LEGAL NOTICE

© 2008 – Tony Laidig. All rights reserved. The Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. In practical advice books, like anything else in life, there are no guarantees of income made. Readers are cautioned to reply on their own judgment about their individual circumstances to act accordingly. This book is not intended for use as a source of legal, business, accounting or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek services of competent professionals in legal, business, accounting, and finance fields. You are encouraged to print this book for easy reading.

The Public Domain in the UK and Other Countries
by Tony Laidig
http://www.publicdomainblog.com

The copyright laws vary from country to country, so space will not permit me to share all the copyright scenarios for each country around the world. I would highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the copyright laws that govern intellectual property rights in your own country. While I am not a copyright attorney who can help you navigate through the tangled, and sometimes, confusing web of international copyright law, I will share with you what I’ve learned and understand to be true. As an example, I’ll share how this usage of Public Domain works from the United States would be viewed in the UK, and how the copyright laws of the UK affect its own works (books, photographs, films, audios, etc.).

In the UK, the copyright laws work differently than those in the United States. The general rule of thumb concerning copyright for literary works is that the copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author or creator of the work. So if a work was published in 1930 in the UK, and the author died in 1934, the work would have passed into the Public Domain in the UK in 2004. However if the author of the same work did not die until 1948, the work would not pass into the Public Domain until 2018. There are some exceptions, such as, when more than one person is listed as author or creator of the work. In that case, the length of the copyright is determined as 70 years after the death of the longest lived of those individuals. So if a work was written by two authors who collaborated together, and one author died in 1934 and the other died in 1948, the copyright would remain in effect until 2018, seventy years from the death of the remaining author.

There is an excellent guide online that has been compiling the names of authors and their works who died in each year since 1700. This guide currently catalogs over 113,000 authors, and can be used to determine whose copyrights expire(d) each New

Year in past and future years. You can access this guide, not only for the authors of books, but for magazines and other literary works as well. Here is the web address: http://www.kingkong.demon.co.uk/abyod/abyod.htm

If you are living in the UK, but wonder about using works from the United States that are in the Public Domain there, there are a few simple tips to keep in mind.

1) The rule of the shorter term, also called the comparison of terms, is a provision in international copyright treaties that allows participating countries to limit the duration of copyright they grant to foreign works to the copyright term a work is granted in its country of origin. What that means is that many works that are now in the Public Domain in the United States will also be in the Public Domain in the foreign countries who follow the rule of shorter term. This rule is especially important regarding the copyright of works published in the United States between the years of 1923 and 1964 but were not renewed. Works published BEFORE 1923 are already in the Public Domain.

For every country that follows the rule of the shorter term, works that are in the Public Domain in the United States should ALSO be in the Public Domain in those countries as well, provided the copyright was NOT renewed in the 28th year after the original publication date. However, there is an exception to this rule in the UK. The United Kingdom followed the rule of the shorter term before 1956, but didn’t follow it during the years, 1956-1996. Then in 1996, the UK began to follow it again. So what does that mean to individuals in the UK? Simply this… books, magazines, journals and periodicals (as well as other literary and visual works) that were published in the United States during 1923 through 1928 and did NOT have their copyrights renewed in their 28th year (the latter being 1956) are NOW in the Public Domain in the UK as well. Works that were published in the United States between the years of 1929 and 1963 whose copyrights were not renewed, must follow the UK copyright laws in effect during that time, meaning the life of the author plus 70 years. So as of this current year, 2008, any

book published in the United States from the time period of 1929-1963, and the copyright was NOT renewed in the United States, is in the Public Domain in the UK, IF the author(s) died before 1938.

2) Selling in the United States. A number of savvy internet marketers who are based in the UK have been using a simple method to get around this US-UK copyright dilemma. The “secret” is simply this: Keep all the elements of your Public Domain-based products based in the United States. The way you would accomplish that is to have your website set up as a .com and hosted on a server in the United States. Also, use a United States-based payment processor (like Clickbank or PayDotCom). You’ll also want to make sure you mention that your product is in the Public Domain in the United States and that copyright restrictions may apply in other countries. Adding a line or two to your disclaimer should take care of it. By taking this approach, you can avoid most of the copyright issues mentioned above entirely. Of course the safest bet of all when using works from the United States is to stick with content published before 1923 (or before 1928 if the copyright wasn’t renewed). Then, thanks to the rule of the shorter term, your content will definitely be in the Public Domain and no further actions should be necessary.

