To Post Digital Images Or Not To Post?

So I have Lightfoot’s edition of the Apostolic Fathers here at home, checked out from the DTS library. This was originally published towards the end of the 19th century, so it it well out of copyright. The great thing about this edition is that there are photographs of one of the two manuscripts of 1 and 2 Clement in the second volume.

However, what I am looking at is a 1981 reprint, not one of the original volumes. So here is my question. If I were to take digital photographs of the images of the manuscript in the back and post them on the web, would I be in violation of copyright? As far as I know these images aren’t on the web anywhere, so this would be really nice for all of those out there who wanted access. Anybody know?


Mike 2008-03-02 08:28:10

Are you talking about his amazing five volume work?

Because several of the volumes are available on Google books.

Eric 2008-03-02 08:46:57

Yes, found it. Here’s the deal. I could get better copies up on the web than that with my cheapo digital camera if I take pictures of the reprint. Would that be legal?

Nick Norelli 2008-03-02 11:03:47

I think you could chalk it up to the fair use clause of the copyright laws.

The US copyright page says this:

"Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered “fair,” such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Eric 2008-03-02 11:19:05

Hmmm... 1. It is not for commercial use. 2. Well...technically it’s not even copyrighted. 3. 50 pages out of a 500 page book. 4. No effect since they aren’t selling this edition anymore.

Tim 2008-03-03 10:24:38

It their reprint is a copy not rephotographed, then they would be hard-pressed to copyright it fresh, except intros typesetting etc.

For one of my hobby projects I want to get hold of pre-1923 copies of Beatrix Potter children’s stories to photograph the pictures, later editions retouched them so can be copyright at later dates :(