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Re: [BKARTS] Copyright Question

Charles LaFountain asked:

>>>>I was wondering what the legality of buying current hardback copies of books such as Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter books, stripping them down to the text block, then custom binding them for resale would be. I would be buying copies from local resale shops. Does anyone know if this would be an infringement of copyrights?

I'm not a lawyer, but I think the answer is clearly, "No copyrights are thus infringed."  Copyright is merely the (monopoly) right to control _publication_ of a text (photograph, art work, song, play, etc.).  In so far as publication involves creation of an object (a text "fixed in a medium") to be sold, copyright does not extend to control of the physical objects created and sold: as purchasers we have every right to tear pages out of a book as we read them, to destroy a book we hate, to toss a CD in the trash, to delete the song we downloaded --  or to sell a book we've acquired to a used book shop or give it to Goodwill (and possibly even take a tax deduction for doing so).

Copyright may be more complex when an "object" is not so clearly involved -- the right to perform a play, for example, or incorporate a song in one's stage repertoire, which is why these kinds of "things" are typically _licensed_ for commercial use. If you buy sheet music, on the other hand, you can do with it as you wish, including play or sing the music -- except publish the content for sale or use it for another commercial purpose.

Cordially --- Sid Huttner
The University of Iowa

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