Monday, July 05, 2004

Online Encyclopedia - LoveToKnow This is the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. It has been put online at this site. As it is pre-1923, it is in the public domain.

However, the following note appears on each page:

"The Contents (see License Agreement for definitions) of this site are licensed only for the personal, household, educational use by a single individual. Although linking to this site is encouraged, reproducing Contents on another site or redistributing Contents is forbidden. Taking Contents from this site and editing it and posting it on another site is forbidden and will result in swift legal action. You may not copy, modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce, create new works from, distribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit, any of the Contents of this site in whole or in part."

Sorry, but as a librarian I know you can not claim a copyright on this work. Perhaps they can claim a copyright on the page design and layout but the underlying information is public domain.

Either the site owner is ignorant of copyright law or (more likely) he/she is just trying to scare away potential competition. It is unlikely that "swift legal action" would ever occur. I just can't see a case. This edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is in the public domain!

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