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JOEL Joel's Blog

New Book: The Boy Joiner and Model Maker


New Book: The Boy Joiner and Model Maker 4 From 1874 comes a little book that we decided to put back in print because it was so charming.

I'll talk about the contents in a second but first let's just say we are really proud of the cover - In order to save costs low volume printing has to be done to set sizes. The original book is slightly narrower than the reprint but also a good bit shorter. Wider top and bottom margins are fine on the actual pages but the cover, which is just PVE (Pure Victorian Exuberance) would look odd in a different aspect ratio. Also the cover of original book, which you can see in the background of the picture above has faded over time, some of the gold color has come off, and there is scuffing and damage. Also the original was embossed and with a modern glossy cover just reproducing the cover would result in a subdued shadow of what once was. So we took the original cover, digitized it, turned it into a modern, layered, vector Illustrator file, and then restored and rescaled all the graphics. It was actually a fair amount of work taking several days but when we got the proof copy from the printer our hearts sung with joy. If we were judging a book by its cover this would get a prize.

What caught my eye about this book is not the nitty gritty of actually making anything. The author kind of expects you to know how to use your tools, or be building the projects with knowledgeable help. The book shines because it's so full of stuff not covered anywhere else. It is a great starting place for ideas, there are projects in it with just enough detail to release your imagination, and the projects run the gamut of levels of complexity. However what really makes this book worthwhile is that it is chock full of information on how to layout complex moldings and do geometric constructions that once understood will give you the ability to do some really fancy work. It has the only chapter of instruction I know of that teaches you how to layout Gothic tracery.

You can learn more about the book and download some sample pages by clicking The Boy Joiner and Model Maker.
Join the conversation
12/09/2010 Scott Turner
12/09/2010 Scott Turner
While you do a good service in reprinting these out-of-copyright books, I would like to know the basis for your claim of a copyright as shown on the second page of the sample pages. In the US, reprinting a work without substantive creative additions or changes does not create a new copyright. Google Books, for example, does not claim a copyright on the books it scans, cleans up, and reprints. Can you explain the basis for your copyright claim on this work?
The copyright claim is on the scan and the cleanup - which we did. It's pretty standard industry-wide. Also the cover and some other odds and ends in reformatting. Google does not claim copyright on the scans in most but not all cases because the deal they have with the US and with the various public and university libraries is that they don't claim it.
12/09/2010 Scott Turner
Thanks for the reply, Joel. In the US, you cannot copyright a scan or clean up. You can certainly claim a new copyright on the cover (although you might get some argument over whether reformatting the cover represents a creative change) but in that case you need to limit the copyright claim to just the cover.

(And the Google deal you refer to concerns books that are still in copyright, not ones that are no longer protected.)
Since I am not a lawyer or an an authority on the subject I cannot do anything other than repeat what I have been told by other people who know more than I. If you were correct then there would be no market for reprinted books - but there is. On the Google deal I have read contrary information.

I just took a look at facsimile editions of a bunch of books by several publishers. Most include a copyright notice like we do. Dover does not.
12/09/2010 Gary Roberts
Copyright of digital imaging of an original work is a fuzzy area and becoming more so as current court cases attempt to clarify the extent of claims.

What is clear is that, if substantive work has been applied to a photograph or scan of an original, out-of-copyright image (a page constitutes an image) such that the new version is no longer a precise facsimile of the original, then copyright of the IMAGE can be claimed. Copyright of the Textual or Graphic content cannot be claimed.

So, if the original image is reproduced precisely, with all warts and issues, at the original size and without any post-imaging work having been applied, then that IMAGE cannot be copyrighted. If the publisher makes sufficient changes that the new image, while recognizable as the original but now clearly an adaptation of that original, copyright can be claimed, again, for the Image (the page image).

The publisher cannot claim copyright to any part of the original text or to the original graphic images. The publisher can lay claim to the new version which has been cleaned, whether by hand or automatically through software, altered in contrast, color depth, etc. such that the new image is identifiable as being that of the publisher and not that of the original author/publisher.

And yes, although not an attorney, I am experienced in the niceties of copyright as it applies to reprints, libraries and digital reproduction for both archival and public consumption.

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