Tracking A Defunct Publisher
- August 31, 2004 @ 1:56pmdan says:A faculty member wants to use a portion of a book published by Henry Schumann in 1952. The publisher does claim copyright. I can't find any trace of them. Does anybody have any idea who owns their assets now?
- September 2, 2004 @ 1:21pmTrishaDavis says:Hi Dan -
I thought I had replied to you a bit ago, but I'm trying this again as it has not appeared.
I checked CBI, Cumulative Book Index for this publisher and found that Henry Schumann Publishers was actually owned by Abelard-Schumann, LTD, out of London as of 1956; by 1981 they were a division of Blackie Publishing Group out of London. By 1987 the imprint had changed to Blackie & Son and as of 1994 they were still located in London. I cannot find further evidence of publications after that, but their US distribution agent was/is Bedrick Books in New York City. You should contact them for additional information before you assume the publishing rights to be lost.
Once you have any evidence that the publisher is not locatable, you can follow standard Fair Use Rights, clearly identify the copyright holder, and then note that the publisher was not available for permissions should the professor's use go beyond your comfort level.
- January 19, 2012 @ 2:46pmrappjohn says:My father recently passed away and left behind a manuscript accepted for publication by Hollowbrook Publishers in the early 1990s, which was even assigned an ISBN number but which was never published. I have been unable to trace this publisher, which seems to have gone defunct. How can I ensure that the family has the rights to this book, and does the fact that the publisher assigned it an ISBN number mean that it will be harder to publish now?
- January 20, 2012 @ 1:00pmJanetCroft says:rappjohn, you might take your question first to a library that has a good business reference section (academic or public). It's been a while since I did business reference, but there used to be something called "who owns whom" that could tell you if Hollowbrook's copyrights had been bought out by another publisher. They may even be able to find a notice of it having gone out of business. I'm not sure on this, but possibly the Library of Congress might be able to tell you if they ever got deposit copies or if the publisher even sent in the text for cataloging. What you may have there is an orphan work, and if you can't find another owner of the copyright, you may be free to do whatever you want with it. (I always like to point people to author Neil Gaiman's web site, where he has a very good discussion about why people should have wills and executors for their intellectual property as well as their physical property. This is a classic case of where that would have helped!)
- March 11, 2012 @ 9:21ammdabdullah270 says:I'm not sure on this, but possibly the Library of Congress might be able to tell you if they ever got deposit copies or if the publisher even sent in the text for cataloging. What you may have there is an orphan work, and if you can't find another owner of the copyright, you may be free to do whatever you want with it.
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