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I vaguely recall that we aren't actually supposed to use either "Project Gutenberg" or "En******* Br******" here. I could be wrong. Anybody?

The text itself is truly public domain, so using the text confers no requirements of any kind. "Encyclopaedia Britannica" is an active trademark and should not be mentioned (except when talking _about_ EB such as this sentence). It is acceptable, but unnecessary, to credit Project Gutenberg. It is probably best not to mention either, as that might be construed as an endorsement. --LDC

Well, the reason I asked was that someone (Bryce Harrington? I forget) said something along the lines of "we shouldn't use the Project Gutenberg name." I believe he found something to this effect on their website, or had communication from someone in the PG project.


Project Gutenberg is a trademark, as is Encyclopaedia Britannica. They require a fee if their texts are distributed under their trademark. What that might mean, exactly, is sometimes unclear. But in order to distribute texts under their trademark requires that we not modify the text in any way. In the context of the wiki, that's obviously impossible. Anyone might come along and edit anything. So we can't distribute the texts under their trademark at all.

This does not preclude us from using the words at all! That isn't how trademark works. It's just that we can't use their trademark in such a fashion as to suggest that they support or endorse this project or any changes that we might have (accidentally or on purpose) made to their texts.

I am on the mailing list for Project Gutenburg, and Michael Hart knows who I am, I suppose, from our joint Slashdot interview. So I will ask for more clarification. --Jimbo Wales


Here is a fair use extract from the file:

 "You may distribute copies of this etext 
 electronically, or by disk, book or any other 
 medium if you either delete this "Small Print!" and all 
 other references to Project Gutenberg,"



For reference, my original posting on this can be found at "BritannicaPublicDomain". -- BryceHarrington


I pulled this from my vast archive of each and every Inaugural Address presented by an elected American President. I predict that the next President will begin copyrighting his speeches so that this may no longer be done (intellectual property being what it is). -Grant

Technically, any speech given by anyone in the United States is copyrighted when it is given.

Aren't there some laws stating what data produced by the federal government are public domain?

17 USC 1 § 105: Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. A Presidential speech made as part of the duties of his office (like the State of the Union, or an Inaugural address) would probably qualify as a "work of the US Government", and likely not be copyrightable. But a President is certainly entitled to copyright on any work he does on his own time, say, writing a memoir. That's also why things like the CIA Factbook are fair game. --LDC