includes details of ebooks placed online during
January 2008

Dear Subscriber,

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing ebooks mentioned in this newsletter.


News and Reviews


Our Bestsellers page ( )contains the titles of the top ten bestselling books in both fiction and non-fiction categories for the years 1923 through 1953 (from Publisher's Weekly) with links to those that are available at Project Gutenberg Australia. All works by authors who died after 31 December, 1954 are still under copyright in Australia.

In the fiction category, there are some some surprising authors on the list. Zane Grey, Booth Tarkington and Lloyd C Douglas are now out of favour, even though their books are still very readable. On the other hand, the works of Virginia Woolf and D H Lawrence are still widely read.

The non-fiction category has some fascinating titles which would readily find a publisher even today, including 'Self-Mastery Through Conscious Auto-Suggestion', 'Diet and Health', and 'You Must Relax.' No doubt the actual content would, in many cases, be quite different.

It is difficult to find many of the non-fiction titles in libraries today, much more difficult than finding many of the fiction titles. One supposes that the transitory nature of many of the non-fiction works has meant that the books date more easily.

Why not click on the Bestsellers link and browse the list. At the very least it provides an interesting insight into the reading taste of people more than 50 years ago.

Copyright in Australia

In Australia there is no system of registration for copyright protection. You do not need to publish your work, to put a copyright notice on it, or to do anything else to be covered by copyright--the protection is free and automatic. There are no forms to fill in, and there are no fees to be paid. You do not have to send your work to the Australian Copyright Council or to anyone else. Further, as a result of international treaties, such as the Berne Convention, Australian copyright works are protected in most other countries, and copyright works from most other countries are protected in Australia.

Under Australian copyright law, work published (anywhere in the world) in an author's lifetime are, in Australia, protected for the life of the author plus 70 years from the end of the year of the author's death. After the protection period, they enter the "public domain". However, they may still be subject to copyright in other countries. In countries where copyright protections can extend more than 70 years past an author's death, the author's estate and publishers still retain their legal and moral rights to oversee the work in those countries.

Once copyright has expired it cannot be revived by subsequent publication, or otherwise. New editions cannot extend copyright, however new work (such as an introduction) will be copyright. Translators, editors, and illustrators have similar rights to those of the author of the work.

Amendments to the Copyright Act were made in 2005, as a result of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Those amendments extended the period of protection (for most material that was still protected by copyright at the time) to 70 years, as outlined in an earlier paragraph. In general, material that was previously protected for the life of the creator plus 50 years is now protected for the creator's life life plus 70 years, and material that was previously protected for 50 years from first publication is protected for 70 years from the end of the year of first publication.

The extended period of protection only applies to material that was still protected by copyright on 1 January 2005, or created on or after that date. There has been no revival of copyright in material which was in the public domain as at 1 January 2005. This means that, with regard to books, all material in the public domain as at midnight on 31 December 2004 remains in the public domain. For example, Miles Franklin died in 1954. Her book My Brilliant Career entered the public domain at midnight on 31 December 2004. It remains in the public domain. Works published by authors who died in or after 1955 will now remain in copyright until midnight on 31 December 2025, at the earliest.

Quotable Quotes (From Doctor Widger's Library)

The following are from Lord Chesterfield's letters to his son.

* * * * *

Above all things, and upon all occasions, avoid speaking of yourself, if it be possible. Such is the natural pride and vanity of our hearts, that it perpetually breaks out, even in people of the best parts, in all the various modes and figures of the egotism.

* * *

If, therefore, you would avoid the accusation of pedantry on one hand, or the suspicion of ignorance on the other, abstain from learned ostentation. Speak the language of the company that you are in; speak it purely, and unlarded with any other. Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it; but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman.

* * *

I shall go to town in four or five days, and carry back with me a little more hearing than I brought; but yet, not half enough for common wants. One wants ready pocket-money much oftener than one wants great sums; and to use a very odd expression, I want to hear at sight. I love every-day senses, every-day wit and entertainment; a man who is only good on holydays is good for very little.

Australian Poetry

'Er name's Doreen ...Well spare me bloomin' days!
You could er knocked me down wiv 'arf a brick!
Yes, me, that kids meself I know their ways,
An' 'as a name for smoogin' in our click!
I just lines up an' tips the saucy wink.
But strike! The way she piled on dawg! Yer'd think
A bloke was givin' back-chat to the Queen....
'Er name's Doreen.

From 'The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke' (

Last month's postings

A list of all the books we provide is available from
Check there to see if there are other works by the authors listed below


Jan 2008 Burma and the Karens, San C Po                    [] 1587A or .zip
Jan 2008 The Karen People of Burma, Harry Ignatius Marshall[] 1588A or .zip
Jan 2008 The Karens of the Golden Chersonese, A R McMahon  [] 1589A or .zip
Jan 2008 The Karens of Burma, Harry Ignatius Marshall      [] 1590A or .zip
Jan 2008 Bindle, Herbert Jenkins                           [] 1586A or .zip
Jan 2008 Scaramouche the Kingmaker, Rafael Sabatini        [] 1585A or .zip
Jan 2008 The Martyrdom of Man, Winwood Reade               [] 1584A or .zip
Jan 2008 Mr Pottermack's Oversight, R Austin Freeman       [] 1583A or .zip

Other Information

Newsletter Editor: Colin Choat.

To visit the Project Gutenberg of Australia web site, go to

To contact us, go to

To get HELP with downloading the ebooks available from Project Gutenberg of Australia go to

To view past newsletters go to

Project Gutenberg of Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure-trove n. treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership.