What exactly is the copyright status of ancient texts in modern editions?
Nobody knows and most of us are too afraid to find out. I’m not a lawyer, and this is not a legal opinion, but it is an opinion about legal matters. Also, copyright legislation differs from country to country, and I am speaking more generally.
Personally I’m of the view that copyright is a bad way to solve the problem of protecting authorial rights, creatives’ incomes, and intellectual property. I am all for authors having rights, creatives generating income for their labour, and intellectual work being rewarded, I am unconvinced that intellectual property law is the best way to do it. Particularly, the analogue of intellectual property to real property is problematic, in that theft involves the deprivation of a good from someone, and copying by definition does not involve theft, but replication.
Nonetheless, we are all living…
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