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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > The Absinthe Library
Zman
Some of you may have heard that Oxy is selling a fantastic reprint of Duplais' "Alcoholic Liquors" English translation of 1871 distilling manual. I have seen a copy of the reprint of this book and can tell you it's fantastic. There is nothing like holding in your hands a piece of history. For those of you who can't afford to enjoy this opportunity by purchasing this book, you can see it virtually. The Wormwood Society has hosted the complete, hi-res, and searchable scans in Adobe pdf format here:
http://wormwoodsociety.org/manuals.html
and
http://wormwoodsociety.org:80/forums/index…?showtopic=2639
Also there is the complete 1893 English edition of DeBrevans' "The Manufature of Liquors and Preserves" in a high-resolution and searchable formats.
traineraz
Woohoo! That's just in my price range! chickawow.gif
absinthist
Very informative sources, indeed. I have already thanked Hiram for, and if you happen to have contributed to that brilliant project, many thanks as well abs-cheers.gif
Oxygenee
I was very surprised to see the new Wormwood Society download, as it's a direct scan not of an original copy of the book, but of the UMI Books on Demand™ facsimile reprint. This has been available - at around $250 - for several years, but I've never made scans of it available, as this is expressly prohibited by the licensing terms under which the facsimile is sold. The first page of the book - not included in Hiram's scan - says: "Thiis is an authorized facsimile made from the master copy of the original book. Further unauthorized copying is prohibited"

So, unless Hiram has permission from UMI or Astrologos (their distributor) to give away for free a scan of a book they charge $250 for, this is an outright violation of their rights, or so it seems to me.

The version of Duplais I will be releasing in October is scanned from an original copy of the book in my possession (long out of copyriight), not from someone else's facsimile.
sixela
It's a bit murky, legally.

If the facsimile is indeed simply a facsimile, there is no copyrightable expression in any pages that limit themselves to reproduce the original, if the original is in the public domain, no matter what the license tries to imply.

The first page of the book, of course, would indeed by copyrightable wink.gif.
Marc
As if we had not enough drama this days.

LARS!.gif
traineraz
Just for kicks, I went through UMI's website ordering process to see the licensing agreement to which Hiram must have agreed. There is no licensing agreement. (Duplais is $200 now, btw, still substantially more than Oxy's reproduction.) Perhaps they removed it after learning it was not enforceable?

Unless the publisher has added content, reformatted, or something of that nature, the end product is not protected by copyright. For example, a new edition of an old book (prime example: The Bible) can be copyrighted (NIV is copyrighted, KJV is not; even scans of antique books are not). However, anything published before 1923 is no longer protected under (US) copyright law. Things could be different in the UK.

From UMI's FAQ:

QUOTE
Home > Technical Support > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Question
Who owns the copyright to titles in the Books on Demand program? What about royalties?

Answer
Except for titles in the public domain (like those 15th century books), the author or original publisher retains the copyright and all other rights. UMI pays royalties on all sales.


www.gutenberg.org has some good info on copyright law. They provide over 10,000 out-of-copyright titles as free e-books. No Duplais, though! I'm sure they'd be willing to host it, if someone converts Hiram's PDF into OCR'd text, and spends weeks combing through it for errors.
Oxygenee
My understanding is that while one could certainly scan and OCR the text, republishing a scan of the actual images from the facsimile edition is a violation of copyright - the images are copyright, even if the text itself isn't.
sixela
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Jul 3 2007, 11:53 PM) *

My understanding is that while one could certainly scan and OCR the text, republishing a scan of the actual images from the facsimile edition is a violation of copyright - the images are copyright, even if the text itself isn't.


Images as such aren't copyrightable expression. Change a font or two, add a fancy border, annotate, add some fancy colours, highlight some stuff etc. and you have a derived product with copyrightable expression - but simply taking an image isn't enough to create a copyrightable expression. If you can prove that you'd pretty much get the same scan if you did it yourself (from public domain material), the scenes à faire doctrine protects you.

Doesn't mean that people don't try to stick on licenses that aren't enforceable, though.

As always in these matters in the US, you can pretty much register copyright on anything (even something copyrighted by someone else - System V Release 4 Linux now has copyright registrations from both Novell and the SCO Group) and then it's a matter for the courts to decide.

Which means that many people get away with either taking "copyright" on things that aren't copyrightable or try to scare people when they just want to exercise their "fair use" rights under copyright legislation: even when you're right, if you have to pay lawyers to prove it, you're not winning, and even when you know you're going to win in court, it's even harder to prove the other side's suit was meritless enough for them to have to repay your attorney fees (and we're not even talking about the stress and aggravation).
Oxygenee
Hiram isn't reproducing the "text" of the books. He is essentially reproducing a series of enlargements of microfilm photographs made by UMI. I have a hard time seeing how they wouldn't be entitled to some protection from this. I also doubt that a multi-million dollar company like UMI would say on the first page of the book "Further unauthorised copying is prohibited" if thet didn't believe they had some basis on which to act.