3) A Few Exceptions. There are a few exceptions to the copyright rules shared above (you knew it, right?) that can affect those in the UK (and other countries). I’m not going to go into a lot of detail with them, but I do want to point them out to you. These exceptions involve works that are in the Public Domain in the United States but were written by non-US citizens. There are two primary examples to consider here:

a. Was the author a non-US citizen? If the work was first published in the United States and now in the Public Domain in the United States, but the author was a citizen of another country, the copyright laws of the country

where the author maintained citizenship apply (author’s life + 70 years in many cases) for that country.

b. Was the work published in a country other than the US first? If the work was first published in another country and then later published in the United States, the copyright laws of the first country apply (author’s life + 70 years in many cases).

The following is a fairly complete, up-to-date list of the copyright rules for various countries around the world. These tables summarise the conditions a work must meet in order to be safely considered public domain

Not public domain
Conditions Date PD

unpublished works created before 1978 and published 1977–2003

2048–2073

Public domain
Corporate authorship 'Corporate authorship' refers to works written for hire or in the name of a corporation.

Date of publication

Conditions

Public domain

Template

none.

unpublished

Works created 120+ years ago (1887) works created 120+ years ago (1887) or published 95+ years ago

none.

1923 through

published outside the US and copyright in its

none.

1977
• •

home country

(1912), whichever is earliest.

1978–1 March 1989

works created 120+ years ago no notice, but subsequent registration (1887) or published 95+ years ago or with notice (1912), whichever is earliest. works created 120+ years ago (1887) or published over 95+ years ago (1912), whichever is earliest.

none.

After 1 March none. 1989

none.

Unpublished works An unpublished work is one that has never been published in any form, or which was first published after 2003 but created before 1935.
Note for the European Union: If a previously unpublished work is published first time ("editio princeps") later than 70 years after the death of the author, then it is no more public domain but it is granted a copyright for 25 years (Council Directive 93/98/EEC)

Type of work
• •

What is public domain

Template

Most works (except those below) works of authors who died 70+ or created before 1978 and published years ago (1937) after 2002 anonymous or pseudonymous or author's date of death unknown Works created 120+ years ago (1887)

{{PD-old70}}

• •

{{PD-old}}

Published in the United States

Date of publication Before 1923 none.

Condition

[3]

What is public domain

Template

all works.

{{PD-1923}}

1923–1963

with notice, no renewal[b]

all works.

{{PD-USnorenewal}} none. {{PD-USno-notice}} none.

1923–1963

with notice and renewal[b]

Works published 95+ years ago (1912)

1923–1977

no copyright notice

all works.

1964–1977 1978–1 March 1989

with notice no notice or subsequent registration

Works published 95+ years ago (1912)

all works.

none.

1978–1 March 1989

no notice, but subsequent registration or with notice

works of authors who died 70+ years ago none. (1937)

After 1 March none. 1989

works of authors who died 70+ years ago (1937)

Any time

prepared by an on-duty officer or employee of the all works. United States Federal Government

{{PDUSGov}}

Any time

official documents of the [4] United Nations

Official records, UN documents issued with a UN symbol, and not-for-sale public information materials designed primarily {{PD-UN}} to inform the public about United Nations activities

Published outside the United States Note: Foreign works published after 1923 are likely to be still under copyright in the US because of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, even if they briefly entered public domain before the agreement[5]. Only unambiguous conditions are listed below.

Date of publication

Condition

What is public domain

Template

Before 1 July 1909

none.

all works.

none.

1 July 1909– 1922

in compliance with US formalities

all works.

none.

1923–1977

public domain in its home country as of 1 January 1996

all works.

{{PD1996}}

After 1 January 1978

copyright in its home country

works by authors who died 95+ years ago (1912)

Published in Greater China

Condition

What is public domain

Template

Works ineligible for copyright in Mainland China

Laws; regulations; resolutions, decisions and orders of State {{PDorgans; other documents of a legislative, administrative or judicial CN}} nature; and their official translations.

Official works of Macao

Official works, in particular the texts of treaties, laws and {{PDregulations and those of reports or decisions by authorities of any MO}} kind, and translations thereof.

Works ineligible for copyright in Taiwan

The constitution, acts, regulations, official documents (including {{PDproclamations, text of speeches, news releases, and other TW}} documents prepared by civil servants in the course of carrying out their duties), and their translations and compilations by central or

local government agencies.

