I came across this a little while ago:
This appears to be a *legal* option for sharing books that were published between 1923 and 1941, which opens up the possibility of legal digital access to, for instance, the anniversary edition functional method books, which were published in 1936 (and renewed in Oct 1963, dang it, otherwise they would have been free and clear long ago).
The Internet Archive’s pages refered to above as the ‘Sonny Bono Memorial Collection’ are here:
And the only tips I found so far for how to submit to the archive (IA in general, not just this specific collection) are here:
If none of you beat me to it, I plan to try my hand at scanning in the functional method books alluded to above sometime soon (Gregg Shorthand Functional Method, Part One and Part Two).
So, if anybody already has clean scans of books that are perhaps not as legal as they could be (1923-1941), here’s a way to go straight: donate the scans to the Last 20 project. (and let me know if you donate the ones I mentioned above, you can save me a lot of work). NOTE that none of this makes it suddenly legal to share the files willy-nilly; the legal loophole only applies to libraries and other non-profit entities, not the likes of us.
On a final note, as long as I’m dumping links to copyright-related stuff: in case this one hasn’t already shown up, the page below has an extremely useful set of links at the bottom of the page. They lead to the listing for copyright renewals for various years; this is how I was able to verify that the functional method books above were renewed and hence still under copyright.