Here are some examples:
1. The 2006 Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of The Complete Novels of Jane
Austen, all of which are in the public domain, includes the following
warning on the copyright page:
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet
or via any other means without permission of the publisher is illegal and
punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions,
and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted
materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.5
2. The widely assigned Oxford Anthology of English Literature contains the
blanket notice, “Copyright © 1973 by Oxford University Press, Inc.”6
3. An edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility published in 2006 by
Cambridge University Press contains the following notices:
© Cambridge University Press 2006
This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the
provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of
any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge
University Press.7
4. Oxford University Press’s World’s Classics edition of Jane Austen’s Emma
contains a more detailed notice, following the better practice of claiming
copyright only in the newly added portions of the book, but then includes
the following misleading warning:
“No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior
permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly
permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate
reprographic rights organizations.”8
A reasonable reader would be forgiven for thinking that, unless she can find
some specific exception in the law, she needs permission from Penguin, Oxford,
or Cambridge to reproduce part or all of the classic works included in these
anthologies and reprints. In fact, the opposite is true; almost all of the underlying
works can be copied freely, even in their entirety, without asking or paying
anyone.9 This is not due to a “statutory exception,” nor is it “expressly permitted
by law” (per se); it is the upshot of the work no longer being protected at all.
RLI 276
22
Copyfraud and Classroom Performance Rights: Two Common Bogus Copyright Claims
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C O N T I N U E D
)
SEPTEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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