Copyright, Book Illustrations, and the Internet

In the public domain.

I collect vintage images–illustrations, as it were. Have for over 40 years. Paper ephemera, books, sheet music, postcards, Halloween, greeting cards,  bridge tallies, you name it, if it’s illustrated art–I collect it. And on flickr I found a community of others just like me. I began sharing this collection as I continued making vintage illustration jewelry from my collections, and from things I found floating around on the fabulous internet. And, from some things I found on flickr-that was downloadable and in the public domain. What does that mean? I can only speak for the United States, because other countries have different laws, but, anything, anything printed before 1923 is in the public domain. Which means they are not protected or owned by any individual. I checked this over and over again, due to problems that occurred on flickr when I had the audacity to explain that I was going to start a digital download business, and that there was a slim possibility that some images from flickr streams may get into my business–inadvertently. I am nothing, if not stupid enough to be honest about what I am doing. This started a mini firestorm of flickr morality. And supposed legal questions. And here’s the point of this post.

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Book Burning, or the Lack There Of

Rereading articles about last September’s London riots, I became bemused over the point many newspapers and blogs made about the lack of looting and book burning during the violence. All had theories of why this was so. One–the rioters respect books, therefore didn’t touch them. I think we can rule that one out immediately. Some … Read more

Ultimate Free Advertising Idea for Used Book Shops

We all know that we need to advertise, and we all know that it’s very difficult to know how and where to advertise. It tends to be expensive, and so often it doesn’t work. We know that people aren’t going to come to our book store if they don’t know we are there.

I’ve given this a lot of thought.

In my previous piece – ‘The Second Renaissance’ – I wrote about the internet and how it is changing communication and attitudes. It would seem that the internet is a good place to advertise. Websites are neither difficult nor expensive to set up and maintain. The downside is that there are, literally, billions of websites so the book buyers aren’t likely to find your website unless they already know about it.

We also know that book people – and especially used book people – like to visit as many stores as they can, because, unlike B&N or Chapters, every one of our stores is different. So I thought it would make sense to have a lot of used bookshops on one site. Actually, it would be best if ALL the used bookstores were on one site, searchable by location. If that were the case, anyone going for a drive, or moving, or visiting another city, could go to the site and find out what bookstores there were in the area, their hours, location, number of books, etc.

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