I picked up an intriguing new book that arrived in the mail today. I couldn't wait to get started. I don't know about you but I start right from the front. The copyright made me stop dead in my tracks. I had never seen anything like this before.
Let's start with some earlier copyright notices to get us warmed up:
1) Cod by Mark Kurlansky (Penguin Books, 1997)
"All rights reserved.
Except in the United States of America, this book is sold to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser."
Ok, so that's a little quirky. Seems like they really don't want that book circulating outside the United States. Maybe they're afraid of the rest of the world learning our cod secrets.
2) Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors by Patricia Law Hatcher (Ancestry, 2006)
"All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages for a review."
This is what I would term a "normal" copyright notice.
And now for the new book that just arrived:
3) Witchcraft Prosecution: Chasing the Devil in Connecticut by R.G. Tomlinson (Picton Press, 2012)
"All right reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means whatsoever, including, but not limited to, electronic, mechanical, magnetic recording, the Internet, or photocopying, without the prior written approval of the Copyright holder, excepting brief quotations for inclusion in book reviews."
The times they are a changing! This is the first time I have ever seen treatment of modern definitions of copying and transmission. They are certainly trying to be all encompassing by including electronic reproduction and the internet. I wonder if they have thought of everything or if there is already some new technology on the horizon that copyright holders need to be worried about.
Personally, I'm happy to see them defining these so specifically in the copyright notice. They are themselves becoming an historical record of our times.