Can we obtain an ISBN number for a textbook that has been copyrighted in 1989 by Center University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. It is our understanding that this textbook is public domain.The copyright page reads as follows:"This document was produced under a contractual agreement between the New York State Department of Social Services - Office of Human Resource Development and the Center for the Development of Human Services, State University College at Buffalo, through the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.The New York State Department of Social Services shall have unlimited right to reproduce, distribute and utilize any training material and supplies produced as a result of the contract between the Center for the Development of Human Services and New York State for any purposes whatsoever, provided however, that the United States Department of Health and Human Services shall have a royalty-free, nonexclusive andirrevocable license to reproduce, publish or otherwise distribute, and to authorize others to use the training materials, supplies and inventions of work for government purposes. The Contractor hereby acknowledges that rights to inventions conceived or first actually reduced to practice in the course of this agreement shall be governed by the Department of Health and Human Services' patent regulations 45CFR, parts 6 and 8 and any amendments thereto.1989 Center for Development of Human ServicesState University College at BuffaloLetchworth Annex
XXXXXBuffalo, New York 14222
State/Country relating to question: New York
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Why are you under the impression that it's a public domain work? Because it was published by a governmental entity?
What's the title of the book? Is it the child study journal edited by XXXXXX XXXXXX?
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I could not find any copyright claimed by any of these parties. But that being said, the governmental exception to copyright (that is, governmental works that are public domain) applies to the Federal government only. Federal law specifically states that all creative works that are published are protected by copyright, but then goes on to say that works produced by the Federal government are public domain (that is, they waive that copyright protection). But this is not binding on states, and in the absence of a state statute that says that state works will be public domain, they won't be. I could not find any support that New York has waived copyright protections, and in fact I have found many works that were copyrighted by the Statute University College at Buffalo (hence why I asked about that child study journal, because that was one such work copyrighted by this institution in 1989. Furthermore, they don't have to have a registered copyright to claim copyright, although without registration they can't sue you for damages. So it's possible that they are not claiming a copyright on the work, but that does not mean that it is expressly public domain.
The best thing to do would be to contact the various legal departments at these institutions and find out how they view the status. But without some affirmative action that puts it in the public domain (such as a statute or a general release) this is not going to be "public domain" because they have not waived copyright status.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer on how responsive it was to your issue and how informative it was, even though it might not have been what you wanted to hear, or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
Did you have any other questions before rating this answer?
Would you consider pursuing this matter on our behalf with the University Legal Depts. and
if so what would your fee be?
As much as I wish I could do that, I can't. That would be legal representation, which is against the JustAnswer terms of service. We cannot represent clients that we are connected to only through this site.
Just 1 more - could you direct us to the appropriate NYS Office to find out if this book was a registered copyright?
The first place I would start is with the State University College at Buffalo, legal department, because they would have a copy of the contract. They would be able to point you to the correct department (not sure if it would be the solicitors office, or the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, etc... and they would better).
Just call the main number and ask the operator for the legal department. You can then tell the legal department that you're asking about the intellectual property claims of the university of this contract....
Okay. Thank you. Although it was not what we wanted to hear, you did answer our question.
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