Genetics and the Origin of Species book by Dobzhansky
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8.3 years ago
h.mon 34k

I believe Dobzhansky's "Genetics and the Origin of Species" has entered the public domain, or am I wrong? It is from 1937. Likewise for several fundamental books from the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (Fisher's "The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection", Haldane's "The causes of evolution", etc). However, I can't find eletronic reprints of any of them. Does anyone knows which and where those books are available online?

bibliography copyright books • 2.3k views
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I got the Genetics of the Evolutionary Process by Dobzhansky used for 50 cents from Amazon + 3.99 shipping and handling ... the Genetics and Origin seems more expensive at $19.

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8.3 years ago

(Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer)

In most countries, copyright is based on the year of death of the author, not the publication date of the work. To quote Wikipedia:

In most other countries that are signatories to the Berne Convention, copyright term is based on the life of the author, and extends to 50 or 70 years beyond the death of the author. (See List of countries' copyright length.)

Dobzhansky died in 1975 so it will take until 2045 in most countries until his works are public domain. Fisher died in 1962 so it'll take until 2032.

George Orwell, on the other hand, died in 1950, so his works are in the public domain here in Australia where the limit is 50 years (look at ebooks@Adelaide), but not in the public domain in the US, where the limit is 70 years.

Actually, Fisher's work should be in the public domain in Australia (1962+50=2012), The Genetic Theory of Natural Selection is on archive.org, but only the first 1930 edition, not the 1958 second edition (link via Razib Khan). Maybe no-one bothered to put together a 'nice' edition yet? Edit: No wait, I misunderstood - Australia's 50 years expiration only applies if the author died before 1955 (as in Orwell's case), after that it's 70 years like in the US, so Fisher's work is not in the public domain in Australia.

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Thanks Deedee and Philipp, I completelly misunderstood copyright laws - I was under the impression it was 70 years from publication date.

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8.3 years ago
Dan D 7.3k

It's not in the public domain, sadly.

EDIT: likewise for Haldane and Fisher :(

EDIT 2: As Philipp showed, it seems I was correct about US copyright, completely wrong about international copyright!

The best thing I could find was the Google Books entry for the book in your post title. Some chunks are omitted, but a good portion is there and freely available.

Three full chapters are also available at stephenjaygould.org.

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