Re[2]: [Fwd: [sword-devel] FACTS]

Brandon Staggs
Mon, 6 Jan 2003 20:23:05 -1000

It's pretty clear that minor alterations to scanned material do
not constitute a derivative work and do not transfer ownership of
the text away from the public to the scanner.

Further, if someone believes they have created a new work of
authorship, shouldn't they at least change the name of the text?
Say Joe Smoe scans a commentary, then edits it so much that it
qualifies for copyright -- shouldn't it now be "Shmoe's

Monday, January 6, 2003, 5:50:14 PM, wrote:

> On Mon, 6 Jan 2003, Keith Ralston wrote:

>> > Both of these guys seem to think they get a copyright for being first to
>> > put these PD works into electronic form.
>> I'm not sure, but I believe this works like translations of pd works.  The
>> _translation_ is copyrightable.  Of course, you have to include the
>> copyright notice in your work.

> Copyright is granted for creative works (for the purpose of encouraging 
> the production of additional creative works).

> Translations are copyrighted because they are creative works, requiring 
> lots of right-hemispheric cognitive work.

> Electronic editions of PD works are still PD.  Changing the format like
> this does not require creativity, just good OCR or untiring fingers.  
> Adding markup is likewise not creative if it approximates that of the 
> original.  Essentially the only way to make a PD work copyrightable by 
> making an electronic edition is to make changes to it that are creative 
> (i.e. to make a bad copy).  In that situation, only the additions are 
> copyrighted and the underlying text remains PD (and may be retrieved by 
> rolling back alterations).

> This is similar to works in a collection.  If you collect a bunch of PD 
> texts and put them in a collection (in print, on CD, or whatever) you do 
> get a copyright for the collection--after all it took some creativity to 
> decide which texts should be included and how to order them.  However, the 
> texts themselves remain PD.

> For more info from the source, I would recommend reading through the US 
> Copyright Office circular 14, regarding derivative works, which is 
> available online at .

> --Chris

- Brandon Staggs

Composed for
at 8:20:08 PM on Monday, January 06, 2003