Public domain question.

5 replies
Hey everyone, maybe someone here can help me. There is a book that I want to sell on the internet, and this particular book is in the public domain.

Considering that it is in the public domain, am I able to just copy the text from someone elses pdf?

I am assuming that this would NOT be a good idea, but wanted to check before I go typing it up myself!

Thanks
#domain #public #question
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Hi Ashley,

    You need this book:

    The Public Domain: How to Find Copyright-Free Writings, Music, Art & More

    Its cheap, it will answer the question you just asked and many others, and it will give you the precedents and case law to cite.
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  • Profile picture of the author gvncerri
    If it's in public domain. You can copy it from someone else's pdf. However you have to exclude the cover, the images, the editor's notes, the publisher's introduction, disclaimers etc.
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    The italian point of view

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    • Profile picture of the author Ashley Gable
      Thanks I will look into the ebook.

      gvncerri... Thanks This is what i thought, but didnt know if it would be frowned upon, seeing as the other guy put it together or had it put into text.

      But I am having the book scanned and made into text as we speak, I thought it would be best to avoid any "inconveniences" and just do it without using anyone elses stuff.

      Thanks!
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by AshleyAA View Post

        Thanks I will look into the ebook.
        Definitely get a copy of the book Josh recommended.

        gvncerri... Thanks This is what i thought, but didnt know if it would be frowned upon, seeing as the other guy put it together or had it put into text.

        But I am having the book scanned and made into text as we speak, I thought it would be best to avoid any "inconveniences" and just do it without using anyone elses stuff.
        The problem with using someone else's copy is that you don't know what new or copyrightable material they may have added to the book. Some things, like a new introduction or photos, may be obvious, but, without an original copy of the text, you don't know what they might have added. And, if you have an original copy of the text, you're far better off utilizing that, as you've mentioned you're doing. That'll prevent a lot of problems!
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  • Profile picture of the author Bishop81
    Short answer, you'd be best served to not just copy somebody else's pdf. What you should do is find a copy of this book yourself, either a physical copy or from a site like gutenberg.org or archive.org and make your product from that work. As was said earlier, you don't know what copyrightable material might be in this pdf that you don't know about.
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    I'm tired of my signature... Deleted.

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