Miscellaneous

Condition

What is public domain

Template

No creative content

Some works (vague)

{{PD-ineligible}}

Copyright released by holder

All works

{{PD-release}}

Public manifesto

Works where research has uncovered no copyright

{{PDmanifesto}}

Copyright terms by country
These tables outline the estimated length of time of copyright per country[6][7][8]. Laws regarding anonymous works, corporate-authored works, or non-literary works vary per country. This is not intended to be used as a legal guideline since it cannot reflect the complexity of the copyright laws in effect at any one time and since copyright laws are changing continuously; this section simply provides a useful summary as part of a more in-depth research.

Country

Copyright length

Albania

life + 70

Algeria

life + 50

Andorra

life + 70

Angola

life + 50

Argentina

life + 70

Armenia

life + 50

Aruba

unknown

Australia

life + 50 if author died before 1955, otherwise life + 70

Austria

life + 70

Azerbaijan

life + 50

Bahrain

life + 50

Bangladesh

life + 50

Barbados

life + 50

Belarus

life + 50

Belgium

life + 70

Belize

life + 50

Benin

life + 50

Bhutan

life + 50

Bolivia

life + 50

Bosnia and Herzegovina

life + 70
• •

Brazil

life + 70 for known authors first publication + 70 for anonymous or pseudonymous works (only if the author don't makes his identity known before the [10] expiry) [11] first publication + 70 for audiovisual and photographic works , phonograms and transmission for the broadcasts of broadcasting [12] organizations texts of treaties or conventions, laws, decrees, regulations, judicial decisions and other official enactments shall be excluded [13] from copyright protection

[9]

Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Chile China

life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50

Colombia Costa Rica Cote d'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Estonia European Union Fiji Finland France Georgia Germany Ghana

life + 80 life + 70 life + 99 Life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 25 life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70

Greece Guatemala Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Korea (South) Kuwait Kyrgyzstan

life + 70 life + 75 life + 75 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 60 for literary or musical works or artistic works, publication + 60 for [14][15] others . life + 50 life + 30 life + 50 (imposed by occupying provisional authority) life + 70 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 (life + 70 years for motion pictures) life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50

Latvia Lebanon Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Madagascar Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshal Islands Mauritius Mexico Moldova Mongolia Montenegro Morocco Namibia The Netherlands

life + 70 life + 50 life + 25, with 50-year minimum (as of 1968; may have changed since) life + 70 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 none life + 50 life + 70 none life + 50 life + 100 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70

New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Qatar Romania Russia

life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 Life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 Life + 70 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 (life + 50 for works whose copyright expired before July 28, [16] 2004)

Saint Vincent and the life + 50 Grenadines Samoa Saudi Arabia Life + 75 life + 50

Serbia Seychelles Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa Spain Sudan Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tonga

life + 70 life + 25 life + 70 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 70 life + 70 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50 life + 50

Trinidad and Tobago life + 50 Tunisia life + 50

Turkey

life + 70

United Arab Emirates life + 50 United Kingdom United States of America Uruguay Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe life + 70 expired for works published before 1923; 28 or 95 years for works copyrighted 1923-1963; 95 years for works copyrighted 1964-1977; thereafter life+70. life + 50 life + 50 life + 60 life + 50 life + 30 life + 50 life + 50

Notes
Footnotes
• •

^a These works have copyright terms extending 70 years beyond the author's life, or until 31 December 2047 (whichever is greater). ^b The United States Copyright renewal records search engine is a useful tool for determining renewal status.

References

1. The criteria tables are primarily derived from the Cornell Copyright Information Center's Public Domain chart, which is copyrighted by Peter Hirtle and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 2.0. 2. Copyright durations, Bromberg and Sunstein, LLP 3. Circular 15a from the United States Copyright Office 4. As Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement for the United Nations, Public Law 80-357 applies the United States laws to the United Nations Headquarters, works published there are copyrighted in the same way as other works published in the United States. 5. Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). Circular 38b (Portable Document Format), Library of Congress Copyright Office 6. How Can I Tell Whether a Book Can Go Online?, Online Books Page 7. Summary of copyright terms The Online Books Page 8. Collection of National Copyright Laws, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation 9. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 41 10. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 43 11. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 44 12. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 96 13. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 8 14. A Hand Book of Copyright Law, Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development 15. Copyright in India: Law & Procedure, Ezine Articles 16. copyright.ru (Russian)

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