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Re: The Theropod Archives, a PDF library for theropod researchers

Works published in the US before 1923 are in the public domain. 
Unfortunately, there are a lot of variables for other publications. 
Check out the link below for a brief summary:



Dennis R. Ruez, Jr.
Department of Geology and Geography
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849-5305

>>> On 4/23/2008 at 12:27 PM, Rob Taylor <rjtaylor68@comcast.net>
> Dear fellow Listers:
> I recently emailed Ken Carpenter in regard to his Ankylosaur PDF
> which he brought to the attention of the DML on 17 March 2008. As an

> unanticipated consequence, I now find myself working on a similar
> resource for theropod works. The project is still in the "humble
> stage, but perhaps has been fleshed out enough to "go live" with it.
> developing the site, I made a decision to slightly expand upon Ken's
> but now find myself second-guessing what I have done. I'm writing the
> to seek informed opinions/advice over the legality of this particular

> implementation with respect to copyright law, and also to inquire
> proper etiquette. I thought I would briefly describe the site, detail
a few 
> of my concerns, and put my questions to those among you who are
> authors, or who at least have a better understanding of these issues
than I.
> How the site works:
> If you've seen Ken's ankylosaur site, the look and feel is much the
same. I 
> followed Ken's lead in loading only works that have been around 50
years or 
> more. However, I also decided to provide external links to PDFs that
> freely available online (regardless of the age of the published works

> contained therein), with the caveat that said PDFs must appear to be

> distributed legally. My loose rule for determining "legal
distribution" is 
> that the PDF must be located either 1) on someone's CV page or list
> publications; or 2) at a journal site with open access content.
> links are denoted with special color coding to make it apparent that
> PDFs are not being provided directly.
> My concerns:
> 1.      Is 50 years generally accepted as a reasonable number for 
> determining whether a work is in the public domain? From my Internet

> research on the law here in the States, I think it's likely that a
> of the works authored before 1964 would have entered the public
domain by 
> 1992, but there is also the possibility that the copyrights for some
> these works were renewed, and that they are still protected. I'm not
> how to tell if that's the case, and when you're looking at the works
> deceased authors - and/or works from now defunct publishing houses -
is it 
> even realistic that you could contact someone to inquire? I have also

> considered the possibility that publications from other countries may
> different durations for copyright protection than we do here in the
> but have not yet looked into this.
> 2.      My links to external (freely-available) PDFs go directly to
the URLs 
> for the PDF files themselves. I set it up this way for the
convenience of 
> the user, but wonder if it might be better practice to link not to a
> directly, but to the page offering it. Also, in the event that a PDF

> originates from a CV page, is it necessary or considered good form to

> request permission to link to it? I have only a limited amount of
time to 
> work on the site (even less with the addition of a new family member
> Monday). Needless to say, I would like to focus my energies on
expanding the 
> offerings as rapidly as possible. Should an emailing campaign to
> permissions be part of the equation, I might look to enlist a helper,
> would simply need to expand the site's content at a dramatically
> pace.
> I am hoping that such a Web site would be welcomed by the DML
community and 
> found to be a useful resource. I haven't the background to contribute

> knowledgeably on the List's science-heavy threads, but I've learned a

> tremendous amount by reading them. I'd enjoy the opportunity to give
> little something back. It then boils down to whether it's possible to
> such a resource without risking any copyright infringement. As a
> measure while I attempt to learn more, I've added language stating
that I 
> will promptly remove any PDF or link whose inclusion is deemed
> by any party directly associated with the work. (Probably affords
> real protection, but at least demonstrates my willingness and desire
> adhere to the rules.)
> Some final thoughts, pertaining to issues of visibility and
> If, as I hope, all that I've described can be done fully aboveboard,
I would 
> make the Web site available to all comers. If the consensus view is
> it's 
> a terrible idea and I run the potential of opening myself up to legal

> issues, I'll pull the plug. If it falls in some gray area in between
> still receives widespread support, I might consider keeping the
> alive, but would perhaps look for a way to control access through a
> authentication system. Can't say that I'm a particularly savvy Web 
> developer, and such a scheme is presently beyond my means, but
perhaps there 
> are others on the list who could assist.
> Your thoughts and comments are very much welcome. If it would help to
> the site in order to better form an opinion, please email me. I will
> a temporary URL, where it can be seen for a limited time.
> Apologies for length, and thanks in advance for your assistance.
> Best regards,
> Rob Taylor
> Lansdale, PA, USA
> rjtaylor68@comcast.net