What if I want to modify/sell a book that is copyrighted in my country, but is under public domain in X country? If I download a file containing the X country version, am I allowed to do this? If not, then what if someone that lives in X country, create a derivative work using a liberal (as in "do what you want") license? Can I use/modify the derivative work?

1 Answer 1


If a book is copyrighted in your country (let's call it country A), you can't sell "country X version" in country A, whatever the copyright law in country X says. The book is under the copyright protection, and it applies to all of its versions.

In country X, you or someone else can create derivative works based on a public domain book. However, you still can not sell these works in country A, because that would likely violate the copyright law there.

  • Well, then i have another little question. It would means that, with the internet, anyone from any country can buy the books, as long as the website host is located in country X? And even for physical books, one can just import and buy them from a different country? Or moving from country X to country A with a copy of the book would be illegal?
    – PB Q
    Nov 21, 2017 at 23:59
  • Yes, moving a book from country to country may be illegal. Nowadays, you can technically order anything from another country, including drugs and weapons. But you may be in violation of your country's laws if you do that.
    – Alexander
    Nov 22, 2017 at 0:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.