1

I have been looking that many books published with copyright notice like:

Copyright © by [abc] publication.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied, or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Now I want to know:

  • How long this copyright last or sustain?
  • Can books used as in public domain after expiration of copyright?

Also

  • If a book doesn't have any copyright notice, then can it be used as if it were in the public domain?
  • How do I check whether a book is copyrighted or not in case of no copyright notice?

Note: my concern is for scanned versions of books.

Excuse my poor knowledge in this area!

  • Here is a flowchart for figuring out public domain eligibility in the United States: sunsteinlaw.com/practices/copyright-portfolio-development/… – Xiong Chiamiov Dec 30 '16 at 16:38
  • This is four separate questions, at least two of which already have answers. Is a book © or public domain?, and How do I identify the © holder?, at minimum. Please remove the questions with existing answers, and split off all remaining except one. – Nij Dec 31 '16 at 4:48
  • @Nij It was a migrated question. Besides, being so restrictive with questions is like micro-managing things - it's detrimental to the overall question. There's no point in removing questions, simply because it may exist elsewhere. It's fragmentation at best. – Zizouz212 Dec 31 '16 at 21:02
  • Fragmentation is how Stack Exchange works. One question and one answer, not a thread, not a discussion, not a bunch of questions mixed together. And if you check the edit history, it's obvious that the extra questions were added after migration, so they were entirely wrong to include, when they had already been answered and made this question too broad. – Nij Dec 31 '16 at 21:26
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How long this copyright last or sustain?

In India, the duration of copyright is life of the author + 60 years.

Can books used as in public domain after expiration of copyright?

Yes

If a book doesn't have any copyright notice, then can it be used as if it were in the public domain?

No, the lack of copyright notice doesn't imply that it isn't copyright.

How do I check whether a book is copyrighted or not in case of no copyright notice?

Unfortunately there is no set procedure for that. Copyright doesn't require any registration. Unless you know that it has been more than 60 years since the author has died or the work explicitly mentions that it is under public domain or other license like Creative Commons, assume that all rights are reserved. Though Section 52 of Indian Copyright Act provides a list of acts which aren't to be regarded as copyright infringement, but many of the things in the list are ambiguous and you'll have to check with a lawyer if they apply or not.

3

The duration of copyright varies according to different laws; however generally copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the author(s), and you can check if the author died on Wikipedia or on the internet. Once copyright expires, books are considered public domain and you don't need permission to reproduce or copy etc.

Books, as well other types of creative works listed at 17 USC §102, are automatically protected by copyright even without a copyright notice. You need the permission of the copyright owner to reproduce or transmit such works.

On top of that is generally accepted to make a copy (often referred as backup copy) of a work protected by copyright for you own benefits. That means that if you bought a printed book and you want to read on your e-book reader, you could scan it and store on your device. However you must keep in mind these:

  • It's meant for your personal use;
  • You can't share it
  • You'll be considered responsible if somebody else gets a copy of that book

Furthermore in some countries, laws explicitly forbidden to scan the whole book without the permission of the copyright owner.

It's worth to ask the publisher for permission to scan it if you want to read on you e-book reader for personal use. Some publishers offers digital copies of their book (either for free or for a very small charge) and you'll get a better copy than what you could scanning the book.

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