Hi Rich! Touche! First off I'm not a lawyer (thank goodness) and so I can't speak to what it means legally or what kind of teeth it may or may not have. And, while I offered up a disclaimer in use by my employer, it's merely to share something I know about and isn't necessarily an endorsement or recommendation - just food for thought. (ok now I do sound like a lawyer)RWAP wrote: ↑Thu May 11, 2017 9:03 pmGreat bit of non-legal nonsense there - there is nothing in copyright law which prevents someone reading a book - it is the library which is breaking the copyright laws by providing the book if they have not been given permission to do somsellan wrote: ↑Thu May 11, 2017 5:29 pm"This item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. However, for this item, either no rightsholder(s) have been identified or one or more rightsholder(s) have been identified but none have been located. You are free to use this item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use."
It would be great if the Bern Convention on copyright could be updated to include abandonware for digital material, but it is nigh impossible to get countries to agree on anything so unlikely that they would ever change this. Arguably it could not apply to works produced before the treaty was updated anyway, as people would have created those works believing that they have protection of copyright for 50 years or so...
I think the intention is at least partly about due diligence and partly to do what's been talked about in this forum - to remind people that just because something seems abandoned doesn't mean that it isn't still protected by copyright. And also, as a library we generally don't provide access to materials in this fashion. We have one project that's also trying to rescue uncommon literature for a niche field that's using the disclaimer - here's a sample: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/519646
I personally only scan and provide content for items that I've received permission from the rights holder to digitize. I think that's the right approach and generates its own kind of goodwill that leads to more openness and cooperation on the part of content copyright holders to make their content available.
And at least here in the US it is a little bit of a grey area regarding providing access to digitized books - the Open Library (an arm of the The Internet Archive) loans digitized in-copyright material. Only one person at a time can read the work as it's protected via DRM. But it is not the original work that's being loaned but the scanned copy. I reached out to them to see if I could get them to explain under what circumstances they load content to their loanable collections vs. their open collections but never got a direct answer. To me that's a sign that there's still sufficient grey to warrant caution.