public domain.

Every issue has its own possible copyright, not the title, so every issue of interest needs checking independently.

For books 1950 to 1963 (1991 was the last year that copyrights needed renewal), the US Copyright Office has a searchable database:

http://cocatalog.loc.gov/

If whatever you're searching for comes back with a number (to the right) starting with an R, that's a renewal.

Finally, we are not the final word on PD status.  it's important to point out (again) that none of us are lawyers.  If you have plans to use a PD title/character have a lawyer or the Library of Congress check the status for you.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check PD Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on February 11, 2011, 09:49:45 AM
Another handy link though by no means complete is "First copyright renewals for periodicals" site here:
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/cce/firstperiod.html

But remember, when we are in doubt about a upload we likely will not add it to the site.  We are on the conservative side especially if its a popular character still being published.

-Yoc
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check PD Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on February 11, 2011, 03:37:36 PM
And keep in mind that the First Renewals list was hand-compiled by looking at the individual CCEs.  Things may slip through the cracks, especially if multiple magazines had similar titles.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on March 18, 2012, 10:56:37 AM
Another informative site as far as when laws were changed, etc is this Flash site -
http://librarycopyright.net/digitalslider/
Title: Disney
Post by: narfstar on December 04, 2012, 04:09:59 AM
Not actually comics but Disney lost a $319 million law suit. About time they get caught.

http://news.yahoo.com/court-upholds-319m-verdict-millionaire-case-035430753.html
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on February 02, 2013, 06:46:10 PM
1952 Heckle and Jeckle #8 I checked and can find no renewal. Actually I could not find any Heckle and Jeckle Comics renewed. What do you think John? Are the talking magpies a safe comic? The original was copyright.

http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?ti=251,0&Search_Arg=Heckle&Search_Code=TALL&CNT=25&REC=0&RD=0&RC=0&PID=IX7ntTsyodijYAH_VT32z4EnLdwz&SEQ=20130202203221&SID=1
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on February 17, 2013, 02:51:48 PM
I searched the copyright and it looks to me like Paul Terry's Comics was only copyright to issue 113. Can anyone confirm and would we want to put 114-125 onsite?
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on February 17, 2013, 06:05:44 PM
If they are safe I'd rather CB+ handle it Narf.  They've been more brave about some things than I am.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on February 17, 2013, 08:11:20 PM
I would like someone with more experience to confirm my findings on Heckle and Jeckle renewal and Paul Terry Comics
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on February 18, 2013, 05:54:03 AM
Been busy, here, but hopefully I'll get there soon.

Short version, though, if you can't find the renewal, the significant fear with licensed works (which I'd never be able to figure out, obviously) is that they're direct adaptations of something that's still covered by copyright.  While it's technically still public domain, who wants to have the discussion with users that the book is public domain but almost nothing inside it is, or the equivalent discussion with the owners.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on February 18, 2013, 09:10:19 AM
Exactly.  It's why I'm very gun shy about licensed characters such as Heckle and Jeckle
(which were a terrible cartoon IMO but that's just me.)
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on February 18, 2013, 04:27:05 PM
I am more concerned with Mighty Mouse but he has not shown to be a very profitable comic book character. I think that Heckle and Jeckle are almost a comic book Amos and Andy type casualty. Both sites carry Dinky Duck and Gandy Goose because they were not as popular or well known as Heckle and Jeckle but are actually in the same unrenewed boat. I think Heckle and Jeckle Comics were renewed because of their later popularity before Political Correctness went wild. Most of us here are old enough to remember when H&K were very popular and enjoyed them as kids. I read one place that if the book carried the proper copyright notice then it was copyright even if not registered. What is your take on that John?
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on February 18, 2013, 05:34:11 PM
Each to their own Narf.
I hated the Terry Toons top to bottom.  Put beside even an average Warner Bros cartoon they were tepid at best.  The very first Super Mouse (as he was first called) was not bad but after that.. blech.

ANY licensed character makes me nervous.  Most of them were added before I joined the staff.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on February 18, 2013, 06:56:21 PM
While they did not show up as registered the latter issue of Paul Terry's Comics do show up as renewed  :-[ Dinky Duck does not have issues 3-6,9,11 as renewed but the others were. Gandy Goose 1-6 were renewed  :-[
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on February 19, 2013, 04:49:24 AM
I read one place that if the book carried the proper copyright notice then it was copyright even if not registered. What is your take on that John?

