The post is actually migrated.

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?
  • How do I check if copyright is expired or not?
  • Can books used as in public domain after expiration of copyright?

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

Note: my concern is for scanned versions of books.

  • This doesn't appear to be about open-source at all? – Xiong Chiamiov Dec 30 '16 at 16:34
  • @XiongChiamiov I've mind it before asking question but I think this may be suitable here. If you know the SE community where this question is more suitable, let us know. – Pandya Dec 30 '16 at 16:38
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it would probably be better suited for law.stackexchange.com. – Zimm i48 Dec 30 '16 at 17:59
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    @Zimmi48 so it has an answer now and it could me migrated instead tp law? – Philippe Ombredanne Dec 30 '16 at 19:05
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    Yeah, this question isn't completely around open source, and it's better for Law. All migrations here have to be done by moderators @Zimmi48 Thanks all for raising it :) – Zizouz212 Dec 30 '16 at 23:52

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.

By default books, as well as any other IP, are protected by copyright even if not explicitly written, and if an edition would miss that statement you need the permission of the copyright owner to copy it.

On top of that is generally accepted to make a copy (often referred as backup copy) of a work protected by IP 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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  • What is meant by "IP" here? – Pandya Dec 30 '16 at 13:31
  • IP stands for Intellectual Property – David Dec 30 '16 at 16:35
  • IP is intellectual property. – Xiong Chiamiov Dec 30 '16 at 16:35
  • Can you delete your answer (here) so-that I can delete my question as this post is not supposed to be exist after migration? – Pandya Jan 1 '17 at 12:19

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