Re: Copyright Advice Needed
Lawrence Tuck (ltuck@EARTHLINK.NET)
Tue, 14 Apr 1998 08:10:02 -0700
Rick Seymour wrote:
> Much of this material was first copyrighted in the 1930s, making the
> copyright more than 50 years old, which I seem to remember as a
> magic number in copyright law.
> I would be willing to put Hillcourt's material on a web site if someone
> could figure out the copyright on old Scoutmaster Handbooks.
When Hillcourt's book was written, copyright was for 28 years, and could
be renewed once. Since then, the law has changed, and a standard
copyright is for the life of the author, plus 50 years. The exception is
"works for hire"--for example, if Hillcourt wrote his handbooks for BSA
as an employee of BSA, and the copyright is registered in the name of
BSA rather than Hillcourt himself. In this case, under the current law
copyright term is 75 years from date of first publication.
The new law is retroactive to works published before 1976 IF an renewal
was applied for before the original copyright expired.
Old handbooks I have are Copyright Boy Scouts of America and I imagine
BSA has renewed its copyrights.
Unless there's a copyright lawyer around who can offer better advice,
I'd suggest writing to BSA, probably the publications division, and ask
for permission to post the material to the Web for historical and
educational purposes. The worst that can happen is they might say no.
I wonder how Lew Orans, who has provided us with so much inspirational
material on his Pine Treet Web, handles this issue.
ASM Troop 761
Thousand Oaks, CA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City