How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question

Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2796
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Thomas Swartz is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have an old text book from 1976, and the publisher is no

Customer Question

I have an old text book from 1976, and the publisher is no longer in service. Does this become public domain, and am I allowed to scan the pages for my electronic board in the classroom?

Marguerite Wesley
Jefferson Elementary
NC
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.

Hello JACUSTOMER,

It would not be considered public domain, but you still may be able to use portions of the textbook.

It would not become public domain if the textbook was published with a copyright notice. Material published in 1976 with a copyright notice has a copyright term of 95 years after publication date. However, if it was not published with a copyright notice, then it would be in the public domain, and you could scan and use as much as you want. Please see this Copyright Duration Chart, and Copyright Term Calculator.

However, even if the copyright is still in existence based on the above, you may be able to use limited portions of the text book under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law. Under the "fair use" doctrine of the copyright law, you are allowed to use limited portions of a copyrighted work for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. This is embodied in the copyright law at 17 U.S. Code § 107, which provides as follows:

§ 107 Limitations on exclusive rights:

Fair use Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
Your use would fall under the teaching (and possibly the scholarship and research) provision above. So, you would be allowed to scan limited portions of the text book.

Unfortunately, there is no set numerical amount which is considered "fair" as each case is based on its own facts using the four factors listed above.

So, in using the text book, you should only use as little as possible to avoid any copyright infringement claim.

I hope this answers your question.

Thomas




Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 2796
Experience: Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
Thomas Swartz and 4 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for answering my question so quickly. I do not need any further help at this time. I was impressed with the whole process and the response. In fact, I have shared this service with others in hopes that they will feel free to contact you when needed.

Have a wonderful day!

Marguerite Wesley
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the kind words. Good luck.

Thomas

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/sosolid007/2010-08-05_070536_Suitpic.jpg Alex Reese's Avatar

    Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg Robert McEwen, Esq.'s Avatar

    Robert McEwen, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    387
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tswartz123/2010-02-08_225658_Tommy.jpg Thomas Swartz's Avatar

    Thomas Swartz

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    374
    Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    371
    I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/personwilt/2010-1-10_164828_person1.jpg Wilton A. Person's Avatar

    Wilton A. Person

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    339
    MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/bart0358/2012-1-23_232424_1056.64x64.JPG BartEsq's Avatar

    BartEsq

    Researcher

    Satisfied Customers:

    192
    Juris Doctor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IP/ipesq/2012-1-9_164431_RetouchPortraitHighResCopy.64x64.jpg ipesq's Avatar

    ipesq

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    134
    Specializing in patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration/enforcement.