I own the copyright, can I digitize the publishers edition and sell it

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  • I have enjoyed reading posts in this forum. I realize this question is not exactly germane to librarians, but here goes:

    My book is out of print and the copyright has reverted to me. The letter from the publisher states they still own the edition, and reproduction of that edition by photo-offset would have to be negotiated with them.

    Is the text I recover from the published edition via OCR mine (I lost the original manuscript), or does the publisher have a claim to that text, too?

    This isn't 'fair use', I intend to sell the digital text.

    Thanks a lot for any pointers,

  • If I am reading this correctly, this means you own the content but not the format, basically, So if you do use OCR to recover the text, that's fine, but you can't just reproduce it as is, with their exact pagination, layout, cover, and so on. You should be able to easily change these things once you have OCR'd it. This is also a good opportunity to make a true second edition by correcting typos, adding new information, and otherwise editing the text -- and this would protect you from claims that you are just reproducing their copy, particularly if you market it as a digital second edition.

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