Meccanno Magazines

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internal_arts
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Meccanno Magazines

Post by internal_arts » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:28 pm

Hello,

First of all just wanted to say thank you for the site. Have already learned quite a few things from reading the posts.

I am starting a digital venure and interested in reselling old magazines. I have noticed that there are many people selling meccano magazines in digital format on ebay world wide.

Since this may be of interest to myself I would like to ask if these magazines dated from 1925 to 1963 are permitted to be sold in digital format.

This seems like a tricky area since the seventy year rule would be anything prior to 1945 but looks like many people are selling magazines up to 1983.

I was of the understanding that in the UK magazines are not considered to be collective works such as Spain or France and all those who contributed to the magazine would need to be contacted for permission or deceased prior to 1944.

I have contacted meccano but no reply whatsover so I would appreciate any assistance.

regards,
R.Willard

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Post by AndyJ » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:40 pm

Hi internal_arts

I need to clarify a couple of things in your question.

First of all when you write
This seems like a tricky area since the seventy year rule would be anything prior to 1945
you need to be aware that the '70 year' part of determining a copyright term is the period which runs after the author has died, and so tying it to a particular date (eg 1945) is only relevant if the author died before that date. Obviously articles in the Meccano magazine could well have been published either well before, or after the death of an individual author (although the latter is less likely to be the case), and so the year of publication is not relevant for the purpose of determining the actual copyright term for each article. Obviously even some authors from the first 1925 edition may only have died comparatively recently and so it is wise to assume that many of the articles will still probably be in copyright.

Secondly, magazines (and newspapers, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, yearbooks or similar periodicals) are defined as collective works (see paragraph 27(5) of Schedule 1 to the 1988 CDPA), but really that doesn't make much difference, because as you surmise, the key factor is that copyright will still exist for each of the individual works within the overall compilation.

What is important is who is the current owner of any of the copyrights. Frequently with publications of this sort, the publisher of the journal or book will become the owner of the copyright either because the individual authors are employed by him (like newspaper staff journalists) or copyright has been assigned to the publisher as part of the commissioning process. I understand that Meccano Ltd was the original publisher up to 1963 and thereafter it was a company called Model and Allied Publications Limited, of Kingsgate House, High Street, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1SG. However that company has since been dissolved and so if you are interested in the later, post 1963, magazines you will need to track down the present day company or person who has acquired that publisher's rights, after which you might be able to negotiate a licence with them. Failing that, try contacting the Copyright Licensing Agency to see if they can arrange a licence for what you want to do.

It would be unwise to assume that just because other people have published digital versions of the magazines, they have done so without first obtaining permission. Perhaps contacting these other sites may throw more light on the issue, although don't bother with the Internet Archive as they operate under US law and will have presumed this is fair use under the law of that country.

Finally it is worth noting here that there is a separate copyright in the typographical layout of the magazines but since that only lasts for 25 years from the end of the year of first publication, and Meccano magazine ceased publication in 1981, this provision would not apply to the magazines you are interested in.
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

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Post by internal_arts » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:59 pm

Thank you for the information. I will take your advice and see if the Copyright Licensing Agency can help.

I was also looking at U.S. magazines but am I correct in stating that the pre 1923 copyight rule would only be for US Citizens. ie Those publications published and registered prior to 1923 that are automatically in the public domain? For example, the National Geographic Magazine before 1922 is in the public domain but this would be only for US citizens?

regards,
R.Willard

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Post by AndyJ » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:18 pm

Hi again,
If the magazine was first published in the USA (as would be the case with National Geographic), then once it is out of copyright there it would also be out of copyright in the UK. This is because of something known as the rule of the shorter term which is to be found in an international treaty on copyright called the Berne Convention. Effectively this means that signatories to the treaty are obliged to provide the same copyright protection to foreign works produced in other signatory nations as they do to their domestic works, except that they need not provide a longer period of protection than would be available in that foreign state.The UK applies this rule; the USA does not. Section 12(6) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act is the authority for this:
(6) Where the country of origin of the work is not an EEA [European Economic Area] state and the author of the work is not a national of an EEA state, the duration of copyright is that to which the work is entitled in the country of origin, provided that does not exceed the period which would apply under subsections (2) to (5).
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

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Post by internal_arts » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:27 pm

Thank you very much for your reply. I may stick to pre 1923 US Magazines to start with then.

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Post by Lumberjack » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:01 pm

If you look up
PLS Clear
on Google (ALCS Society), you will go to a website that tells you who to contact to get permission to use old material. I have never tried it myself, but I am a member of ALCS that protects authors interests, and collects money for members on library loans etc!
It does list Meccano!
Al

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