Are C. S. Lewis' works still under copyright?

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jul 1 2014 6:46 PM

I ask because many of them are being given away at numerous sites on the internet.  They are so widely distributed as free PDF files that I wonder if I have missed something.  Some are even at quite legitimate sites which I believe try to honor copyright.

Just curious if these are lawfully being distributed, and if it would be okay to make Personal Books of them for Logos.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 6:52 PM

Yes in the US, but not in Canada, where the copyright expires 50 years after the author's death (thus Nov 22, 2013 for CSL). Most of the sites distributing his works are probably doing it illegally.

If you own the books in paper form anyway, it's probably OK to make personal books of them for your own use (fuzzy area of the law which hasn't been tested yet in the courts, but if it turns out to be akin to the way we can make copies of music in other formats for our own use, then it'll probably pass muster). But not to share with others until the works are out of copyright in your country.

I've considered doing a couple of them as PBs to post on a server in Canada, but I'm not sure whether even that is OK, because they'd be available to anyone in the US where it wouldn't be legal.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 7:17 PM

Rosie Perera:
Yes in the US, but not in Canada

What is the expiry time for US copyrights?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 8:05 PM

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 9:30 PM

Thanks Rosie.  That explains why so much of his work is now freely available.  It seems to me that United States Americans made a mistake extending copyright so much longer than Canadian Americans.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 10:11 PM

Michael Childs:
It seems to me that United States Americans made a mistake extending copyright so much longer than Canadian Americans.

I appreciate your careful wording, but I don't know of any Canadians who call themselves Canadian Americans. In fact, being confused for Americans is one of the things Canadians hate. "Americans" unmodified usually refers unambiguously to people from the United States. All the political correctness about recognizing that Canada is part of North America and thus Canadians deserve to use the adjective "American" too and the USA doesn't have a monopoly on it seems to be coming from the US side of the border, not up here. If you use the convention you're using, then you'd have to extend it to Mexicans too, but clearly Mexican Americans means something completely different (people of Mexican origin who are citizens of the United States). I would say ditto for "Canadian Americans" (and the masses who edit Wikipedia agree). You can simply call people from Canada Canadians and I think they (we) will appreciate it more, and will not feel miffed or confused about you using the word Americans for US-ers.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 1 2014 11:18 PM

Michael Childs:
It seems to me that United States Americans made a mistake extending copyright so much longer

If I recall correctly, one of the major motivations for changes in US copyright law was to bring it closer to the international (primarily European) norms.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 3:54 AM

Rosie Perera:

Michael Childs:
It seems to me that United States Americans made a mistake extending copyright so much longer than Canadian Americans.

I appreciate your careful wording, but I don't know of any Canadians who call themselves Canadian Americans.

I'm a Canadian and no Canadian I know would use that term but I love it that you are trying to be inclusive. Wink

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 4:05 AM

Rosie Perera:
All the political correctness about recognizing that Canada is part of North America and thus Canadians deserve to use the adjective "American" too and the USA doesn't have a monopoly on it seems to be coming from the US side of the border, not up here

Wow! Believe that is the first time ever that I have been called "politically correct" Wink I will immediately revert to my American arrogance and forever more remember that America means United States. People in the rest of these two continents can fend for themselves Big Smile (We need a tongue in cheek smiley)

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 6:01 AM

Michael Childs:
It seems to me that United States Americans made a mistake extending copyright so much longer than Canadian Americans.

They simply signed the Berne Convention, which regulates copyright for most of the world.

Rosie Perera:
Canada, where the copyright expires 50 years after the author's death (thus Nov 22, 2013 for CSL)

Jan 1, 2014, as I understand it.

Rosie Perera:
I'm not sure whether even that is OK, because they'd be available to anyone in the US where it wouldn't be legal

If you ran a Canadian bookstore, would you refuse to sell cheap copyright free CS Lewis editions just because non-Canadians might turn up and buy them? Would you require a Canadian ID?

In fact, I don't think it would be illegal for me to buy such a book in Canada and bring it back home, so would it really be illegal to download one from Canada? I don't know, but I suspect not. 

Rosie Perera:
"Americans" unmodified usually refers unambiguously to people from the United States.

And I'll never understand why people on the rest of the continent silently accept that the US lays claim to the whole of it. I remember the last papal election. If we'd gotten another pope, he would have been described as a European, Asian, African or Australian pope, but because he came from Argentina, they had to rewrite it into an awkward and ridiculous "the first pope from the Americas". If they'd announced "the first American pope", everyone would have thought it was Dolan.Tongue Tied

Jack Caviness:
(We need a tongue in cheek smiley)

What's wrong with Stick out tongue?

