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Copyright of first editions

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:45 pm
by rufus

Does the copyright expire on first editions sooner when subsequent editions are published?

At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the Cambridge Ancient History series, so can we use them as an example?

The first edition of vol. 8, for example, was published in 1930, and another edition (the second, I think) was published in 1989 - does this put the first edition into the public domain sooner than it would otherwise have been?

(I'm interested in the answer to this question generally, but a more specific question would be: Do you know if the first edition Cambridge Ancient Histories are in the public domain?)

Thank you.

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:57 pm
by CopyrightAid
There is no difference - if the pubication date is taken into account for the duration of copyright, it is from when the work was first published.

Assuming UK law - For a work of known authorship published in 1930, and assuming that the author did not die more than 20 years before publication (unlikely) then copyright will expire 70 years after the death of the author.

P.S. I cheated :) - I used this a handy flow-chart

Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:37 pm
by rufus
Thanks for the speedy reply, and for the nifty flowchart.

Looks like I've got some time to wait before the first edition C.A.H. becomes public domain!

Thanks again.