Question

How do I find out if a work is in the public domain, and if it isn’t, how do I find out who to contact for permissions?

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3 Responses to Question

  1. Ivy says:

    Just my suggestions:

    - have a look on Project Gutenberg, if it’s there, then it’s definitely public domain.

    - if you have a published version of it, track down the publisher. They’d have needed to get permission to publish it themselves. They might be able to put you in touch with someone they know.

    I hope that’s a help and that I haven’t told you stuff you already know. :-)

  2. Reen says:

    You kind of need to know when it was written, when it was published, and how it was copyrighted at the time of publication. Here’s Cornell’s breakdown of the public domain status of various works based on these factors:

    http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm

  3. Jessica Smith says:

    Ok, it’s on Project Gutenberg and it says it isn’t copyrighted in the US. Which means:

    1. There’s a free public version available, so who’d want to buy a print version? (though reprints of various classic works constantly disprove this, and the copy I know to be in circulation has really ugly design)

    2. I can reprint it!

    I have to check and make sure Green Integer hasn’t reprinted it recently (although they’re not exactly geniuses with cover design either, sorry guys! I love your books! I buy them all the time! but they’re not pretty).

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