Letters and Comments for 12/07/17

Letters and Comments for 12/07/17


AUTHOR ALERT!! Is This HUGE Website Violating Your Book’s Copyright? YOU BETTER CHECK!!

Once again, you are on it! Thank you so much for the information and for watching out for our interests.

– Pamela Allegretto
Bridge of Sighs and Dreams
Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an
arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice.

There’s an opportunity for a clever ‘mom on a kitchen table’ business here. Most authors don’t have time to repeated check a constantly changing array of copyright-violating sources such as this Archive.org. They’d be happy to pay someone to do that for them, monthly, bi-monthly or whatever. And automated scripts should make the checking easy and quick, enabling that mom to charge little but earn much.

She might even work in conjunction with a lawyer who, when necessary could send the appropriate cease and desist letters. That or she could create her own firm with an appropriately intimidating name.

– Michael W. Perry

Hi, Angela – I work for a nonprofit museum that deals with fair use and copyrighted works on a daily basis. Fair use has never allowed us to simply hand over full copies of copyrighted works in a digital format. I’m not pleased that Archive.org doesn’t follow the fair use doctrine more closely. While we can provide full copies of works that are in the public domain, for readily-available works that are still protected by copyright, we can only provide a portion of a work for personal study. In the case of a book, that might be a few pages or a chapter. And the person who receives these copies can’t broadcast them or use them for public purposes without contacting the copyright owner.

If a work is still under copyright, but no longer readily available, we can provide copies of more of the material, but that still does not give us or the person receiving the copies the right to digitally reproduce the material for wide consumption without getting the permission of the copyright owner.

If the nonprofit museum field were allowed to digitally reproduce copyrighted works and share them widely, we would have no trouble digitizing daily newspapers after 1923. But, alas! We can’t digitize newspapers after 1923 because they are not yet in the public domain. We would have to search out the copyright owners and get permission to digitize the newspapers. This is why, when you search the Library of Congress’s collection of digitized newspapers online, you won’t find any beyond 1923 (unless they have gotten the necessary permissions). If the Library of Congress can get this right, so can Archive.org.

– Mary Warner

I found four of my books available to borrow but not for download. They say that only books that are out of copyright are downloadable. So I’m not sure how this violates copyright.

  • Stephanie Golden
RESPONSE from Angela Hoy – Publisher of WritersWeekly.com :

Whether they use the term “download” or “borrow,” the same problem occurs. They’re giving people free access to your ebook and they created that ebook by scanning a print version, and then putting the new ebook online. Unless you gave them permission to do that, it IS a violation of your copyright. And, if anyone worldwide can download/borrow the ebook they created for free, what incentive do folks have to buy your book? None. That’s why their actions are harming authors and publishers.


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