Copywrite Expiration and Publication of Older Lanuage Books

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polyglotponderings
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Copywrite Expiration and Publication of Older Lanuage Books

Postby polyglotponderings » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:32 pm

I've been learning Russian using Assimil Russian Without Toil (1950's version). I have found it to be an extremely valuable resource: much better, IMO, than Russian With Ease (current version). I also have copies of other older books (e.g. Teach Yourself, Berlitz, Colloquial, Hugo etc.). I was wondering if anyone here knew when the copyright expires for any of these older resources or if they will at all.

Also, why do the companies decide not to publish these versions anymore? It seems like it could be a valuable revenue stream to allow these older versions to be sold by using on-demand publishing. However, I don't know the language course business, so there might be a good reason this isn't done. Also, it seems that if they didn't want to do that, they could release the copyright. I'm not sure if there's a legal way to do that.

It just seems that as time goes on, it will be harder and harder to obtain physical copies and these resources will be lost with time, and that would be a shame. Anyway, it'd be nice to hear from anyone with any insight into this. Thanks!
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zenmonkey
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Re: Copywrite Expiration and Publication of Older Lanuage Books

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:50 pm

Basically these will not expires anytime soon - life of the author + 25 to 70 years.
If you have methods published before 1923 - they are in the public domain - otherwise don't bother, you open yourself up to all sorts of trouble.
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iguanamon
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Re: Copywrite Expiration and Publication of Older Lanuage Books

Postby iguanamon » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:42 pm

polyglotponderings wrote:...Also, why do the companies decide not to publish these versions anymore? It seems like it could be a valuable revenue stream to allow these older versions to be sold by using on-demand publishing. However, I don't know the language course business, so there might be a good reason this isn't done. Also, it seems that if they didn't want to do that, they could release the copyright. I'm not sure if there's a legal way to do that. ...

Business economics is the reason. If Assimil still sold their older versions alongside their newer versions, they'd be competing against their own product, which would be a crazy thing to do from a business aspect. Assimil isn't in business to do that. If they released their copyright, they would be competing against themselves as well as essentially allowing their proprietary methods to be copied.

As much as I like and have used out of date learning material to good effect, probably, the future of language learning is in apps and web-based platforms incorporating multimedia. We're at the beginning of this era now. In the past, people went into physical bookstores and browsed the stacks. If something caught their eye they'd have a longer look. Nowadays, fewer people are going into bookstores, apps are catching their eyes . Duolinguo and Babel are the precursors of this era and the new, increasingly go-to, beginner courses. We're just at the initial stage of this now. Someday, at some point, someone is going to come up with a one stop shop- a quality beginning course, an equally good quality intermediate course and an advanced course- all incorporating multimedia and interactivity- chat and correction. Ideally, a series of some type with a built in subs2srs would be included as an option- no advanced programming skills required, out of the box ready.

It may take a while for this to happen. Until then/if then (and its a pretty big "IF"), the forum has the answers for folks who want to learn a language on their own to a high level with varying but effective advice from folks who have already made it happen for themselves like smallwhite, Cainntear, emk, Iversen, Serpent, Cavesa, James29, Brun Ugle and reineke to name a few. Right now this is the place that can give learners the best ideas how to make their own stellar, virtual "app"- not out of the box but customizable. Forums may be "old-fashioned" but in the absence of the "one-stop shop" it's a pretty good option.

Welcome to the forum, polyglotponderings! Do you speak Russian and Spanish or are you studying them?
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polyglotponderings
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Re: Copywrite Expiration and Publication of Older Lanuage Books

Postby polyglotponderings » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:48 pm

Thanks for the replies! Too bad... I still enjoy holding a book in my hands when studying. I think I get too distracted if i'm on the computer. I was able to find my Russian without Toil on Ebay, but it was hard to come by and I don't see too many out there being sold. I like looking at the older courses and how they were structured. The 1960's seems to have been the heyday for self-taught language learning courses. I've seen so much variety. I can't imagine that many of those materials will be around too much longer. Oh well, I'll grab what I can when I see it for sell.

I appreciate the welcome, iguanamon. I don't study or speak Spanish much anymore. I did quite a bit when I was a teenager and in college, but not I don't usually run into the occasion to. I've noticed, though, that when I do it comes back to me amazingly fast. As far as Russian, I've been studying it for a little over a year. I like Russian literature, history, and news, so there's always something to consume. My passive understanding is much better than my active use, but my goal this year is to really work on speaking. I'd like to spend a little more time with Russian, but I'm thinking next year, it might be time to move on to something else. Maybe French. Although, as with any language there is an endless depth to explore, so it may be difficult to leave Russian.
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