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Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

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darrinjk

Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by darrinjk » 07 Nov 2011, 19:49

I've searched this forum over and under, and can't find a comprehensive list of what we can and cannot do legally with our book scanners. These are important questions, and having a comprehensive thread will help protect this community from infringement of the law.

It would be great if someone could list here what exactly we can and cannot do, but here are some questions I am specifically interested in:

Must you own a physical copy of the book in order to legally retain scans?
If you sell or give away the physical copy, must you destroy the scan?
Can you borrow a book from the library and retain scans of it?
If you no longer have access to the library, must you destroy the scan?
I you own a copy of the book as an ebook, can you borrow a physical copy of the book to make scanned images due to the fact that thet ebook reflow may be unsuitable for tracking page numbers, representing outlines, etc.?

Any other general rules of thumb would also be helpful.

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strider1551
Posts: 126
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Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by strider1551 » 09 Nov 2011, 22:19

I also would love to see research done on this by someone with legal training. It would also be an excellent thing to compile for the wiki.

I think the reason we haven't discussed it much is because the community is very diverse and each country is going to have its own laws. The United States probably has the strictest copyright laws in place, but I don't think there is anything dealing specifically with the concept of book scanning. So really it's a legal gray area, and the question is how far you want to stick your neck out and risk being sued.

Some links I gathered about a year ago:
Is it legal to scan your books to read on a Tablet PC?
In Court's View, MP3 Player is Just a 'Space Shifter'
P-books to e-books: The ethics of downloading and the legality of scanning

My rule of thumb for anything still in copyright: I have to own the physical book, I have to retain the book, and no one gets a copy of the file.

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scann
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Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by scann » 10 Nov 2011, 20:23

strider1551 wrote: The United States probably has the strictest copyright laws in place
Nop, that's not true. If you check here, it's a global report made by Consumers International where they list a number of questions to determine how good is the law from the point of view of consumers. EE.UU. is in the first place.
strider1551 wrote:but I don't think there is anything dealing specifically with the concept of book scanning.


I think "book scanning of owned physical books" probably would fit in fair use for those living in EE.UU.. By the way, you need to act against Protect-IP!

Snapper

Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by Snapper » 13 Nov 2011, 17:58

New to the forum.

Currently doing a build that I will use to scan in quite a few things from a moderate sized private library.

Attorney by trade. Just out of my own curiosity, I've started to look into the issue (i.e. what you can and cannot do). Looking at resources that are already out there and doing some thinking of my own. I will be happy to share what I find as I go forward.

Regards.

darrinjk

Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by darrinjk » 15 Nov 2011, 02:53

Thanks Snapper!

I'm sure an attorney looking into this would be beneficially for many, if not all of us. I know it would be at least for me. Let us know your findings :D

fixiemama
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Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by fixiemama » 01 Mar 2012, 02:50

hi, i guess this is the best place to put this post. i work for internet archive and i get to make books available for digital lending. http://openlibrary.org/borrow

i recently had to take down a gorgeous scan http://www.archive.org/details/EdgarRic ... nTheLegend that someone uploaded to archive.org, because the publisher found it and asked that it not be freely available. it's still available to people who are print disabled (as a daisy file which works only on national library service issue ereaders), but if archive.org had a physical copy of the book, i could have put it in the lending library at openlibrary.org/borrow where many people would be able to borrow it and read it online using any web-enabled device. http://openlibrary.org/libraries

soon, every state in the us will have access.

would anyone be interested in donating physical copies of books they've scanned in order to ensure access? we are still scanning modern books to add to our library, but funding is limited and help is appreciated.

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Heelgrasper
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Number of books owned: 500
Location: Randers, Denmark

Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by Heelgrasper » 01 Mar 2012, 10:29

Since the thread was brought back to life I figured I just as well add a short summary of the Danish rules. I assume they are pretty much the same all over the EU but I'm not sure.
  • Copyright belongs to the creator/author or heirs until 70 years after the death of the creator.
  • It's legal to make photo copies of a book - all of it - for personal use. Even if you've borrowed the book from the library or a friend. It's also legal for you to make a copy for a friend or let him use your copy to make his own copy. However, It's not legal to use a photocopier put up for commercial use for copying copyright protected books.
  • Scanning a book or in other ways producing an electronic version is considered equal to copying a CD or DVD. This means:
  • You may scan a book you own for personal use. Same as making af copy of a CD you own for use in the car.
  • You may not scan a book you've borrowed.
  • You may not share a digital copy of a book.
Parts of this doesn't seem all that logical to me but I understand the desire to protect the rights of creators. Just one example: A friend of mine from an online forum could have good use of 10 pages from a book I have. It's then illegal for me to scan the pages and e-mail them to him, but perfectly legal to make photocopies and send them to him by snail-mail.

And of course all of this relates to what you can do without asking permission. I have a few books that have been out of print for more than 20 years and are unlikely ever to be printed again. At some point I would like to put them online in a scanned version. In order for that to be legal I "just" need permission from the publisher.
---
Jakob Øhlenschlæger
Randers, Denmark

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
L. P. Hartley

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rob
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Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by rob » 01 Mar 2012, 16:01

fixiemama wrote:would anyone be interested in donating physical copies of books they've scanned in order to ensure access? we are still scanning modern books to add to our library, but funding is limited and help is appreciated.
I had heard that the Internet Archive was pursuing a physical books collection with their huge warehouse of shipping containers, but I thought the legality was still under question. I think the word was that Brewster would be building the lending library and putting the ebook versions up, and he was ready to do battle in court if a problem ever came up.

So there are two potential downsides to this:

1. If I trust that what the Archive is doing will be found to be legal, and I send my physical and electronic version to the Archive without retaining a copy for myself, I could read my book from the Archive's library section unless the Archive is found to be illegally copying, in which case I lose all access to my book, having donated it.

2. I break the law by scanning a book, sending the physical and electronic versions to the Archive, and retaining a copy in case (1) happens.

In either case, these are bad outcomes for me, so I'm not entirely certain what I have to gain by sending my books to the Archive when the legality of what the Archive is doing is still under question.
The Singularity is Near. ~ http://halfbakedmaker.org ~ Follow me as I build the world's first all-mechanical steam-powered computer.

victoriaaustralia
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Re: Book Scanning - What You Can and Cannot Do

Post by victoriaaustralia » 21 Nov 2013, 01:45

darrinjk wrote:I've searched this forum over and under, and can't find a comprehensive list of what we can and cannot do legally with our book scanners.
Here in Australia I can take my scanner into an establishment that serves alcohol but cannot purchase an alcoholic beverage for it. I can have alcoholic beverages at home with the scanner if I am over 18years and the beverages are consumed in a home environment. Scanners are not allowed onto most showground rides, unless they are taller than the red line. Scanners are able to ride on the tram and train but must not take up a disabled door near the exit and although not legislated should try to travel outside of rush hour.
Freeware Windows workflow: 40Mb 400pg OCR'd A4 book pdfs
http://www.diybookscanner.org/forum/vie ... =19&t=2835

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