And any "fair use" argument would be unsustainable, because we're not talking of extracts from the book, we're talking about the entire thing, 700+ pages, cover to cover.
sixela
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Jul 4 2007, 02:11 AM) *

I also doubt that a multi-million dollar company like UMI would say on the first page of the book "Further unauthorised copying is prohibited" if thet didn't believe they had some basis on which to act.


DISCLAIMER: I'm not a lawyer, but I do have to concern myself with copyright at times.

Happens all the time. Besides, it's technically true: the page that contains the notice that copying is prohibited is indeed copyrightable wink.gif.

It's a delicate line to tread, and multimillion dollar companies can afford to shoot across the bow; even if it's not at all sure they would prevail in court, such notices (and a couple of cease and desist letters when necessary) are often deterrent enough, which means the theory never gets tested in court.

When cases like this end up tested in court, though, it's not that unfrequent for the big fish to lose at trial, or to drop a suit just before a judgment is delivered (to avoid the embarassment of having a judge poke a hole through their legal theory).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art…rel_Corporation

As you can see, it would be hazardous to try to predict the outcome in a British court (even though the "sweat of the brow" argument that certainly does not fly in the US but just might fly in England and Wales is harder to make in the case of automated scanning).

Under US law, there's not much wiggle room: something either has some originality to it or it is not copyrightable, and that has been affirmed by the Supreme Court.

A "copyright holder" on a mere reproduction wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in Belgian or Dutch courts either, and from my limited understanding probably not much more in the rest of Continental Europe.
Oxygenee
Well if you're right Sixela, the ethical and legal considerations that stopped me scanning and republishing the UMI facsimile years ago were all invalid, and Hiram has nothing to worry about.

Out of interest, have these scans been available for some time at the WS, or were they only put up in the last week or so, after I first announced my forthcoming facsimile edition?
Grim
They've been available for quite some time. On disc even.
sixela
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Jul 4 2007, 02:44 AM) *

Well if you're right Sixela, the ethical and legal considerations that stopped me scanning and republishing the UMI facsimile years ago were all invalid,

As I said, in the UK things are different. If you want to make it to posterity, you can always challenge the Museums Copyrights Group in the UK and refight Bridgeman vs. Corel in a real UK court. Up to a couple of months ago, most people would've expected a UK court to rule as in the US, but a recent re-enactment in the UK (in May 2007) now casts doubt on that (though, as I said, this may not apply to mere scans of public domain works).

Your name will be cited for at least half a century after that, because that case would very likely set the precedent for how much "sweat of the brow" is required for an unoriginal work to become copyrighted under English and Welsh law.

The immortal fame would come at quite a price, though. Even if you win.

I'm just saying that it's hazardous to simply declare a work is copyrighted just because someone claims it is. There's a lot of "They would say that, wouldn't they" involved and not all parties are bound to read the law in an unbiased way.

Oh, BTW, should anyone here want to copy Oxy's DVDs in their entirety: they do contain copyrightable expression. It's a minefield and you'd best watch your steps.
louched liver
You know anything
about reggae?
sixela
Come to think of it, one of the defining court cases in Switzerland about copyright and reproductions involves Bob Marley.
louched liver
Small world,
w/penguin xit
all over it.
Hiram
The copy I scanned from was loaned to me and was itself photocopied from a book, presumeably the original, which was the physical property of the Louisville, KY Public Library. It is easily recognizable as a photocopy. The book is in the public domain. As far as I'm aware, I've commited no infringement. I do not recall seeing any sort of copyright notice in the front of the book. Perhaps it had been previously removed. To the best of my recollection, I scanned every page in the book except those which were completely blank.

While a legal sharp-shooter might indeed be able to put the quietus on this copy, the same can be said of many other worthy and legal efforts; lawyers help the courts enforce unfairness every day; it's their job. But I'm doubtful of the degree of support which might be given to a multi-million dollar company like UMI to waltz into a library, photocopy a public domain book and then claim copyright. Anything is possible, but I won't be losing sleep over it.

Rest assured that if I recieve a legitimate cease-and-desist order, I'll not-so-cheerfully, but promptly comply after consulting my attorney, should he advise me to do so.

As I said in my post at WS: the timing of release was coincidental and unfortunate. I made the CD available over a month ago to a good number of people and would have had the download available if I had found hosting before now. And I of course had no way of knowing of your project, Oxy. This is one of the unfortunate consequences of "playing them close to the vest." I'm sure if we each had known what the other was doing, things had turned out differently.