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 7:49 AM

fgh:
And I'll never understand why people on the rest of the continent silently accept that the US lays claim to the whole of it. I remember the last papal election. If we'd gotten another pope, he would have been described as a European, Asian, African or Australian pope, but because he came from Argentina, they had to rewrite it into an awkward and ridiculous "the first pope from the Americas". If they'd announced "the first American pope", everyone would have thought it was Dolan.Tongue Tied

North America and South America are two separate continents, so the analogy of European, Asian, etc., works fine. What's wrong with calling him a South American pope? Canadians are North Americans, but "America" has almost never been used to refer to the two continents together except by people worried that the United States somehow stole that term for itself. Its full name is the United States of America. The adjectival form of that cannot be United Statesians as that would be awkward, so it's been Americans from the very beginning. Nothing "laid claim" to. The two continents together are called "the Americas," but not America singular. Oh and there's also Central America which often gets left out of this conversation. Not really a separate continent, as it is part of the same land mass as North America.

Yes totally cool with a smiley on all of this. I'm not being tongue in cheek, but I'm also not upset over it. Just thought I'd explain that you don't need to do it that way to avoid offending Canadians or Brazilians, Argentinians, etc., if that's your reason.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 8:29 AM

fgh:

Jack Caviness:
(We need a tongue in cheek smiley)

What's wrong with Stick out tongue?

Close but not quite. That icon officially is labeled as "stick out tongue".

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 10:40 AM

fgh:

Jack Caviness:
(We need a tongue in cheek smiley)

What's wrong with Stick out tongue?

Considered—but rejected that one. The tongue missed the cheek and exited the lips; therefore becoming an insult in this part of the world, especially among children—and childish elderly folk Geeked.

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Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 11:28 AM

The driving force behind the USA copyright extension laws is to keep Micky Mouse in copyright. 

I have also found Cher's comment amusing that her ex husband Sonny Bono (who became congressman much interested in copyright extension) thought that copyright, unlike marriage should last forever.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 11:53 AM

Mike Pettit:
The driving force behind the USA copyright extension laws is to keep Micky Mouse in copyright. 

Now, now such imprecision is unbecoming a Logosian-Verbumite. I'm sure you meant: "The A driving force"

Big Smile

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 12:28 PM

I really should not be amazed that a C.S. Lewis copyright thread should degenerate into what constitutes an "American." 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 1:15 PM

Super.Tramp:

I really should not be amazed that a C.S. Lewis copyright thread should degenerate into what constitutes an "American." 

Well, the copyright question has been adequately answered, and this is a holiday week in the US. Therefore, we digress, or as my students would say, "You are chasing another rabbit" Confused

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 10:10 PM

Wow!  Y'all have answered questions that I didn't even know I was asking.  Thanks.

I just wondered why so much C. S. Lewis is available free on the internet and no one is doing anything about it.

I believe copyright law should have two goals:  1. To protect the reasonable rights of the author / creator.  2.  To protect the reasonable rights of the public. 

These two purposes are often in conflict and should be reasonably balance.  Personally, I think 50 years is more than fair to the creator, and the longer US (and many other nation's) copyright law are products of greed.  And when law fails to keep up with the realistic reality of technology, they often become irrelevant.  I believe that was one of the reasons that the courts ruled that it is perfectly legal to copy music from a legally purchased cd to your MP3 player. 

But I don't make the laws, yet I generally try to obey them.  Even the ones that I believe are basically the result of greed. 

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 2 2014 11:56 PM

Michael Childs:
copyright law are products of greed. 

Given how little most authors earn in royalties, I assume that you subscribe to the less there is to fight over, the more we fight ... usually applied to academic power struggles.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 3 2014 4:20 PM

MJ. Smith:

Michael Childs:
copyright law are products of greed. 

Given how little most authors earn in royalties, I assume that you subscribe to the less there is to fight over, the more we fight ... usually applied to academic power struggles.

MJ, I don't think you were fair to my context of those words.  I do not believe, nor did I say, that copyright laws as such are about greed.  Did you read my post?  I point that one of the valid purposes - and the first purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the author or creator.

I simply believe that 50 years is more than fair to do that.  I also think the laws in the US were extended beyond that largely because of corporate greed. Your quote makes it sound like I am condemning the concept of copyright.

And I suspect that there are more writers making more money writing than in the history of the world.  Though I have done no research to prove that.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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