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Copyright and Reusing Materials in Manuscripts

Eisenbrauns, like other publishers, requires authors submitting materials for publication to get appropriate permission for any re-use of previously published material that remains under copyright. It is the author's responsibility to secure appropriate permission for any such re-use, and Eisenbrauns requires that all authors sign a statement that they have received permission and to forward copies of permissions for our files.

This requirement covers the use of both written materials and any graphic materials (photographs, drawings, etc.).

A question often asked is: how far back does material remain under copyright protection? or to put it differently, how old does something have to be before I can just use it, without asking for permission? The answer is not simple, and we can only summarize the basics (though please note that this only covers works published in the U.S.A.):

  • Works published before Dec. 31, 1923, are now in the public domain.
  • Works published during the years 1924-1963 are under copyright for 28-67 years, depending on whether copyright was renewed when it first expired.
  • Works published from 1964-77 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication.
  • Works published outside the U.S. are usually under copyright for either 50 or 75 years from the date of death of the author; laws vary from country to country, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

For a more comprehensive discussion of the matter, see The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, §§4.19–4.29.

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