“When I look at the book – 101 Best Card Games for Children I assume I go through Step 3c in the manual (page 161) to check for the copyright status. But when I check the site catalog.loc.gov site, I actually find this book listed.
Your ebook tells me that if it isn’t listed on the site then it is in the public domain. So by the same token if it IS listed does that mean it is under copyright?
I assume you know what you are doing and this book is in the public domain but I just want to get it clear in my head and understand why this book is listed in the catalog.”
To be fair, this is a great question. The answer is not all that difficult.
The important thing of course is whether a renewal actually occurred or not.
Being published in 1956, if a renewal had occurred, it would have taken place 28 years later in 1984, right? If a renewal had occurred, we’d find an additional record in the database beginning with an “RE” prefix.
Remember, we’re not looking for the absence of any record, we’re looking for the absence of a renewal record specifically.
So, bottom line – this book was not renewed by the copyright holder, which in this case was Sterling Publishing. (click on the image to see full size)
So what the heck are these other two records found in the database? (click on the image to see full size)
Well, the most important thing to us is that they are NOT renewal records.
In 2003, the original publisher (Sterling) was bought out by another company, looks like some sort of holding company created for the acquisition, could even be a legal entity created by Barnes & Noble (B&N).
Anyway, when this company bought out Sterling, they acquired all of their assets which includes every title they had ever published. If you notice, the first document is actually a bill of sale that lists over 1000 titles acquired. Registering this list is the new company’s way of saying, “Hey, see all of these titles we just bought? These are ours now. We own the rights to these titles now and any intellectual property rights still tied to these books belong to us.”
Of course, the truth of the matter is that at least this one book and probably hundreds of others had already fallen into the Public Domain by the time Sterling was acquired so it doesn’t matter anyway.
Then for some reason, one year later the name of the holding company was changed to Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (which is what the 2nd record indicates). I have no idea why this was done but I would imagine that the new owner wanted to keep the Sterling name but had to do some legal “finangling” to accomplish it.
Anyway, none of the above matters one bit as the book was had already been in the Public Domain for 18 years before Sterling was bought out.
As you research books, you run across all sorts of strange things like this but like I said, what really matters is the fact that no renewal occurred 28 years after publication.
Make A Product With This Book?
I’m having so much fun finding the hidden “gems” of public domain and creating CD/DVD’s to sell on eBay. It’s actually pretty “dog-gone” easy to find old books that “aren’t that old” and publish them on CD.
Maybe you could take several game books and combine them on a CD and sell them on eBay?
Then to make it even easier… you can use Kunaki to fulfill the orders – you never have to burn CD’s or print labels or ship a product.
What would make it even easier?
If Kunaki and eBay talked to each other and the orders were sent over the “magic airmail of internet” and we never – ever had to worry about filling out the order forms on Kunaki!
Well… stay tuned – I’ve got THE answer for you and I’m very… very… very excited about it. (Did I say I was excited… Yup, I’m over the moon excited).
Look for the answer tomorrow…