I made an ebook from a 1936 publication (country of origin: UK) and preparing to sell it on my website with the help of a credit card processor. The book is under copyright in the United States but public domain almost everywhere else. I am not a US citizen, not located in the US, and not doing business through a US legal entity.

  1. Is there a standard course of action in this situation to avoid copyright infringement?
  2. What determines copyright infringement here, the buyer's US citizenship or the buyer's country of residence?
  3. Am I responsible for verifying the buyer's US citizenship/residence and if so, what are the minimal requirements? Would it be enough to simply ask the buyer to select from a dropdown of whitelisted countries before placing the order?

You can’t

Assuming the book is still under copyright in the USA (which is by no means certain) and the USA is the “country of origin” under the Berne Convention then it is still under copyright in most signatory countries.

  • I forgot to specify in the question that it was published in the UK, not the US. I edited the question. Jan 4 '18 at 13:01
  • P.S. I am also not certain that the book is under copyright in the US, but I have some reasons to believe that it is, so for now I am operating on that assumption. See my question here if you have interest in this issue: law.stackexchange.com/questions/24882/… Jan 4 '18 at 14:39
  • If it was published in the UK first then unless the author died before 1958 its still under copyright everywhere. If they did die before 1958 it’s under copyright nowhere.
    – Dale M
    Jan 4 '18 at 18:19

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