About two and a half years ago I found myself in the middle of a copyright claim over Huckleberry Finn (and my amusing to me edit of this public domain novel). In the end, I was correct in proving that Huckleberry Finn was in the public domain and people over-reaching their copyright claims were in the wrong. Everything was right in the world and we all moved on.
Fast-forward to this last weekend. I get five emails stating that five different pieces I have uploaded to Scribd have been flagged as copy-written works and removed. The pieces were all 1910 or earlier, so they were all in the public domain. I posted them to make the pieces easier to find. I fired back an email on each item – and nothing. Last time around I received a “here is your ticket number, we will contact you – etc.” So earlier today I fired off another email, and still nothing.
So it seems all you need to do is claim a copyright on the Scribd platform and immediately becomes yours. Public domain be damned. It’s not like they haven’t run into this issues before *cough*. Until then I sit here and wait while the trolls overreach their authority and get public domain pieces removed. I will follow up when I hear from them.