Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is 'Pounds and Inches' in the Public Domain?

Dear Rich: I have been trying to figure out if the original manuscript of Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, Pounds and Inches, is in the public domain. It was originally written in the 50’s in Italy, and there seems to have been a reprinting in the 70’s. A current publishing is being sold on Amazon at this link. Do you have any information on this? I have been very successful on this program and would really like to republish this book myself to help others. Your question is timely because our Wii Fitness "counselor" keeps asking us how we gained 1.5 pounds over the holidays.  So, we will have no problem putting Dr. Simeons' diet book to the test. ANd we'll also have no trouble getting a copy as it appears as if the complete manuscript is available here and here and the full text is supposedly included in this book (and seems  to be available in various incarnations at a variety of diet websites).  The fact that others are  freely copying the manuscript doesn't confirm that the work is in the public domain (the Dear Rich Staff has many unauthorized books out there, as well). But the proliferation of unauthorized reproductions may indicate that the likely copyright owner -- either a publisher or the estate of the British Dr. Simeons -- is lax in pursuing infringers.
Is it public domain? Short answer = No. According to our research, the book was first published in 1954, and Dr. A.T.W. Simeons died in 1970. British copyright law protects works for 70 years from the death of the author  as does Italian copyright law. So we're not seeing any reason why the work would be in the public domain.
Bottom line dept. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, the widespread reproduction of Simeons' materials creates an implication that enforcement is lax and publication in the U.S. is unlikely to trigger a cease and desist letter.Publish Post