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change copyright to creative commons non-commercial?
#11  lumpynose 06-13-2019, 12:05 PM
Quote pdurrant
Yes, even in the USA. Copyright renewal hasn't been a thing in the US since the 1992 Copyright Act, which removed the need to renew copyright.
Thanks, nice to know.
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#12  pdurrant 06-13-2019, 03:40 PM
Quote lumpynose
I was wondering, is it possible to downgrade an existing copyright to Creative Commons Non-commercial?
[...]
The advantage to the copyright holders (e.g., descendants of the authors) being that I suspect that the reason they're maintaining and renewing the copyrights is not for any money they get from book sales but from potential money from rights for making movies, tv shows, etc. from the books and short stories.
By far the biggest reason that nothing is being done with the many, many out-of-print but still-in-copright books is because the author's heirs aren't interested, or may be unaware of the books, or may not exist (i.e. the author doesn't have any heirs).


But anyone who does own the copyright of something is free at any time to issue it under a creative commons licence.
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#13  Fiat_Lux 06-27-2019, 03:46 AM
Quote pdurrant
By far the biggest reason that nothing is being done with the many, many out-of-print but still-in-copright books is because the author's heirs aren't interested, or may be unaware of the books, or may not exist (i.e. the author doesn't have any heirs).
Years ago, I was tracking down copyright on a couple of titles, for which, according to the book, copyright was held by the publisher.
The US publisher had gone under decades before I started my search.
The British publisher had gone into receivership, before being bought by another publisher.
The Canadian publisher was still limping along.

The Canadian publisher pointed to the new British company, as the copyright owner.
The British company pointed to the now defunct US company as the copyright owner.
I found a US publisher that had published some titles of the US publisher, after it (US publisher) had gone under. They had negotiated everything with the Canadian publisher.
Going around with them, they all concluded that somebody owned the copyright, but they had no idea who, and as such, none of them were willing to grant me permission to publish the book in the US. Not even an indemnify and hold harmless with the Canadian and New British publishers was acceptable.

None of the descendants of the author that I could contact, claimed ownership of the copyright to the works, with some going as far denying that their ancestor had even written the work in question.

Along similar lines, An acquaintance of mine was made literary executor of the estate, with copyright falling to her. None of the titles in her list were in print. She went to a local used book store. The owner looks at the titles, and the author's name, then recommends a different book store. She goes into that book store, gives the sales person the titles, and author, only to be told: "Madam, you don't want those books." My acquaintance insisted, and, with great reluctance, the book seller sold them to her.
Let's just say that the content wouldn't have passed the criteria that Hustler Magazine used, to determine whether or not something was obscene.
Needless to say, the literary estate executor promptly decided to pursue a fortune, by getting the material back into print.
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