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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

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Restrictions on copying a Kindle book?

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I am writing an essay on Winston Churchill and when I am reading a book looking for information between the time that I read a sentence and then attempt to type that sentence out as part of my notes on that book I have forgotten what I had read.  This may be something to do with the dyslexia that I experience.  I discovered that if I scan a page from a book and copy it onto my notes I find it much easier to work with that detail.  Obviously it is much easier if I can find a PDF or an EBook.  I recently found a Kindle book titled, "Churchill, Winston. My Early Life: The Autobiography  Kindle Edition."  Copying a page at a time onto my notes then working on it and then deleting it worked well until I attempted to copy what was an important page to me a message came up saying that I had reached the total of the amount that I was allowed to copy and I was dead in the water.

Personally, I consider this rule a bit of a nonsense, after all it is most unlikely that anyone will ever copy a Kindle book with a view to publishing a pirate copy of the book.  I would welcome any views before I decide whether to just forget Kindle books.

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I’m sorry but I think you’re living in a dream world if you think that people wouldn’t copy Kindle books one page at a time with a view to pirating them if they could. I appreciate the reasons why you’d personally like a PDF version but there’s no control over copying of PDFs which is why the publishers and ebook reader producers had to come up with a format to protect their rights and prevent copying. Piracy is a BIG problem for books and I’ve seen incidents where people have copied a whole book and then given it a new title and author name to sell it themselves. Authors receive little enough money for their work as it is, and any piracy takes away their right to earn money from their work.

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I agree that stealing from a writer is disgusting but that leaves me with a problem but its not one that I can't resolve.  I will buy a cheap copy of what I want and scan it.  Failing that I will snip it and work from that. 

 

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If you read the copyright page in most books it will state something like this (I have copied the text from my own book here):

 

"June Austin has asserted her right under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the authors written consent. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors rights. Purchase only authorised editions."

These words are as CB rightly points out there for a reason - to protect the rights of the author, who as she also rightly points out has a right to benefit from their work. While I appreciate your problem, scanning the text is still in violation of that copyright as you are effectively storing that material and copying it without the authors consent, even if it is only for your own use. While it is true that they are not likely to find out that is not the point - you are still on shaky ground! 

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7 hours ago, Talisman said:

If you read the copyright page in most books it will state something like this (I have copied the text from my own book here):

 

"June Austin has asserted her right under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the authors written consent. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors rights. Purchase only authorised editions."

These words are as CB rightly points out there for a reason - to protect the rights of the author, who as she also rightly points out has a right to benefit from their work. While I appreciate your problem, scanning the text is still in violation of that copyright as you are effectively storing that material and copying it without the authors consent, even if it is only for your own use. While it is true that they are not likely to find out that is not the point - you are still on shaky ground! 

 

Two points, though - Firstly, the book in question may be out of copyright (which I don't suspect is the case, but it could be) and secondly, regardless of the above, I don't believe copyright precludes fair use for commentary or review purposes.

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No, it doesn't but copying and scanning is still not a good idea. There are restrictions on fair use as well that need to be borne in mind.

 

The book I have on copyright says the following in brief:

 

That fair use extends to research and private study and that is permissible to take notes from books. Fair use also extends to review, criticism and reporting of current events, in which case acknowledgement of course is required.

 

Guidelines from the Society of Authors and Publishers Association state:

 

A single prose extract should not contain more than 600 words

A series of prose extracts should not contain more than 300 words per extract and no more than 800 words in total

Poetry should be not more than 40 lines or one quarter of the entire poem

 

With regard to other forms of writing (not prose or poetry) there have been cases where the use of 600 words from a 200 page book was regarded as infringement. While there is no legal definition as to how many words (or percentage of a text) constitute fair use short extracts of less than 300 words are usually okay, as long as they are acknowledged.

 

When my partner published her book and used short quotes from a TV series she had to get written permission from the script publishers. I did the same with my book. Its good practise and it means that you are covered in case anything goes wrong. You are also honouring the creator of that work. 

 

 There are exceptions to the copying rule for computational analysis and a few other things but I don't believe this extends to what our friend above wants to do. 

 

Further information on copyright and fair use can be found here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/exceptions-to-copyright 

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I'm assuming your making notes on your computer; if so, can you not have two windows open side by side? (I use two monitors for this) Or make your notes on paper with the text on your screen?
 

Edited by RebeccaM
Typo

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I use the multiple window option when I need to do this sort of thing and it works well for me. 

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