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I am reading a programming book that was written by an author that is not around anymore and published by a company that also does not exist anymore.

This is the book.

When I load in the CD-ROM, I notice the README file. This is it:

Programming a Multiplayer FPS in DirectX
Vaughan Young
1-58450-363-7

Copyright 2005 by CHARLES RIVER MEDIA, INC.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any way, stored in retrieval system of any type, or transmitted by any means or media, electronic or mechanical, including, but not limited to, photocopy, recording, or scanning, or replication in whole or in part without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

CHARLES RIVER MEDIA, INC.
10 Downer Avenue
Hingham, MA 02043
781-740-0400
781-740-8816 (Fax)
info@charlesriver.com
www.charlesriver.com

All brand names and product names mentioned in this CD-ROM are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. Any omission or misuse (of any kind) of service marks or trademarks should not be regarded as intent to infringe on the property of others. The publisher recognizes and respects all marks used by companies, manufacturers, and developers as a means to distinguish their products.

CHARLES RIVER MEDIA titles are available for site license or bulk purchase by institutions, user groups, corporations, etc. For additional information, please contact the Special Sales Department at 781-740-0400.

Requests for replacement of a defective disc must be accompanied by the original disc, your mailing address, telephone number, date of purchase and purchase price. Please state the nature of the problem, and send the information to CHARLES RIVER MEDIA, INC., 10 Downer Avenue, Hingham, MA 02043. CRM's sole obligation to the purchaser is to replace the disc, based on defective materials or faulty workmanship, but not on the operation or functionality of the product.

LIMITED WARRANTY AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY THIS PRODUCT MAY BE USED ON A SINGLE PC ONLY. THE LICENSE DOES NOT PERMIT THE USE ON A NETWORK (OF ANY KIND). YOU FURTHER AGREE THAT THIS LICENSE GRANTS PERMISSION TO USE THE PRODUCTS CONTAINED HEREIN, BUT DOES NOT GIVE YOU RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP TO ANY OF THE CONTENT OR PRODUCT CONTAINED ON THIS CD-ROM. USE OF THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE CONTAINED ON THIS CD-ROM IS LIMITED TO AND SUBJECT TO LICENSING TERMS FOR THE RESPECTIVE PRODUCTS. USE, DUPLICATION OR DISCLOSURE BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OR ITS AGENCIES ARE LIMITED BY FAR 52.227-7013 OR FAR 52.227-19, AS APPROPRIATE. CHARLES RIVER MEDIA, INC. ("CRM") AND/OR ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THE WRITING, CREATION OR PRODUCTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING CODE ("THE SOFTWARE"), OR THE THIRD PARTY PRODUCTS CONTAINED ON THIS CD-ROM, CANNOT AND DO NOT WARRANT THE PERFORMANCE OR RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED BY USING THE SOFTWARE. THE AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER HAVE USED THEIR BEST EFFORTS TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY AND FUNCTIONALITY OF THE TEXTUAL MATERIAL AND PROGRAMS CONTAINED HEREIN; HOWEVEVER, WE MAKE NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE PERFORMANCE OF THESE PROGRAMS.THE SOFTWARE IS SOLD "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY (EXCEPT FOR DEFECTIVE MATERIALS USED IN MANUFACTURING THE DISC OR DUE TO FAULTY WORKMANSHIP); THE SOLE REMEDY IN THE EVENT OF A DEFECT IS EXPRESSLY LIMITED TO REPLACEMENT OF THE DISC, AND ONLY AT THE DISCRETION OF CRM.

THE AUTHOR, THE PUBLISHER, DEVELOPERS OF THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, AND ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION AND MANUFACTURING OF THIS WORK SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF(OR THE INABILITY TO USE) THE PROGRAMS, SOURCE CODE, OR TEXTUAL MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS PUBLICATION. THIS INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF REVENUE OR PROFIT, OR OTHER INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE PRODUCT.

THE USE OF "IMPLIED WARRANTY" AND CERTAIN "EXCLUSIONS" VARY FROM STATE TO STATE, AND MAY NOT APPLY TO THE PURCHASER OF THIS PRODUCT.

Also, at the main source files, there is this:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Engine.h implementation.
Refer to the Engine.h interface for more details.

Programming a Multiplayer First Person Shooter in DirectX
Copyright (c) 2004 Vaughan Young

Does this mean I can use the code for my own personal gain, or can I just toss this book and the source code that I have been modifying for a while away?

If I rearrange the code, would it help my case in making the copyright null? This means just swapping where functions are declared and/or renaming them.

Also, I do own this book and the CD.

  • It will be continued here: Thanks to all that helped! – rjhwinner03 Feb 4 at 3:02
  • Welcome to Law.SE please not the preferred markup for quoting text. Also asking for legal advice is off-topic for this site. A better way to ask the question is to ask about legal principles rather than personal actions. – TTE Feb 10 at 16:20
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The code is copyrighted. You are not given any permission to use or copy any part of it, nor to create a derivative work based on it. There is no way for you to "make the copyright null". The code was copyrighted in 2005, and the copyright will not expire until 70 years after the death of the author, under US law. The period would vary in some other countries, but in no country that I know of will it expire in the next few years.

That the author is dead, or the publisher out of business, does not change this legally. Someone, probably the author's heir, or perhaps whoever bought the remains of the publisher's business, will own the copyright.

However, the ideas and programming techniques shown and discussed in the book are not protected, and you may use them freely to write programs, commercial or non-commercial. You need not even acknowledge the book as a source of ideas, although to do so would be nice.

Of course, since the author is dead and the publisher not active, if you were to infringe the copyright by copying code from thsi book, there is a reasonable chance that no one would notice, but if someone did notice, the current owner of the copyright could sue you for infringement, and could perhaps win sizable damages.

It would be safer to write your own original code using only the general ideas from the book.

In future, do not ever assume that you can just take someone else's code (or other creative work, such as a book) and reuse it without permission, unless it is in the public domain, for example because it was published before 1923.

  • Thank you for your help! – rjhwinner03 Feb 3 at 18:17
  • Also, in another book, it is stated in the README that all of the code can be used in any of my projects. Can I use it still? There are no copyrights and they said I could use it. Is it OK? I typed most of it myself, and the rest came from the book. – rjhwinner03 Feb 3 at 18:22
  • There are copyrights. This comment that I'm writing here is copyrighted, just because I wrote it. What is mentioned "in another book" seems quite irrelevant, and I would want to see exactly what that README says. – gnasher729 Feb 3 at 19:28
  • Here is the new link: law.stackexchange.com/questions/36834/… – rjhwinner03 Feb 4 at 3:02

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