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Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 04:19AM
Erinys Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A restored work
> is the textbook definition of a "derivative work",
> and derivative works are covered by the original
> copyright. Period.
>

Would that mean that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters are public domain? They are derivative, and copyright on the original works has lapsed.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Chipougne (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 05:22AM
Yes, good point, there is much more about this. Whatever work is done afterwards, there is no reason why the additional work or even the resulting work itself, to a certain extant, couldn't be considered under (new) copyright. It is a complex matter.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 29 Mar 12 | 05:27AM by Chipougne.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Erinys (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 01:31PM
Please don't be deliberately obtuse. "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" contains a good deal of new content, written by a new author(s), which changes the character and content of the total completely. It is protected not only by copyright but by the laws that protect satire, much like "Bored of the Rings" and other works that exist to deliberately satirize a classic work of fiction.

A restored version of Clark Ashton Smith, on the other hand, contains no new content; all content within the document was produced by the exact same author, in roughly the same time period, and if anything the restored story is simply the best-guess version of the version that author intended to publish in the first place.

It is not a complex matter, it is actually quite a simple matter. The only people who have a reason to make it complex are those who wish to keep Clark Ashton Smith and his works as their personal property.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Chipougne (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 02:11PM
Please don't be deliberately agressive. It is indeed a complex matter: try and publish any restored version of any PD author without the authorization of those who often spent a considerable amount of time on it after the said work had been available for decades under a truncated version and see what happens. They don't print that (c) sign on it for the sake of adornment, you know.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 02:29PM
Erinys Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Please don't be deliberately obtuse.

Please don't be deliberately condescending.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Erinys (IP Logged)
Date: 29 March, 2012 02:54PM
Placing the copyright symbol on a work is an assertion of control and property rights, to be certain. But like any flag planted in the sand, its legitimacy is not determined by the mere assertion of the right. Legal rights have to have a legal basis. If there is no legal basis to a claim of ownership, it will not stand.

I cannot simply walk into your house, rearrange your furniture, and then call the house "mine" because of "all my hard work rearranging all this furniture". If the house is yours, and the furniture is yours, and all of my hard work amounts to nothing more than the rearrangement of your property, then my staking of a claim is not legitimate. In this case, the house is Clark Ashton Smith's, and the furniture is Clark Ashton Smith's, and the copyright is Clark Ashton Smith's. If his copyright has lapsed into the public domain, the story belongs there legally, and no amount of rearrangement of the text will change that.

Copyright laws can appear complex, to be certain, to those who have no experience and no information about them. They can also be made to SEEM complex by those who have an ulterior motive. There is a very long history of this sort of behavior in Weird Fiction fandom and publishing, Lovecraft being the most famous victim. Derleth was notorious for his shrieking claims to copyright and his threats of legal action, driving away other publishers who intended to present Lovecraft's stories to the public for no real reason other than to protect his right to profit. Whether his jealously and illegally asserted exclusive rights to re-print and his toxic "posthumous collaborations" are a legacy that CAS scholars wish to emulate is obviously up to them.

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 30 March, 2012 05:01AM
Erinys Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>>
> A restored version of Clark Ashton Smith, on the
> other hand, contains no new content; all content
> within the document was produced by the exact same
> author, in roughly the same time period, and if
> anything the restored story is simply the
> best-guess version of the version that author
> intended to publish in the first place.

Or it is a previously unpublished version in which case it would presumably be protected by the law regulating posthumously published works?

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 30 March, 2012 09:53AM
Martinus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Erinys Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Please don't be deliberately obtuse.
>
> Please don't be deliberately condescending.


Now, now children, play nicely -

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: Erinys (IP Logged)
Date: 30 March, 2012 01:29PM
Martinus Wrote:
> Or it is a previously unpublished version in which
> case it would presumably be protected by the law
> regulating posthumously published works?

The laws that protect posthumously published works protect work that is new to the public. A story which was submitted to a magazine for publication in one form and published in a slightly altered form does not qualify as new to the public.

It would appear that the basics of intellectual property law are not common knowledge nowadays! But I suppose this is not surprising. These laws have been dramatically re-written in recent years and pushed through around the world, but especially in English-speaking countries, to protect the interests of giant media conglomerates. Many intellectual properties were in danger of lapsing into the public domain if the law was not dramatically revised.

If it were not for these Mickey Mouse laws, Clark Ashton Smith's works, along with those of Hemingway and many other important authors would have become the property of the entire human race on January 1st of this year, and there would be no need to argue the "complexities" of the subject any further. As it stands, the public appears to be deliberately misinformed and confused about these matters, presumably to keep them from fighting for the rights that they could have once taken for granted.

More information on the subject is available from Duke University's School of Law, which sponsors a Center for the Study of the Public Domain. It makes for enlightening reading. Highly recommended.

[www.law.duke.edu]

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: fenrix (IP Logged)
Date: 13 July, 2012 12:00AM
I've tried contacting the estate for clarification and they're generally unresponsive. Any insight on which works of Clark Ashton Smith are and are not in the public domain?

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: The English Assassin (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2012 04:33PM
Copyright, as I understand it, is further complicated by international considerations - I believe here in the UK literary copyright is as follows:

Quote:
70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.
If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.

Which I believe has left a situation where several literary works are in effect lost in limbo as it is almost impossible to track down the estates of some literary copyrights as there is no renewal thus no database or register of works. I believe that if you can prove that you've made every effort to find the copyright holder of a work then you can probably get away with publishing it, although previsions for compensation, etc... should probably be made.

I'm not sure where international law fits into all this?!

As for the wider point, considering the liberties certain people (Arkham House) have taken by asserting control that they never really had over Lovecraft's work, I'm very sceptical of any claim or copyright symbol any publisher, editor or estate would make on any 'definitive' work of any author. There's such a thing as 'trying it on' you know!

Just out of interest who are CAS' estate (if this isn't broaching confidentiality or privacy)?

Re: CAS stories in Public Domain?
Posted by: fenrix (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2012 07:53PM
I guess I should clarify my statement. I was working with the agent. Now that I have bypassed them and contacted the estate, we're getting some positive movement. I can probably share more once agreements have been finalized.

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