Copyrighting an uncopyrighting book with an author
- July 19, 2005 @ 1:33pmdave says:I am stuck and would appreciate any help. My wife and I ran across a book left in a shed in a home we just bought in Hawaii. It has an author (and an illustrator) listed on the front of the book, BUT days right on the front that the book IS NOT copyrighted.
I am attempting to fill out for TX to copyright it, as I see a great marketing potential here in local Hawaii. I do not want to say I am the author on the form, as I am not. But I really don't want this author to come back to me and demand royalties or something silly later on. How do I handlel the author portion on the form? Leave his name? Put my name? Tried to call the copyright office, ha! Ha! :rolleyes: .
Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks. Dave
- July 19, 2005 @ 1:55pmAFry says:I'm not certain that the book isn't copyrighted. According to U.S. copyright law, a work that can be copyrighted is copyrighted as soon as it is written. Registering a copyright is optional, not mandatory.
It...says right on the front that the book IS NOT copyrighted.Would you mind quoting the message that says this? Also, do you know when the book was written or published? I'd rather not say too much without knowing more details, but my gut feeling is that you cannot register the copyright. That doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot publish and sell the book. If you answer my questions, I think I can give you a better answer.
- July 19, 2005 @ 4:57pmdave says:Alfred...that's sooo much for the reply back. I did not know about something being copyrighted when it's written. Basically, as you stated, I don't care about the copyright, I just want to market & sell the book without stepping on any toes.
I hope you've been to Hawaii sometime in your life...if you have, his comment about the copyright will make more sense. As you've probably heard here in Hawaii, most locals talk 'pigeon' talk...kin like dis bra...howzit...da kine....all that. This book is a book written in pigeon and is actuallly very comical. Anyway...here is EXACTLY what is written on the first page of the book:"DIS KOOKBOOK IS NOT PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT BUT DAT DOESN'T GIVE YOU DA RIGHT TO USE OR COPY ANY UV DA STUFF IN HEAH. INSTEAD, DIS BOOK IS PROTECTED BY TEN MOKES, HU LUV TO KICK ASS. NAH! ONLY JOKING." The way I read this is that IT IS NOT COPYRIGHTED, but 10 mokes (hawaiian's) will come and kick butt. But the Nah! Only joking is interesting...
What do you think? I know it's not your normal copyright clause.
Again, don't really care about copyright, just want to sell the book. I don't want to contact the author yet, until I find out whatzup!Thanks and Aloha. Dave
- July 20, 2005 @ 8:39amAFry says:Unfortunately, I've never been to Hawaii. However, I think I can help you out. I believe the author is partially correct. A recipe that does nothing more than list the ingredients is not protected by copyright law. However, the way a recipe is presented (for example a recipe with a particular illustration next to it) is protected. Collections of recipes can be protected. The U.S. Copyright Office has a page about recipes. I cannot get the link to work correctly. After you click on the link, remove the space between the "g" and the "o" in "copyright.g ov" and you should get the right page. Recipes I am almost completely certain that the author and illustrator have the exlusive right to sell the book even though they do not appear to believe this themselves. The notice tells me that they want to protect their rights. I do not see how you can legally publish this book without contacting the author or illustrator. However, if there truly is a market for this book, I suspect that you can reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Good luck and Aloha.
- July 20, 2005 @ 10:16amdave says:Thank you for the help and the link. I will check into the recipe side, as these do have illustrations with them as well and there are quite a few recipes in the book. Worse case, I will attempt to contact the author.
Thanks again and Aloha to you and yours.
- July 21, 2005 @ 10:03amksmith says:Do you have any idea when the book was written and whether or not it was published? This is important for determining if it really is unprotected. Before 1978 (or 1989 in some situations), some formalities were required to obtain copyright protection, at least for published works. So if the book pre-dates 1978, the rule that copyright attaches as soon as original work is fixed in a tangible form may not apply.
- July 21, 2005 @ 10:28amdave says:There is no date in the book that I can find at all. As far as publishing, i'm not sure, but the book is actually in a plastic spiral bound, homemade format. There was also another cookbook found with this one, made in the exact same style. The other book , not the one I want to publish(which is bound exactly the same, with the same color yellow cover) says on the front cover "Koa Iki; Parent Group Recipe book 1998-1999. Inside under acknowledgments it says, " we would like to thank all of the families that shared their recipes....etc, etc." My guess is that the Hawaiian Kookbook and this book may have been sold for a fundraiser, or something like that for the school. I'm not sure if that's being published or not. I did go to the copyright recipe site you gave me. But it says when there is a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook, there may be a basis of copyright protection. What bothers me there, is the words 'there may be a basis'. Doesn't sound real definatitive to me. I am excited to publish and market the book still, as I told you...but not sure where to go from here. I HAVE NOT contacted the author yet, as that will be my last resort.
Any more ideas on which way to jump?
- July 21, 2005 @ 10:51amksmith says:While I do not intend to offer a legal opinion, it seems to me that it is hard to see how this "Kookbook" is not protected. Roughly, if it was published after 1989 or unpublished (whether before or after 1989), it is very likely to be protected by copyright. Given the illustrations, the use of dialect, and whatever arrangement it employs, it also seems that it would have sufficient originality for protection. Finally, I doubt that the humorous (one hopes) notice in the front really would operate to waive copyright or license any commercial use.
I don't know why you are reluctant to contact the author (and illustrator), but I think that doing so is both the right thing, and the safe thing, to do.
- July 21, 2005 @ 2:02pmdave says:Well my search may have ended. I'm not sure I would say I was reluctant to contact the author, I just though that if one did not copyright something that I could do what I wanted. Just ignorance, I guess. I really appreciate your input and time. Here's what I found. After searching for hours on the Internet today, I came across his name, referenced to the book at amazon.com, believe it or not. It says it out of print, but does give a year of 1987 as well as an ASIN #. I am going to contact the author and see what's up and if maybe we can go and do something together. I did originally search the copyright office for the author and the book and came up with nothing, but maybe because it was a kookbook, I was not able to originally find anything out. Again, thanks for your input and postings, as it has kept me on track with my idea. Aloha.
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