Copyright Status

Hi everyone!

OK, this question is more directed at Carlos, but I couldn’t figure out how to send a PM on the new system, so here goes:

I ran a little shorthand blog for French Gregg earlier last year (I warn you before you click the link, the shorthand is rather horrendous and I haven’t been updating the blog!), and people have been asking me to help them learn French Gregg. I have definitely no place teaching someone shorthand(!), and I would just like to give them a copy of R.J. Senecal’s 1939 Gregg manual, (which Carlos kindly sent me a copy of), but it is apparently still under copyright and plus, it was Carlos’ work – I think.

So I guess I’m asking what the legal consequences of privately sharing a file such as this are, and whether Carlos, who is the author of the file I received, is fine with me privately giving people (only one guy so far) a copy of the pdf.


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4 comments Add yours
  1. If it's a private file for personal use, as far as I understand, it falls into fair use and it would be fine to share. However, the person cannot post the file anywhere in the internet. The problem is that once you share the electronic file, you don't have any control on what the person will do with it. For that reason, to avoid any issues, I recommend the following. Tell whoever is interested the full bibliographic reference, and tell them that they can get the book via interlibrary loan through their public library. Many libraries carry this book. You can see here. The full reference is: Sénécal RJ. Sténographie Gregg. New York, Gregg Publishing Company, 1931.

    (Another issue is that most people want stuff the easy way and free without spending a little time doing the research. In my case, I went to a library, made photocopies of the book and a scan for my own use, and later I obtained a copy of the book on eBay. By just telling whoever is interested the bibliographic reference and referring them to Worldcat, you can avoid any potential problems.)

  2. OK, I think I shall keep it the way it is then; on my site it says specifically that I shall not be distributing a copy of the manual… I just thought today I should check with you since I've had this question asked several times (and this guy did say he couldn't find it in France). I'll just tell him to see if he can obtain a copy elsewhere (there are 6 libraries in the UK, according to Worldcat) and will do so for future emails too.

    Thanks for the help! Oh yeah and is it worth it to tell him about here? I'm not sure how much of the community here speaks French!

  3. OK, in the end I just gave him the link to WorldCat, but I did tell him that if he is reasonably comfortable with English he could find help here with his shorthand studies.

    Do any of you know if there are public domain learning aids for French Gregg specifically? I know only one (Études Graduées de Vitesse) but it isn't public domain and it would be nice to have a download for something helpful on my blog…

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