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[BKARTS] Copyright

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.

As an author, I know something about copyright.

Here's a short answer, published on the school library journal in 2007.

One factor depends on where the book was originally published. As it says in the article the copyright wording is different in different countries. U. S. copyright law has some protections for artists to prevent any alteration of their art. For a book published in the U. S., it is not illegal to alter the book, but it is illegal to distribute the altered book; hence, selling is illegal. You can, probably, make a single personal copy as your own art, but not sell it. There has never been a test case about this and it would be interesting to see if the law would treat a book differently if the content was still recognizable; that is, you could still read parts of the book, versus one that had been completely covered by primer, paint, and embellishments so that the book had essentially become only the substrate.

If the original copyright was in any country that includes "moral right" in their copyright phraseology, then the author (or other copyright holder) has a legal right to prosecute if the format of a book is altered in any way. Judgment of copyright violation would be up to the judge in the course of the trial.

Sharon Wildwind www.wildwindauthor.com

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