Harriet Pepin’s (later Harriet Pepin Berger), Fundamentals of Apparel Design (1948) is a fabulous learning tool for anyone interested in design. Hard copies of the book are hard to come by (luckily I am one of the few) and don’t come cheap (mine included), in fact Amazon only has a few available, but they’re well worth the cost.
Here’s the problem. Those selling an original hardcopy on Amazon or an original hardcopy elsewhere have right to do so. It’s an original.
However, this book is NOT in the public domain (even if the author has passed on) and should not be available for sell on the Internet or elsewhere as a reproduction-even if the cover is redesigned or the book is placed on CD-Rom.
So why are more than a few unscrupulous reproduction sellers violating Berger’s copyright?
It’s personally irritating for me seeing the author’s rights so violated after she took the time, effort and energy to protect her rights (and heirs).
One such copyright violator said they aren’t “really” making “alot of money” from the sale of the book. Seriously. Isn’t a penny enough?
Another violator responded “we did due diligence in trying to locate the author”. What does that mean? You can’t find the author so you’re free to violate their copyright?
Another stated they checked the Library of Congress and that the author would have been required to renew the copyright. Okay. That’s correct. So why then wasn’t there a check to see if the author did just that? Because she did on May 5, 1975. Unlikely, this publisher was ethical enough to remove the book, along with Dress Design Draping and Flat Pattern Making (also not in public domain) promptly from their website when notified of the violation.
Please respect the work of others.
Helpful in avoiding future legal issues if you infringe on other another.
Visit the U.S. Copyright Office and check yourself or pay to have it done for you.
Information of Determining What is and What isn’t in Public Domain
Is This in Public Domain?
Copyright Renewal Databases