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Old 07-03-2012, 01:28 AM   #1
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Question on sharing scanned cookbooks...

I buy up lots of book lots from auctions and estate sales. Consequently I wind up sorting through a good number of cookbooks which I scan into my computer to keep my shelves happy.

Was wondering if I was allowed to share scans considering that most I find are now either public domain or out of copyright. Is it considered lending or is it a no-no?

I'm still trying to figure out the ins and outs of what's allowed on forums and don't want to share something that could be questionable.

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Old 07-03-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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If there is any question of copyright, we prefer it to not be posted. It is much better to link to a resource.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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I do know the answer, but in accordance with the management's desires (understandable), I'll point you to resources and outline some of the issues you will be using them to settle. I think it's safe enough to say that, if you are confident a work is in the public domain, you can copy and share all you want. Google does. The Gutenberg Project does. Both, by the way, have many cookbooks, including some very interesting ones that go back to ancient times. Of course Google also had to pay $125-million to settle a copyright suit after they tried to push the issue too far.

The following sites have about all anyone could want on copyright. It's impossible to write accurately about copyright without a lot of what-if's and maybe's. But don't try to concoct a legal theory that suits you. If you have to nitpick to fit your activity into the right side of the law, it probably isn't.

10 Big Myths about copyright explained

Copyright | American Library Association

http://humanities.arizona.edu/sites/...ed%20Works.pdf

This one is specific to the duration of copyright.

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15a.pdf

If a book is still in copyright, there are a great many "what ifs" in copyright that just can't be fully answered for a particular case. It's become even more complicated in recent decades as digital scanning and storage came within the abilities of everyone. Libraries, being very careful, have begun scanning some of their out-of-print (but still in copyright) books and allowing ONE digital loan at a time. They reason that it's fair to make one copy of the book they own, but they don't risk making multiple copies to loan.

It also becomes a matter of ethics, because the targets of legal efforts are things like the massive copied movie sites. It almost always comes down to what you think is right and fair to authors.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnCook View Post
I buy up lots of book lots from auctions and estate sales. Consequently I wind up sorting through a good number of cookbooks which I scan into my computer to keep my shelves happy.

Was wondering if I was allowed to share scans considering that most I find are now either public domain or out of copyright. Is it considered lending or is it a no-no?

I'm still trying to figure out the ins and outs of what's allowed on forums and don't want to share something that could be questionable.
What do you mean by "public domain"? Do you mean it is available on the Internet? If so, then I'd say share the link. The legal definition for "public domain" does not mean there is not a copyright holder. Example, one of my ancestors' papers are available to the public, held by a historical society, BUT the copyright is owned by my family. And, you can research this information on the Internet and there is a copyright notice. It depends on the date and country re: expired copyright. Without research, you will not know if s/one else has "bought" the copyright from the the person/estate that originally held the copyright. I know of a gentleman who buys copyrights and then reprints the books and sells them. Stay on the safe side--share a link or PM the recipe with credit information.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
...Stay on the safe side--share a link or PM the recipe with credit information.
This is not the safe side. If an item is copyrighted, you cannot share it legally. Providing the 'credit information' is merely a way of your saying, "I know it's copyrighted but I'm going to share it anyway." That can be used against you to prove you broke the law knowingly.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
This is not the safe side. If an item is copyrighted, you cannot share it legally. Providing the 'credit information' is merely a way of your saying, "I know it's copyrighted but I'm going to share it anyway." That can be used against you to prove you broke the law knowingly.
Well then, the posts that folks share where credit and (c) are included should also not be posted on this forum.

FWIW, it depends on the country in which you are in. In some, you can share 10% of the content without being in violation of copyright law and depends on how the copyright notice is worded and how one is sharing the information, e.g., for educational purposes, and where the book was printed. BTW, expressed permission, in Canada, means that you MUST have written, not email permission, from the copyright owner. And you must request it each and every time. At least it did the last time I asked my lawyer when I was asked to violate copyright law and refused to do so for a client (I also lost the client--but was that a client for which I wanted to work?).
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #7
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In some, you can share 10% of the content without being in violation of copyright
The 10% rule is such a headache. Ran in to that one sharing Bible study online. I was doing a side by side comparison of translation vs reiteration and turns out 10% can apply overall OR 10% per chapter depending on publishing house.

With Biblical references that means very choppy quoting and lots of copyright issues.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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Specifically regarding recipes, ingredient lists are not covered by copyright but the instructions/directions are. You have to "significantly rewrite" the instructions to avoid issues.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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I generally rely on the wise counsel of the good folks that run this site to keep me on the straight and narrow about such issues. They do a great job of minding the store, so to speak.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AnnCook View Post
I buy up lots of book lots from auctions and estate sales. Consequently I wind up sorting through a good number of cookbooks which I scan into my computer to keep my shelves happy.

Was wondering if I was allowed to share scans considering that most I find are now either public domain or out of copyright. Is it considered lending or is it a no-no?

I'm still trying to figure out the ins and outs of what's allowed on forums and don't want to share something that could be questionable.
Welcome, Ann.

Is there a FAQ here re same?

I have thousands (if not more) of recipes, I store on my computer in my Mastercook Program from various sources, as well as my own. If the recipe exists on the web, I try to research & provide a link.

Just wondering, are you planning on posting (let's say) a recipe a day from another source? (Unsure why the question arose.)

If you have made the recipe, tell us why you like it, or post TNT (Tried and True), or post your method in your own words. As I understand it (?) photos have copyrights as well. Hope that helps.
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