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[dvd-discuss] Barnes & Noble Public Domain Books
I picked up a copy of the classic "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen
Crane at Barnes and Noble recently, and found something I thought was
In the front was the following text:
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in
any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the Publsher (in
this case, Barnes & Noble, Inc).
This book as from a large collection of public domain books that B&N sells
under their own brand. Which is great - but in that case the publisher
has no business reserving any rights under copyright. As I understand the
situation, B&N has not altered the works in any significant way that would
warrant a new copyright on the work. Yet I understand "All Rights
Reserved" refers to all rights under copyright, which in this case would
not apply since the work is in the public domain.
It's no suprise that no one appreciates the public domain when publishers
lie to us, essentially infering that they have legal control over the
First of all, what can possibly be done about this. Is it a copyright
infringement to deceive the reader into thinking you have a copyright when
you really don't? Should it be? Misrepresenting copyright status over
public domain works _should_ be some sort of fraud or infringement.
Second, besides amicably talking to the publisher (which I plan on doing,
if I can), what other legal recourse could there be?
Since the copyright is (in theory) owned by the people, could they be sued
for copyright infringement?
It seems to me more a fraud than infringment, as they are trying to
deceive the public regarding the works copyright status. Can someone with
a legal background elaborate on why they get away with this?