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Re: Downloadable copy of "A Middle English Vocabulary"

Subject: Re: Downloadable copy of "A Middle English Vocabulary"
by garm on 2009/7/22 14:53:43

Tolkien's 'Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics' is still under copyright; so is Drout's edition of Tolkien's works.

I take issue with the 'copyright evidence' given on that site for a Middle English Vocabulary: I believe Sisam's book has been re-issued, with Tolkien's glossary. The evidence which states that someone looked at a 1922 copy and didn't see a copyright notice is hardly conclusive. I have copies of Sisam,from the 20s and 30s - they don't have copyright notices. Neither do Essays and Studies; nor The Year's Work in English Studies, nor The Review of English Studies. As far as I know, copyright notices were not common in those days.

This begs the question; who holds the copyright? It may be the publication - eg Tolkien was commissioned to write the pieces on Philology: general Works for YWES. But I'd have thought work such as his middle English Vocabulary were Tolkien's copyright, which as I understand it, lasts for 70 years after his death - not 70 or in this case, 87 years after the work was published.

A Middle English Vocabulary is easily available in book form - I see no reason to take it from the web; esp. if copyright is an issue.