I suggest you get legal counselling before doing that.
It is entirely possible that, in some countries and possibly in the US, a not exercised copyright allows under certain circumstances any entity to copy a book (provided other rights of the author, such as paternity and work integrity, are respected). Even if such a norm exists in the US, you should check if there is, as there would probably be, a procedure that you have to observe in order to be able to copy the work: for instance, notifying the copyright holder of your intention to publish the book, if they don't. There might be some terms for your warning and the copyright holder's publication. Those terms expired you might be able to copy the work.
Just like in different cases of intellectual property such as patents and trademarks, also in the case of copyright it is quite conceivable that the ratio of the law is not only to protect the right of the author to see its authorship recognised (paternity right), to see the work to be distributed entirely (right of integrity of work), and the obvious right to enjoy the profits of the copying (patrimonial rights on the work), but also to protect and foster the right of the general public to know the work, and the right of the author to see his work diffused. If the copyright holder does not exercise its right to print the work, he deprives society of the work itself and deprives the author, if different from the copyright holder, of an important part of his rights.
Imagine, to make a school case, somebody buying the right to a book only for jealousy, and then not publishing it because it would obfuscate the merits of his own book. Imagine a rich Ben Jonson, in modern times, buying the rights to Shakespeare plays to eliminate them from the scene... or just imagine, in modern times, Shakespeare's publisher to run out of money and not publish anything, hoping he might be able to publish them one day, in the future.
So, in general, it is quite possible, or even quite likely, that the patrimonial rights of copy come, in the hidden plies of the laws, with some implicit strings to actually exercise the copyright, or lose it.
In Italy IIRC and no, I'm not going to scavenge laws, it is not considered a copyright violation an integral photocopy for study purposes of a book which is out of print. That is different from a new edition though, as each student, who is in need of studying the book, has the right to make one photocopy only, his personal photocopy of the book.
So it might be that if the copyright holder does not exercise his copyright, somebody else has the right to do it, but there probably is a procedure, and the entire process is full of risks if you chose the DIY route.
There certainly might be a legal way to do that, but by every means do it legally ;) get professional advice.
PS And I do take you very seriously. Works must be published. If they are not, I do sympathise with any effort to bring them back to life, in the author's interest, and in the interest of society at large.
PS I think for books the patrimonial copy rights expire after 70 years after the death of the author. Non-patrimonial rights, such as right to paternity and right to integrity of the work, obviously never expire.
Sorry if I was a bit "rough" in my remark. It was not a general comment to "get lost" from the Website. It was specific to this "venture." But the sentiment was serious, and I do not see how it is being a bully to say that. Being a bully is picking on someone smaller than yourself. As for being self righteous, I suppose so. But that is not necessarily a bad thing in all cases.
Originally Posted by Toffle
Sweet Corn! I was not expecting feedback like this!
Thank you to all those who politely pointed out that I seek legal counseling or attempt to contact the copyright holders/publishers.
I will take all of you words and advice into consideration.
And if you read my original post, you would've seen that I had/have every intention of doing it myself if others do not wish to assist. And VERY happily. Perhaps before you attacked my, you could've asked me a question or two regarding my motive? But no, you instead decided to spread nasty, libelous garbage. Or at best, spout out your uninformed opinion in an insulting manner. Do you see how many others who possibly feel that I was doing something dishonest provided their opinion and suggestions in a polite, and respectful manner? Not that I'm asking for your respect. Since I clearly don't deserve it.
Originally Posted by CGW
Of course not. Not when you're throwing punches of your own.
Originally Posted by CGW
Correct. Nobody owes me anything. I asked if anyone wanted to assist me in getting an out of print work back into the hands of any curious parties. I never asked for money and never will. I never asked for anyone to do the work for me. If anyone was interested, they would've let me know and I would've spoken with them and discussed any contribution they could've made.
Originally Posted by CGW
I'm not ashamed to admit that I perhaps jumped the gun and neglected to think of any legal consequences of my actions. But if I were knowingly trying to take advantage of people and make money, why would I post here, where I've shared personal information with several people (full name and address)? This is something that I could've trolled elsewhere.
Again, to all of you who provided constructive criticism, thank you very much. I very much appreciate everything you've said.
Now you're picking on me because I'm fat? :laugh:
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
No worries, James. As long as the current copyright holder gives their permission, you'd be good to go. And that requires only a quick question and answer aimed in the right direction.
Everything else here is just the standard pleasant APUG background static. And I can identify it as such because I've certainly in the past contributed enough of my own. Think of it as the stuff that makes these threads so much fun to read.
No harm, no foul really. Let us know how you make out...
Thanks again to everyone.
Originally Posted by rthomas
Just an update. I emailed the ICP. (I hate typing that. Reminds me of a certain musical group...) I'll keep everyone here posted when they return my mail.
I suggested first of all that they start another printing. Failing that, an electronic version offered by them. Failing that, allowing me to offer (For Free! Again, I have no desire to take anyone's money for this) an electronic version.
I'll let you guys know what they say when/if they contact me. If they don't email me, I'll call and/or write by snail mail.
I totally appreciate your attitude about this, and your motives. Too bad some people look for the worst in everyone...
I've copied a number of books from the library, for my own purposes, and I wish there was a way to legally distribute them. Let's face it, most of these books have zero commercial potential. That being said, wishful thinking doesn't change the law.
However, there are a number of books on archive.org that should still be under copyright. I wonder how they got there... perhaps a similar agreement was reached with the rights holder?
Also, if it turns out that the ICP is not fond of the idea, I'd be weary about offering an "email" service. Though I admit that the idea of an "Underground Book Railroad" is appealing... ;)
I recieved an e-mail from Kelly Heisler who is the Director of Marketing Communications for the International Center of Photography.
She informed me that they're planning on using portions of the autobiography for an upcoming Weegee exhibit. I don't know to what extent that would be.
She said that at this time they MAY (she confirmed nothing) offer the book online through their website. If they do this, there's more than a good chance they'll charge, but I doubt that it'll cost $50 or more (which is what many people are charging for the book currently online).
Unfortunately, she said there are no current plans to reprint the book though.
She said that the in house attorney for the ICP is away for the moment, but she'll discuss the issue with them when they return.
It is the exhibition (curated by the ICP) I refer to here:
Originally Posted by bushpig