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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 23, June 10, 2007, Article 19

COPYRIGHT QUESTION - DOES IT MATTER IF THE PUBLISHER STILL EXISTS?

Larry Gaye writes: "I have a question regarding copyright laws. 
I have several books published by Argonaut Publishers in the 60's. 
If a company no longer exists, does it break copyright laws by 
reprinting the information from it, while acknowledging the source 
and the authors, or is it part of the public domain? 

"I want to put a table of the Greek alphabet on our coin club 
site (Willamette Coin Club - www.pdxcoinclub.org) for information 
regarding the alphabet and how it applies to ancient coinage. Any 
thoughts would be greatly appreciated."

[I believe the answer is that yes, the work remains copyright 
protected regardless of whether the publishing company still 
exists. The copyright is the author's.

Section 302: 
"Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists 
from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, 
endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years 
after the authorís death" 
Copy Right Law

Section 303: 
"Copyright in a work created before January 1, 1978, but not theretofore 
in the public domain or copyrighted, subsists from January 1, 1978, 
and endures for the term provided by section 302. In no case, however, 
shall the term of copyright in such a work expire before December 31, 
2002; and, if the work is published on or before December 31, 2002, the 
term of copyright shall not expire before December 31, 2047." 
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000303----000- 
.html 

Reader contributions on the topic are welcome. -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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