It's definitely the case today (the law says so outright, as of 1978, with registration needed to sue), but I couldn't figure out when it started, when I tried to work it out.  There are points where registration is mentioned as a requirement, but it's never definitively connected to establishing the copyright.

So, I'd assume that the notice is the only formal requirement (prior to renewal).
Title: Termination and release
Post by: narfstar on June 23, 2014, 07:45:46 PM
I was looking up some Dell copyrights and came across this. It is for many Dell properties and even included Brothers of the Spear. Does it mean what it looks like to me that Dell willingly released the property. Do a more search options for V3476D630. Click on a title. It will have a clickable FULL TITLE  Tall Book of Christmas & 12,270 more. When you click you get a message that looks like the rights were terminated. 

Document Number:   V3476D630
Date of Recordation:    2001-11-29
Entire Copyright Document:    V3476 D628-645 P1-437
Date of Execution:    24Aug01
Title:    The tall book of Christmas & 12,270 other titles. (Part 003 of 018)
Notes:    Termination and release of security interest in copyright rights (United States) Doc. refers to V3447 P355-390, recorded on 28Jan00.
Party 1:    CIT Group/Business Credit, Inc., as administrative agent.
Party 2:    Golden Books Publishing Company, Inc. 

A clickable list of these titles.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on June 24, 2014, 04:37:05 AM
I've never seen anything like it, myself.  But there's nothing in the law about termination of or giving up copyright, though, as far as I've seen, so that's probably not the final result.  No clue, though.  The best bet would probably be to give the office a call.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on June 24, 2014, 08:28:58 AM
Narf, if you call please let us know what they say.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on June 24, 2014, 02:08:54 PM
I would not know who to call. I did send a message to a LOC archivist.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: bchat on June 25, 2014, 07:16:12 AM
CIT Group/Business Credit, Inc is a financial holding company.  Since this (doc# V3476D630) refers to a previous document ("V3447 P355-390, recorded on 28Jan00") where the rights were assigned to CIT, I would guess that the copyrights were being used as collateral for a loan by Golden Books.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: narfstar on June 29, 2014, 07:20:38 AM
looks unlikely they aren't pd  :'(
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: CDR Hood on October 25, 2014, 05:04:29 AM
looks unlikely they aren't pd  :'(

So, the Dell Comics here are PD?
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: Yoc on October 25, 2014, 09:17:50 AM
Those on DCM, as far as we can tell, are PD
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: jonathangraham on May 20, 2015, 07:37:22 AM
"Copyrighted" or "Entire contents copyrighted"

Are showing up in a few issues I'm looking at online.  Anyone weigh in if this counts as proper attribution?

It's neither the symbol, the word "Copyright" or a short form I'm familiar with.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: John C on May 20, 2015, 03:06:34 PM
Up until a certain point, the only acceptable phrasings are copyright and the circled-c (it's in one of the circulars on the Copyright Office's main page, I believe), so anything else would be invalid.

That's not to say, however, that copying it definitely won't result in any  lawsuits.  I think the story goes that the first US printing of The Lord of the Rings violated a significant copyright policy, but the courts basically ruled that the details don't always matter.  If it was something like "entire contents copyright..." I doubt any clerk or court would consider that wrong.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: jonathangraham on May 20, 2015, 07:27:40 PM
Up until a certain point, the only acceptable phrasings are copyright and the circled-c (it's in one of the circulars on the Copyright Office's main page, I believe), so anything else would be invalid.
"Entire contents copyrighted" appears on a few books I was looking at. Comics Calvalcade #10 1945 for example.  I checked the 1945 catalog and didn't see anything but didn't go 23 years further.
Quote
but the courts basically ruled that the details don't always matter.
de minimis non curat lex
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: MarkWarner on May 20, 2015, 11:23:11 PM
That is fairly irrelevant. Even if it is a valid copyright it would have had to have been renewed after 28 years. So you should be checking renewals in 1973.
Title: Re: JohnC's 'How To Check Public Domain Status Tutorial'
Post by: jonathangraham on May 21, 2015, 08:17:34 AM
That is fairly irrelevant. Even if it is a valid copyright it would have had to have been renewed after 28 years. So you should be checking renewals in 1973.
The question I'm getting at is: "Is that is proper notice?" If it isn't then doesn't that make it PD?  Does the renewal (which I'm sure is there) mean anything?