I believe the author has published it online. However, I am unsure if I'm allowed to read it. I found it when searching.

It says unauthorised reprint or use is not permitted. All rights reserved.

Here's the link: http://ppstest2.com/PreAlgebraBook.pdf

Please tell me if it's legal

  • 1
    In which jurisdiction? AFAIK in some jurisdictions it is only a copyright violation when you distribute works, not when you receive them.
    – Philipp
    May 29 '18 at 11:14
  • What does it mean for a PDF book to be "legal?" Do you mean "not banned" by some authority?
    – feetwet
    May 29 '18 at 19:19

I believe the author has published it online.

I agree. It is posted at his publisher's website.

However, I am unsure if I'm allowed to read it.

This answer assumes you are in jurisdiction whose copyright laws is based upon the Berne convention (i.e. the civilized world + USA).

Assuming it was the author published it online, it is perfectly legal to read it.

Technically, the author is performing his work by putting it online, and by reading it, you are just enjoying his performance.

Also, if you are in a jurisdiction with an explicit exception from copyright for personal use, or where fair use allows making copies for personal use, it would also be legal to download it, or to print it on paper (but for personal use only).

As for downloading and printing for non-personal use - that is not legal in Berne jurisdictions.

  • I don't know that it makes any difference legally, but would this be considered a performance or a display of the copyrighted work?
    – bdb484
    May 29 '18 at 11:36
  • @bdb484. What do you mean by "display"? The term does not occur in the Berne Convention, or any laws of copyright I am familiar with. "Performance", on other hand, has a very clear legal definition, that includes making the work available for public consumption on the Internet. May 29 '18 at 12:50
  • 1
    "...(i.e. the civilized world + USA)" +1 :) May 29 '18 at 12:56
  • In the USA, at least, copyright typically comes with the exclusive rights to publicly perform and publicly display a work. Outside of the visual arts, though, I'm not sure how much it would matter which you classify it as, though.
    – bdb484
    May 29 '18 at 13:02
  • Oh, OK. Thank you. I live in the UK by the way. May 29 '18 at 13:43

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