Copyright, curses curses

Printing a Greek and Latin text opposite the English translation involves me in the murky world of copyright.  One difficulty is that a work extant in fragments is liable to have bits copyright by all sorts of people.  If they all get greedy, this can render it impossible.

The major chunks and their owners are:

  • The Greek text of the epitome, edited by Claudio Zamagni, published by Sources Chretiennes, owned by Editions du Cerf.  This is the largest single chunk, and thanks to Dominique Gonnet, Bernard Muenier and co, I have permission to use this at a fee which won’t wreck the project.  So… be thankful that I didn’t give you the Migne text!
  • The Greek text of the fragments.  Mostly by Mai, or Cramer, or Migne; all out of copyright.
  • The Greek text of some extracts from Anastasius of Sinai.  There’s a critical edition of this, and it will belong to someone.  If they get all difficult I’ll reprint Mai.
  • The Latin extracts from Ambrose of Milan’s Commentary on Luke.  This I thought belonged to the SC; but in fact they reprint the CSEL 32.4 text of 1902, edited by Karl and Heinrich Schenkl (father and son).
  • The Latin extracts from Jerome’s Commentary on Matthew.  This I also thought belonged to the SC but is in fact from the Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, owned by Brepols, a massive Belgian publishing firm.  Collywobbles time!  The SC text says they got permission from Dom Dekkers, who edited that series and whose articles got me into much of my Tertullian stuff.  Sadly he died in 1997.  So I need to find a human being associated with the CCSL.  But it’s only a page; I can certainly use Mai if I need to, and just footnote the (few) differences.
  • The Syriac fragments, published by Gerhard Beyer in Oriens Christianus in 1925-6.  I can’t find anything else that Beyer ever wrote, so I have no idea when he died.  I have written to the editor of OC asking if they claim a copyright.  I can’t see how, tho.

So… what about the Ambrose?  When did the Schenkl’s die?  For that is copyright in the Euroland; life plus 70 years.  In the USA it is all public domain before 1923.

The Ambrose CSEL is online here, although only for Americans.  A google search reveals that Karl Schenkl was 1827-1900.  As for Heinrich, Wikipedia says he died in 1919.

So … another step forward.  The CSEL text is mine to use as I choose.  All I have to do is get an electronic text.  Likewise I need to get some of the Greek stuff entered; material from Cramer’s catena, etc.  I’ll have to hire someone who knows polytonic Greek to do that — anyone interested?  Likewise with typing up the extracts from the CSEL text?  Anyone?  I can’t pay much, but can pay something.  Both of these are a few pages.


4 thoughts on “Copyright, curses curses

  1. In 1978 the copyright laws in the US were made stricter, but Google successfully challenged some of the newly enacted stricter laws in their 2005 scanning project done by Microsoft.

Leave a Reply