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why is it that laura ingalls wilder's classic little house books are not available for kindle?

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Showing 1-25 of 117 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 22, 2011 7:32:28 AM PDT
Katherine says:
ok so why is it that the little house books are not available for kindle. come on, they are american classics, why wouldnt they be available for purchase? seriously, not a single one is available. not even little house in the big woods.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 7:38:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 7:38:44 AM PDT
Frank Tuttle says:
Whoever holds the rights controls whether or not they are released in e-book format. A quick glance at wikipedia confirmed that Wilder died in 1957, which means her books are not yet in the public domain. A lot of the classics you see are public domain works, but the Little House books aren't there yet. I imagine her estate still holds the rights.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 7:41:04 AM PDT
They are available in Canada. I followed a link from mobilereads to the downloads. It tells you they are only for Canadians but they don't care who downloads them. I have many of them and they were all free.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 7:41:38 AM PDT
Frank Tuttle says:
Update -- HarperCollins has the books. If you search on them in Books, not Kindle Books, you'll see the listing. You'll also see the 'please make this available for Kindle' button. Press that, and HarperCollins gets an email telling them you want the books Kindelized. There's no guarantee they'll do it, but if enough people tell them they want them for Kindle they probably will.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 7:43:48 AM PDT
Then you have illegal copies of them, assuming you are in the US. The copyright may have expired in Canada, but it apparently has not expired here.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 7:47:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 7:49:13 AM PDT
Well gosh , that's too bad/. I was on the website with the free links and clicked on it. It was just in small print and no other restrictions to click on them. I got them off of by the way for anyone else who doesn't care if they are from Canada's public domain listing. How many people do you think would actually say , oh darn < I don't live in Canada, I shouldn't download this book. I don't think anyone really cares. I wasnt' the only US person that went there I'm sure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 7:52:41 AM PDT
Here's the not so small print I found on Mobilereads about these books:

This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

To report a copyright violation you can contact us here.

If you have no qualms about breaking copyright law, then kudos to you, I guess. But don't pretend you're not.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 7:53:22 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
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Posted on Mar 22, 2011 8:01:00 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:03:39 AM PDT
amandalee66 says:
when she died has no real relevance to whether or not her books are in the public domain, it's a matter of when the books were published.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:03:42 AM PDT
Jazzy_Jeff says:
I get things from project gutenberg Australia all the time :).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:04:13 AM PDT
sabst79 says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:13:40 AM PDT
Zimdle says:
I'm sure she'd be happier knowing that her heirs are being fairly compensated for her work. Just because you own one copy doesn't give you the right to steal a second.

Of course mobilereads didn't say US citizens do not download. It said the books are in the public domain in Canada. They are aware that Canadian copyright law differs from other nations' (not just the US). They put it on you to check your own country's laws. There's no reason for them to do the research to find out every country's copyright laws, then they'd have to continually check because the law is always changing. Just like a traffic law may be different in another country - just because you are from the US doesn't mean you won't be charged with a traffic violation if you drive on the right side of the road in France.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 8:16:04 AM PDT
Well, for anyone else who wants them, 4 of them are on mobilereads.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:17:20 AM PDT,72&Search_Arg=Laura%20Ingalls%20Wilder&Search_Code=TALL&CNT=25&REC=0&RD=0&RC=0&PID=a8dPOnagciZ13gi7YsmOsTMno1WXFIS&SEQ=20110322111047&SID=3

" Copyright Catalog (1978 to present)"

There. Now you know for a FACT. Glad I could help.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 8:26:26 AM PDT
Actually, it's both. Current US law gives copyright protection for 70 years after the author's death.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 9:31:13 AM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
The first book (Little House in the Big Woods) was published in 1932. Assuming it was properly renewed and had a proper copyright notice, it will fall into the public domain in the US on January 1, 2028. It is just as illegal to distribute it in the US without permission as it would be to do, say, Harry Potter.

As others have noted, Canadian law is different. Canada does Life+50, which is generally similar to to Asia and Africa, but not to the European Union, South America, and the US.

It's the unauthorized distribution and copying that is illegal. Downloading it to a country where it is not in the public domain is not illegal for the downloader. However, if the website doesn't take steps to prevent it, they could be fined and/or shutdown altogether.

I wouldn't do it because in my opinion, it infringes on the rights of the author. Not everybody agrees with that, though. There are people who don't believe in copyright, for example.

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 11:38:13 AM PDT
Katherine says:
bummer, i was hoping that i could buy it in kindle format with text to speech enabled.. i already own all her books in paperback.. without text to speech i might as well pick up a paper book. stupid dyslexia makes it awful to read without the voice to read along to. thanks everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 12:09:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 12:13:32 PM PDT
L. Leverton says basically that when someone dies it's ok to defraud their heirs. In that case please email me your bank accounts and anything else you are planning on leaving to your children and grandchildren or do you feel that they are entitled to protection that an author's descendants and heirs aren't? I especially loved the comment that implied that only some assets are entitled to protection as well as only some people's heirs.

I am sure the author would be touched that you loved her work but that doesn't mean she would be happy to have you steal it. Why don't you walk into a bookstore and explain that because you owned it as a child you should never have to pay it again?

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 12:15:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2011 12:15:46 PM PDT
Katherine says:
what i dont understand is why the heirs dont want my money.. so what if its not public domain.. im willing to pay the 10$ for a kindle format book.. thats more than the paperbacks cost in stores for her books.. why dont they want my money.. they could have my money if they allowed it to be kindle formatted.. it makes no sense at all to not try to get more profit..

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 12:18:26 PM PDT
I downloaded those books back when I first got my K2i. I saw nothing on that site that made me think what I was doing was wrong. Granted, this was before I understood anything about copyrights, but it was still an innocent action on my part.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 12:20:01 PM PDT
Frank Tuttle says:
E-books are relatively new. Converting traditional books to e-book format is not a trivial task -- neither is re-negotiating the legal matters between the publisher and the heirs.

There's no magic 'Convert to Kindle' button to press, I'm afraid.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 12:22:02 PM PDT
While we're wishing for Kindle books from Wilder, I also wish that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings books were available in Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2011 12:27:48 PM PDT
My guess is that rights ownership comes into it. While the heirs may have the rights to the royalties, they may not have the rights to control publication. Remember, when those books were written and those contracts signed, e-books weren't even a concept, let alone a reality.

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 12:33:22 PM PDT
BadgerBAJ says:
Okay, having looked up Rose Wilder Lane (Laura Ingalls Wilder's only child), this is what I discoverd. I knew Rose didn't have surviving children. But, she left the rights to the stories to a Roger McBride, a son of one of her editors. He had the rights to both Wilder's & Lane's works & enabled the TV series. After his death there was a court battle between his heirs and a library in Missouri. The trustees of the library claimed that Rose's inherited rights were only for her lifetime and that she could not give them away. The suit was settled out of court, the MacBrides retaining the rights.
So, there you have it.

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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  38
Total posts:  117
Initial post:  Mar 22, 2011
Latest post:  May 8, 2014

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