Copyright on seforim

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    Shouldn’t the Chofetz Chaim’s family be entitled to the copyright on the Mishna Brura or the Rambam’s family on Mishna Torah? Am I unaware of a time limitation halacha imposes on seforim’s copyright? I believe the Mishna Brura has been freely printed by anyone for at least the last 70 years, which was not all that many decades after the CC first published the last volume.

    At what point can any printer print seforim without paying the author or his family? Are the seforim of the Chazon Ish, Steipler, Igros Moshe, etc. freely available to reprint by anyone? How does Hebrewbooks publish them?


    I think the Shoel umashiv held the copyright ceases after death


    Some old versions of the chofetz chaim were printed by his almanah and state that anyone else who prints it is oiver on almanah v’yasom lo s’anun


    The original “haskamos” were really letters against publishing the sefer in question for X amount of time.


    I once went to a fascinating presentation on the issue of copyright on sefarim. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay any attention.


    Halachic copyright was always time restricted, usually for a very limited number of years. The goyim’s copyright of close to a century, or more, goes well beyond that halacha (e.g. 70 years after death of the author). Feel free to reprint the Rambam or Rashi without getting permission from the descendants.


    The biggest advocates of long copyights is the Disney company who copied most of their famous cartoons from the Anti-Semites the Brother Grimm (Snow White, Cinderella , Beauty and the Beast and the Jew among thorns)


    It’s a machlokes poskim.


    Veltz : how do you know that it was fascinating if you didn’t pay attention?

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