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More cover controversy

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Danyelle

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Ah. That makes sense. :D

I've been running into this with 1001 Arabian Nights. This is slightly different in that an English translation is never going to be exact, but even among publishers, the type and strength of the translations differ widely. Even the stories that are included in standard translations are not necessarily those that are considered canon to the original. I have to say that in this case *who* publishes it is important to me, along with how the sample holds up.

Not a nerd at all. I definitely prefer books that stay faithful--or as faithful as they can with respect to translations--to the original text.
#31 - February 11, 2013, 04:26 PM

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I've never published an edition of a public domain work, but my understanding is that someone COULD use a Penguin or other publisher's edition, which presumably is word-for-word from some other source (which in a publisher's case might be old production files from a previous edition). But the source could also be Project Gutenberg or some other public domain resource. And it could, if you went to the trouble, be an old edition, which you scanned and OCRed. But I don't think you have to go to that trouble.

What you could not use from a Penguin edition would be the original material that they added, if any, such as an introduction or scholarly notes. Those are new and copyrighted by Penguin, and that's one reason that publishers often add material to a republication of a classic. They want to give people reasons to buy it.

But the public domain material is truly free to all--to copy, to alter, to mess around with, whether we or the author or their estate like it or not.

I do think that movie adaptations are a different kind of thing, especially when the copyright is still held by the author or their estate. LOTR, for example, is not public domain, and in fact the movies would have been licensed by the Tolkien estate, with or without the right for them to review what the production company was up to (I'm guessing without, though).
#32 - February 11, 2013, 04:32 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
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Danyelle

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Thanks, Harold. :D That makes a lot of sense.
#33 - February 11, 2013, 04:41 PM

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So, someone pointed out earlier in the thread that even though the text is now public domain, the image of Anne is still owned by the family? So the person who put out this edition probably picked a model/stock photo clearly not fitting Anne's description for legal reasons? They should have paid for a stock photo of PEI or something, or maybe they thought the controversy was good publicity. They certainly have us talking about it.
#34 - February 11, 2013, 04:49 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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So, someone pointed out earlier in the thread that even though the text is now public domain, the image of Anne is still owned by the family? So the person who put out this edition probably picked a model/stock photo clearly not fitting Anne's description for legal reasons? They should have paid for a stock photo of PEI or something, or maybe they thought the controversy was good publicity. They certainly have us talking about it.

I agree with you that they may well have been trying to create a stir to get press. It sort of worked (but didn't really since they've pulled the book).

 Do you think that the family still owns the copyright to "the image of Anne" though? I was thinking not -- I thought they could use a photo of a plucky, redhaired girl as long as they had permission to use the specific photo in question. Not sure if there was an official, original Anne. I have read LM Montgomery based her image off a photo of Evelyn Nesbitt.
#35 - February 11, 2013, 05:20 PM

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I hope whoever said that about the image of Anne would come back and provide more information. There are two possibilities. Either they have trademarked a particular image of Anne (trademarks don't expire, provided they are used), or there is some "right of publicity" claim here--though I don't think you can do that with a fictional character.

I doubt that the person who created that version had any concerns about that--they chose that photo to be provocative, not to avoid possible legal issues.
#36 - February 12, 2013, 07:29 PM
Harold Underdown

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That person was me:)
Here is what I had read that caused me to post earlier.  It's copied from the official Prince Edward Island web site.

THE ANNE OF GREEN GABLES LICENSING AUTHORITY INC.
The Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority Inc. (the "Anne Authority") is jointly owned by the Province of Prince Edward Island and Ruth Macdonald and David Macdonald, who are the heirs of L.M. Montgomery.  The Anne Authority was established to protect the integrity of the images of Anne, to preserve and enhance the legacy of L.M. Montgomery and her literary works, and to control the use of Anne of Green Gables and related trademarks and official marks, including Green Gables House ("Anne" trademarks).  By "images of Anne" we mean words and images depicting the fictional characters, places and events described in Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables and related novels.
#37 - February 14, 2013, 02:12 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
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Cool! Thanks for posting that, Chris!

#38 - February 14, 2013, 09:00 AM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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By "images of Anne" we mean words and images depicting the fictional characters, places and events described in Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables and related novels.

Wow, that is interesting. It is quite broad then. Do you think the cover image of any unauthorized version would be an infringement, then? Because for instance in the cover we're talking about, even though the image doesn't portray how most of us envision Anne, she is still meant to be Anne. Do you think that has anything to do with why the book was pulled down from the site?

Thanks for posting, Chris!

#39 - February 14, 2013, 10:25 AM

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It really is a broad definition isn't it and lends itself to all sort of interpretations. When it comes to, words and images depicting characters, places and events, could that not extent to the book in it's entirety really? What is left??

#40 - February 15, 2013, 02:00 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

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Another thought, if this legal authority was set up to partly preserve the authors legacy, would not any writer have to approach them and ask permission/pay a fee perhaps, to use the characters, setting in a book. So, though the story is in the public domain, it almost looks like you can not DO anything with it, unless there is approval? Perhaps a legal way to STOP infringement of the books??
Wonder if that is really why the book has been pulled by this "writer", the AGG authority found out about it because of the attention it received in the press perhaps?
#41 - February 15, 2013, 02:06 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
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Trademark law requires specificity and context. You can, for example, trademark a particular shade of green for your employee's aprons in a coffee shop. You can't trademark ALL greens or go beyond the world of the coffee shop...

They are making a claim in that statement. The question is: how often have they gone to court to back up that claim? In what circumstances? Did they win? I suspect they are making a broad claim but only taking to court cases they where they have a strong argument. But I could be wrong. Trademark law functions quite differently from copyright law and I don't understand it fully.

However, I'm pretty sure they could not take that self-publisher to court and win. That might not stop them from writing threatening letters, of course.
#42 - February 15, 2013, 04:06 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
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