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he died on 14th October 1894 aged 74 years
Sorry, hello Ben, Mark here.
Hello Mark, at the time the author of the book died, the copyright law would have been the longer of 42 years from the date of initial publication of the work, or 7 years after the death of the author. This was later changed in 1911 to be 50 years after the death of the author. Further changes came along in 1995 when copyright was extended to be 70 years from the date of the author’s death. Interestingly it not applied retrospectively for all works still in copyright, but also revived any lapsed copyright of authors that had died in the last 70 years (so from 1925 onwards).
The author in this case died in 1894 and initially his copyright would have ended in 1934, that being 42 years after initial publication. In 1911 the copyright would have changed to ending in 1944, that being 50 years after the death of the author. Once it expired in 1944 that would have been it – the works would have entered into the public domain and the changes in 1995 would not have applied to them as the works would have already been out f copyright. It is not possible to renew a copyright – the duration of the copyright depends on the date of death of the author so eventually all works will enter the public domain and stop being protected by copyright, just as in this case.
ok Ben, thank you. So is it true to say that anyone can print, publish and sell any book which is out of copyright?
yes correct - it is in the public domain, it can be published and sold by anyone
Thank you for your help this morning Ben, much appreciated.
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