Winchell book

Question:  I was looking for ventriloquist books on Amazon. They have a Kindle book called "How to Build a Ventriloquist Dummy”. I bought it out of curiosity and it is just a copy of the Paul Winchell’s book “Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit.”   It has only the chapters on how to build a dummy. I also see that Amazon offers a reprint of his book as well. And a full Kindle copy each with a 2010 copyright. My question is Paul’s book Copyrighted when he offered it or is it public Domain? 
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From Mr. D: I have an original hardcover copy of Paul Winchell's book, Ventriloquism For Fun and Profit.  It belonged to Mrs. Maher (she wrote her name and address inside the book), and it still has the somewhat tattered dust cover.  I have thought of selling it, but can't quite bring myself to do it.  Anyway, I know it is a first edition, and I checked the copyright page.  It is printed, "Copyright 1954, Paul Winchell".  You ask if the book is now in public domain but I can't answer that.  I don't know if Paul renewed the copyright, or if so, for how many years.

1 comment:

  1. P. Grecian10/09/2012

    It's still in copyright. The old copyright law was 28 years plus 28 years renewal. The new law came into effect in the early seventies when Paul's copyright was still valid, and was, therefore, eligible for grandfathering in. That law, then, got a further extension shortly thereafter. The new law (which isn't very new anymore) is the author's life plus seventy years. As for the 2010 copyright on Amazon, that could easily be an additional copyright for a new printing with a new layout in addition to Paul's valid copyright. I've got the book, too, but it's like yours, Clinton, copyright 1954...though mine has a black and white and gray cover and judging by the handwriting in the front, I've had it since sometime around 1958.