Regards,
Hiram,
aka the Evil Capitalist Who Put the Final Nail in the Coffin of Free Speech By Taking the Wormwood Society "Commercial"

Addendum: "This is an authorized facsimile made from the master copy of the original book. Further unauthorized copying is prohibited" I'm curious who "authorized" the facsimile?
sixela
QUOTE(Hiram @ Jul 4 2007, 05:49 AM) *

Addendum: "This is an authorized facsimile made from the master copy of the original book. Further unauthorized copying is prohibited" I'm curious who "authorized" the facsimile?

That also struck me as boilerplate language simply tacked on by people who don't know better; somehow, I also doubt that UMI got hold of the master copy of that book.
crosby
QUOTE(Hiram @ Jul 3 2007, 08:49 PM) *

Regards,
Hiram,
aka the Evil Capitalist Who Put the Final Nail in the Coffin of Free Speech By Taking the Wormwood Society "Commercial"


Um, sure. You’re all that and more.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(Hiram @ Jul 4 2007, 07:49 AM) *

The copy I scanned from was loaned to me and was itself photocopied from a book, presumeably the original, which was the physical property of the Louisville, KY Public Library. It is easily recognizable as a photocopy.


No. The book your scan is based on isn't "easily recognisable as a photocopy", it has no grey-scale at all, and it certainly wasn't photocopied from the Louisville KY library. It's a facsimile print out of microfilm photographs produced by UMI from the Louisville library copy. UMI have been for decades the largest provider of microfilm scanning services to libraries and institutions in the US, and as a corollary to this, produce facsimile copies for the academic market of technical books that are out of print and (usually) also out of copyright. These are based on their vast library of 150 000 microfilmed books.

I'm attaching scans of the cover, preface page and title page of the UMI facsimile.
Oxygenee
QUOTE(sixela @ Jul 4 2007, 10:26 AM) *

QUOTE(Hiram @ Jul 4 2007, 05:49 AM) *

Addendum: "This is an authorized facsimile made from the master copy of the original book. Further unauthorized copying is prohibited" I'm curious who "authorized" the facsimile?

That also struck me as boilerplate lagnuage simply tacked on by people who don't know better; somehow, I also doubt that UMI got hold of the master copy of that book.


See my post above. It's not boilerplate language, and UMI microfilmed the original book. The case law you refer to generally refers to the re-use of public domain text. This has nothing to do with text at all. What Hiram has copied are scanned printouts of microfilm images, images that have likely undergone at least some degree of clean-up or manipulation by UMI. He hasn't copied the book. He's copied a series of photographs of the book made by someone else.

Of course, my comments about this are self interested. I could have put a scan of the UMI facsimile up years ago, I didn't because I thought it was morally wrong to use someone else's work, in defiance of their clear prohibition notice, and also because it fell at best into a legal grey area, if it wasn't in fact an outright copyright violation. So I spent several years searching for an original copy, and finally obtained one, at considerable expense, last month. I then announced the production of a new high quality facsimile, at half the price of the existing UMI microfilm-based one. Within a day or two of my making this announcement, Hiram put a scan of the UMI version up on his site free of charge. If it's a coincidence, it's an upsetting one, at least from my point of view.
Hiram
I'm pretty sure I'd remember if I'd seen anything like that, but I didn't.


Hiram
UMI FAQ
QUOTE
Who owns the copyright to titles in the Books on Demand program? What about royalties?

Except for titles in the public domain (like those 15th century books), the author or original publisher retains the copyright and all other rights. UMI pays royalties on all sales.
I'm not seeing any claim of copyright on those pages above.
Oxygenee
Traineraz already quoted that. It refers to the text of the book, not UMI's images. If they were happy for people to electronically reproduce their actual facsimile, they wouldn't have said "Further unauthorized copying is prohibited" on the front page, would they?

Anyway, I've said my piece. If you're cool with it, it's obviously your call, not mine.
sixela
QUOTE(Oxygenee @ Jul 4 2007, 02:58 PM) *

See my post above. It's not boilerplate language, and UMI microfilmed the original book.

A "Master copy" of a book usually refers to something different than merely one of the original books.

QUOTE

The case law you refer to generally refers to the re-use of public domain text.

No (nobody would be foolish enough to sue for that - besides, the Corel case was about reproductions of pictorial art, not text). But you can find out for yourself by actually reading through the links, including the US Supreme Court opinion on what defines a work as copyrightable.

But you're very wise not to have used the UMI reprint; certainly in the UK, it is indeed a legal grey area.
Triq
Umm….
I actually have a real copy of the Duplais alcoholic liquors book.
got it years ago at the Louisville opera book sale for 20 bucks!! chickawow.gif
I guess that was A GOOD FIND!
traineraz
You might want to try putting it on eBay.

Oh, and you may also wish to try introducing yourself in the proper space. I'm sure you can find the way!
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