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Copyright Question

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:07 am
by richmond62
I have a collection of Primary school textbooks dating from between 1963 and 1971 that contain
a large number of drawings and diagrams that I could use in educational programs.
As far as I understand (?) European copyright expires after 50 years.

I am quite sure that the authors of these books will not pursue me for using
pictures from their books in my not-for-profit educational stacks, but
wonder if from a moral/legal (not always the same thing) angle I might be violating

Re: Copyright Question

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:27 am
by bogs
I'm not sure I understand the question here.

Copyright came into being to protect someone who comes up with an idea having the ability to profit from said idea before the idea was copied/exploited/etc from outside sources (very basic definition). In other words, the originator should have a chance to profit from his original (or additive) idea.

A timeline (that started off reasonable enough but now is quite ridiculously excessive) was established to give the originator of the idea time to profit from it.

Copyright runs for different lengths of time depending on country, and a work may be copyrighted in many countries. So far, so good.

If it has expired and hasn't been renewed and you have some way of making sure your works based on [x] idea aren't going to wind up in a country where it might still be a protected work (if there is one), then you have honored the spirit and intent of copyright, morally and legally, period.

Re: Copyright Question

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:52 am
by richmond62
Frankly I really very much doubt if anyone is going to chase after my reproducing images from
my collection of antiquated textbooks (i.e. those I used when I was at Primary school: 50 years ago, ho-hum).

They are very old-fashioned; the only 'thing' being that in amongst that old-fashionedness there are quite a few 'gems' that
can be put to good use.

Here's an example:
This page was designed for teachers and kids alike who if you said "computer" to them would
think of those big, clunky things that looked like fridges with wheels in early James Bond films
computer.jpg (6.94 KiB) Viewed 1793 times
But, nevertheless introduced kids to computational thinking . . . and that rocks! 8)

Kids who I have shown this sort of thing to have responded favourably; other teachers' mileage may vary.
speed-buggy1.jpg (14.26 KiB) Viewed 1793 times

Re: Copyright Question

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:13 pm
by richmond62
If one considers all the effort that has gone into preparing images and so on for educational materials that
are now, supposedly, out-of-date, it does seem churlish to continually reinvent the wheeel or plough effort,
energy and time into doing an awful lot of work all over again.

This also refers to all the graphic resources in all those educational CD-ROMs churned out between 1985 and about 2005.

Re: Copyright Question

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:52 pm
by FourthWorld
Copyright duration varies from nation to nation:
In Berne-signatory countries, the duration of copyright is dependent on the duration of the author's life. Berne requires that copyright exist until a minimum of 50 years after the author's death. A number of countries, including the European Union and the United States, have extended that to 70 years after the author's death. A small number of countries have extended copyright further. The current lengthiest term is 100 years after the death of the author (Mexico). ... ght_length

Also worth considering is fair use, the reproduction of portions of a work for specific purposes, which include teaching:

Unfortunately, while copyright duration is quantitative and therefore easy to interpret for applicability, fair use is qualitative and infringement claims can be murky to predict when fair use is the defense.

Except in cases where the fair use falls safely within established guidelines, when in doubt it may be useful to seek permission from the author or the author's estate, or bypass the issue by creating one's own original work.

As a practical matter, copyright and patents can be difficult and expensive to pursue claims of infringement in court, and they can be equally expensive to defend. This means fewer lawsuits than potential infringements, but it also means that if it comes to that litigation can be devastating to a small business. Indeed, patent trolls rely on that to collect settlements, but that's another story.

For myself, I try to steer clear of any potential infringement, for my own peace of mind and that of any entity which may later acquire my property.

That said, I am not an attorney, and am obliged to note that nothing I've said here can be construed as legal advice, and to encourage questions requiring legal advice to a licensed professional operating within the relevant jurisdiction.