Copyright for Book published in 1928 in Czech republic?

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
Post Reply
dio2005
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:50 am

Copyright for Book published in 1928 in Czech republic?

Post by dio2005 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:55 am

I have a book that was published in 1928 in the Czech Republic. The author of the book dies in 1942, and there has never been republished in the Czech republic.

I would like to translate this book into English and maybe self publish an English version.

The publisher was J.Otto, but from what I researched on the internet, the company went broke int he 1930s.

Would I be breaching any copyright if I did this?

Thanks.

User avatar
AndyJ
Oracle
Oracle
Posts: 1939
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Post by AndyJ » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:44 am

Hi Dio,
First, a caveat: although I have read through the current Czech law on copyright (pdf) I have no knowledge of the Czech legal system or its caselaw, so what I have to say here is somewhat general in nature.
It would seem clear that since 2000 the term of copyright in the Czech Republic is the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years after the end of of his year of death. By that measure, the work of an author who died in 1942 would now be in the public domain and you would be free to translate it without first obtaining permission.
This also accords with EU Directives on the subject and indeed is the same as the law in the UK, so if you are based in the UK, what you propose to do would appear to be completely legal. Once you have created your translation you would be entitled to copyright (lasting for a similar period) in your work, both here in the UK or elsewhere in the EU.
The reason for my caveat is that, obviously, the laws in force when this book was published were those of the state of Czechoslovakia and I have no knowledge of them. It is conceivable, but unlikely, that such laws might have provided for a much longer period of copyright, and this might have a bearing on the actual copyright term in this case, within the Czech Republic. That said, if you are intending to publish your translation here in the UK then the protection for the original work cannot exceed that which would have been available under UK law, which as I have mentioned, means the work entered the public domain on 1 January 2013.
Don't forget to give the original author a full credit as this is his moral right, although when you publish, make it clear that your are asserting your copyright in the translation.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

dio2005
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:50 am

Post by dio2005 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:27 am

Thanks for your response. That's great to know. Thanks you.

Post Reply