Copyright on a translation of a poem

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Peterdyson49
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Copyright on a translation of a poem

Postby Peterdyson49 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:59 pm

A copyright question about a translation of a poem.

Chan Fang Deng was a 4th Century Chinese Poet.
Arthur Waley translated Chan Fang Sheng’s poem Sailing Homeward from Chinese into English, it was published by Constable and Co in 1918 and Alfred A Knopf in 1918.
But Arthur Waley only died in 1966.
Lots of people seem to have set this poem but I can’t find a copyright attribution relating to the text. Various copies of the published editions of the poems appear on the web giving the impression that they are public domain: eg Project Gutenburg and Scrib’d. The California Digital Library states NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT.

So am I correct in thinking: it is public domain in the US because it was published before 1923 but remains copyright in the EU to 2041… in which case I have to write to Constable.

But because the site is in Canada copyright remains to 2016 and therefore if I uploaded the file without getting permission it would be Blocked to 2016.

Thanks in advance. The experise available from you all is really fantastic. (And I really enoy the forum posts)

Peter Dyson

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Re: Copyright on a translation of a poem

Postby KGill » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:03 pm

You are correct - it is PD in the US but nowhere else (except for those few countries with life-plus-30 or no copyright laws). It would actually fall into the PD in Canada on 1/1/2017 and in the EU (and Russia) on 1/1/2037, so if you wish to upload it then you would unfortunately have to get permission.

Peterdyson49
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Re: Copyright on a translation of a poem

Postby Peterdyson49 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:48 pm

Thanks... nice to know I'd got it right
Peter

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Re: Copyright on a translation of a poem

Postby Peterdyson49 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:51 am

Postscript

The publisher advised " we do not hold any electronic rights in his works as our contracts from pre-1970 wouldn’t have covered electronic uses. "

I am interpreting this to mean that copyright permission for digital published material has returned to the original holder unless a subsequent contract was made with a publisher that included digital reproduction. Does that make sense? So taking pre 1970 as a yardstick for example, anything published prior 1970 means finding the copyright holder or heirs rather than the commercial publisher, though of course the latter may know who this person is?


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