Corporately owned, internationally published document

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Nick
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Corporately owned, internationally published document

Post by Nick » Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:08 am

I am stuck on international copyright law for organisations.

Is a work
  1. published in October 1931 in America,
  2. never published in the UK,
  3. with its copyright renewed in 1959, and
  4. with copyright transferred to a (still existing) corporation (i.e. not owned by an individual)
still under copyright it the UK?

According to the very helpful chart (and most comprehensive it seems on the internet) at Cornell by Hirtle, this work is still in copyright in America, but I have seen it suggested that the UK recognises no ownership of copyright on any works published abroad before 1956. Is this correct?

Thank you for any help.

Warlock
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Probably

Post by Warlock » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:30 am

Probably it would be subject to copyright, but would need more information from you:
Is the author known?
Is the author dead, and if so when did the author die?
What type of work is it (literary, musical, film, etc.)?

Or use this chart http://www.museumscopyright.org.uk/private.pdf and work it out for yourself.

I expect that copyright would apply in the UK, in fact, given the age of the work, I think it is almost certain.


P.S.
Can you post a link to the Cornell by Hirtle chart you refer to - it sounds like it would be a handy resouce.

All the best :)

Nick
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Re: Probably

Post by Nick » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:12 pm

Warlock wrote:Probably it would be subject to copyright, but would need more information from you:
Is the author known?
Yes the author is known, but the copyright is owned by the publisher (it is a series of magazine articles).
Warlock wrote:I expect that copyright would apply in the UK, in fact, given the age of the work, I think it is almost certain.
There is so much confusion before the copyright treaties depending on which country the work was published in and the various registration/renewal requirements in America that nothing would surprise me with old documents. For a long time last century, 50 after life or 70 after publication were fairly standard, so, with a load of fiddly publication requirements to check, I expect a load of '30s stuff is coming out of copyright in various places around the world (not necessarily here though).
Warlock wrote:Can you post a link to the Cornell by Hirtle chart you refer to - it sounds like it would be a handy resouce.
For American copyright (within America) this is undoubtably the best resource on the internet: Hirtle chart. It is the only chart I have seen that deals with corporately owned copyright, and all the funny cases depending on which order works were published domestically and abroad, etc. If only something equally comprehensive were around for the UK.

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