Saturday, June 4, 2011

Could Morton Smith's Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark Have Fallen Out of Copyright?

The book was published in 1973 of course and I found an entry for the book in the Library of Congress's Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1973: Title Index. The entry I believe on page 3916 for July - December assigns it the number A446560 (the print is unclear).  The copyright would have come up on 2001.  When I go to the copyright website of the Library of Congress, I see a number of books of Morton Smith listed but not Clement of Alexandria and a Secret Gospel of Mark:

#Name (NALL) <Full TitleCopyright NumberDate
 [ 1 ]Smith, MortonGreek magical papyri in translation : including the Demotic spells / edited by Hans Dieter Betz.TX00035141241992
 [ 2 ]Smith, MortonTelecommunications : G-FY : TCM 420 : faculty curriculum / contributors, Craig Bergeron, Morton Smith.TX00045783661997
 [ 3 ]Smith, MortonLanguage-enriched exercise for clients with Alzheimer's disease / Sharon Arkin with contributing author Morton Smith.TX00061228212005
 [ 4 ]Smith, MortonAncient Greeks. By Morton Smith.RE00004097571960
 [ 5 ]Smith, MortonHeros and gods; spiritual biographies in antiquity. By Moses Hadas & Morton Smith.RE00006471191965
 [ 6 ]Smith, Morton, 1915-Jesus the magician / Morton Smith.TX00000736521978
 [ 7 ]Smith, Morton, 1915-Hope and history, an exploration / Morton Smith.TX00004445901980
 [ 8 ]Smith, Morton, 1915-What the Bible really says / edited by Morton Smith and R. Joseph Hoffmann.TX00026180891989
 [ 9 ]Smith, Morton, 1915-Hope and history, an exploration. By Morton Smith.TX00005140051980
 [ 10 ]Smith, Morton, 1930-Cartoon treasury of Morton Smith.TX00019294541986
 [ 11 ]Smith, Morton, 1930-Idyll, portraits, and landscapes / by Morton Smith.TX00019311621986
 [ 12 ]Smith, Morton, 1930-General Mark Clark drops by Fort Knox, my first day in the Army.VA00010345622000
 [ 13 ]Smith, Morton CharlesPrinciples of physical metallurgy. By Morton Charles Smith.RE00002171471956
 [ 14 ]Smith, Morton CharlesAlloy series in physical metallurgy. By Morton Charles Smith.RE00002171461956
 [ 15 ]Smith, Morton D.Map of the Old Spanish Trail.VA00001197991981
 [ 16 ]Smith, Morton D.Muleteer.TX00010178511981
 [ 17 ]Smith, Morton D.Muleteer.TX00010039701981
 [ 18 ]Smith, Morton E.Case studies in ophthalmology for medical students : instructor manual / Mark J. Mannis, Morton E. Smith.TX00019893901986
 [ 19 ]Smith, Morton E.Basic science, refraction, and pathology / Morton E. Smith, Marilyn C. Kincaid, Constance E. West.TX00055395552002
 [ 20 ]Smith, Morton E.Diseases of the conjunctiva, cornea, and sclera--Ocular trauma : accidental and surgical / Morton E. Smith.PA00000918711980
 [ 21 ]Smith, Morton E.Case studies in ophthalmology for medical students : student manual / Mark J. Mannis, Morton E. Smith.TX00020274511986
 [ 22 ]Smith, Morton E.Ocular pathology / Myron Yanoff, Ben S. Fine ; foreword by Morton E. Smith.TX00055348662002
 [ 23 ]Smith, Morton E., 1934-Case studies in ophthalmology for medical students : instructor manual / Mark J. Mannis, Morton E. Smith.TX00035926711993
 [ 24 ]Smith, Morton MottPrinciples of mechanics simply explained. By Morton Mott-Smith.RE00005619581963
 [ 25 ]Smith, Morton P.Hopalong Cassidy enters & 43 other titles; motion pictures.V2487P1521989

When I do a Title search for 'Clement of Alexandria' I get the following:

#Title <Full TitleCopyright NumberDate
 [ 1 ]Clement of Alexandria and the Valentinian gnostics / Judith L. Kovacs.Clement of Alexandria and the Valentinian gnostics / Judith L. Kovacs.TX00002852721979
 [ 2 ]Clement, of Alexandria, ca. 150 - ca. 215Stromateis : bk. 1-3 / Clement of Alexandria ; translated by John Ferguson.TX00034005971992
 [ 3 ]Clement of Alexandria, Christ the Educator.Clement of Alexandria, Christ the Educator. Translated from Latin & Greek by Simon P. Wood.RE00001212891954

I tried to search for this book a hundred different ways in the catalog all of which gave me hope that the book might now be in the public domain. My hopes were ultimately dashed by noticing this at another page at

Any work published or registered before January 1, 1964, must have been renewed by an application for registration in the 28th year following the original date of publication or
registration to continue its term of protection for another 28 years. However, copyrights in works registered or published between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977, have an automatic renewal for a full 95-year term of protection. Although the period of protection is automatically renewed, a renewal application may be submitted anyway. If the work in question is more than 27 years old and less than 95 years old, a renewal registration consists of all the following:

• the title and author(s) of the original work
• the renewal claimant or claimants
• the date on which the second term of protection commenced, and
• the renewal registration number, which is the letter R or the letters RE followed by from one to six digits

That would seem to close the door on the possibility of transcribing large portions of Morton Smith's book at my blog. And so we finally see the real reason why Morton Smith's research will ultimately fade from the world - preserved in the wrong format!

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