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Sunday, March 6, 2016

TPP and Intellectual Property

The TPP has been signed but it still has to be ratified by the US Congress, and a whole package of laws needs to be passed to enforce TPP rules in the US. Some public projects that volunteers do for no pay, and for the benefits of the public are Project Gutenberg, which has 50,000+ older titles available in multiple formats (HTML, TXT, Epub, PDF, etc) for free. Google books also has many titles for free but many of them are 1) PDF (which do not rewrap to a different screen size) or 2) OCR'ed PDFs which have not been edited, and the OCR'ed versions contain a lot of errors. Hence the reason for PGDP.

However, Ch 18 of the TPP (Intellectual Property) extends the copyright uniformly for all countries that signed the TPP. In general, the copyright right is extended even longer than current US law, and the TPP copyright is generally held for Dec 31 in the year of the author's death, plus 70 years. There are some exceptions which you can read in the Ch 18 link below under "Links".

Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders is one organization that helps process books in PDF format to readable, rewrappable formats, and will also be affected by the TPP. In both cases, PG and PGDP will have to determine which books on file will have to be removed for a time. This means creating a massive database of author death dates, and any other info that will affect copyright.

They could certainly use your help with finding the deaths of authors, with proof. Here is a thread on PGDP (Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreading) talking about collecting author deaths to make sure the Gutenberg Project complies with TPP when it takes effect in the US.

If you have some spare time please consider helping out


Ch 18 of TPP in html format, with links to articles within ch 18. No links to chapters outside of ch 18.

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