Mobileread
Ruling on footnotes please
#1  AlexBell 03-24-2019, 12:53 AM
I'm now working on Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, using the version from the University of Adelaide ebook library as source and checking against the Wordsworth Classics print version.

The Adelaide source has many footnotes, and they are replicated in the Wordsworth Classics version - as well as hundreds of new footnotes which are numbered separately.

I'm pretty sure from the sardonic style of many of the footnotes in the Adelaide version that they were written by Henry Fielding himself. But I can't be certain - I haven't been able to find an original source, and anyway I've never seen 'the maker of footnotes' identified in any book.

Will the ebook be acceptable for the MobileRead library when it is finished?
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#2  DaleDe 03-25-2019, 12:27 PM
I have never heard of anyone copyrighting footnotes. I presume these are explanatory since reference footnotes cannot be copyrighted. I would expect the addition of explanatory footnotes would have a preface or introduction identifying the author and referencing them to be a valid copyright.
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#3  Jellby 03-25-2019, 02:05 PM
In the absence of any other evidence, I'd assume the author of the footnotes to be the same as the author of the text, or the preface/introduction (or the translator). If there is evidence against that (e.g., earlier editions published during the author's lifetime lacking the footnotes), I'd assume the footnotes are "anonymous", subject to default publication date + 70 years copyright.

This is of course no legal opinion, just the rules of thumb I'd apply if I find such a work in our library
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#4  AlexBell 03-30-2019, 03:49 AM
Thanks to you both.
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