Thursday, October 24, 2002

information wants to be free

I saw a page that some of our visitors from outside of the US might like from the University of Pennsylvania Library. It's Books Online: No US Access. The page includes links to a number of texts that are in the public domain outside of the US, but are still held under copyright within the States. It's important that you heed the warning on the page:
The following books are by authors that have died more than 50 years ago, which places them in the public domain in many countries, particularly those outside the US and Europe. However, they remain copyrighted under United States law, where works copyrighted in 1923 or later can be protected for up to 95 years after publication.

Do NOT download or read these books online if you or your system are in the United States or in another country where copyright protections can extend more than 50 years past an author's death. The author's estate and publishers still retain their legal and moral rights to oversee the work in those countries. (Also, in many European countries, copyrights have recently been extended to last 70 years past the author's death.)
Fortunately, for our guests who cannot access legally access these books, the Library's site does link to books from many of these authors that are in the public domain in the United States, and are available online. Included are writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Willa Cather, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Edith Wharton, and others. Follow the links off the page for each of these authors to locate the books that US citizens are allowed to access.

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