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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 118310
Experience:  Attorney practicing all aspects of copyright/trademark law
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My local library is drilling holes in books and using them

Customer Question

My local library is drilling holes in books and using them to create a book lamp.
As a writer, this greatly offends me. Doesn't copyright law protect that author's
complete work cover to cover? These lamps are being sold for $100 dollars, and
I'm sure this is done without the consent of the author and publisher. Couldn't
the lawyer publisher sue them for changing, degrading, and using his work for profit?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, copyright law protects a work from being used without the author's permission or consent, which means the words cannot be copied or duplicated or used in a derivative manner. However, taking the book itself, which someone has purchased and repurposing it to another art form, not using the words that are protected, would not violate the book's copyright. The library has an actual right to resell books it owns via a book sale or other means. So this would be protected under their right to re-sell under the first sale doctrine as well, they are reselling them with a hole in them, but because they own the books and they are not copying the works, they have the right to do that.
If they were copying the books and making new versions, they would be violating the copyright laws.