At least with Springer! Philosopher David Hilbert (Illinois/Chicago) writes:
The email below seems to imply that Springer thinks I wrote a book, the original edition of which was published over 60 years before I was born. Although I'm flattered that they think I have made fundamental contributions to mathematics, I do have some doubts about their ability to successfully do the rights management that seems to be their major business these days. I wonder if they always just email some random person with the same name to obtain rights or if this is a special case.
We are writing today regarding your book The Theory of Algebraic Number Fields (ISBN: 978-3-540-62779-1), and to let you know about our plans for an electronic archive, the Springer Book Archives.
At this point you may be wondering what the Springer Book Archives are all about. The project is an effort at Springer to breathe new life into older books - specifically those published between 1842 and 2005 - by making them available in electronic formats. The archiving project includes about 40
renowned imprints. Many of these titles may even be out-of-print. With this initiative we will enable researchers all over the world to access a wealth of information via their libraries. The individual books will not only be made available digitally, but also in print. The Springer Book Archives affirms Springer's commitment to preserve valuable scholarly content, and your book plays an important role in this effort.
Your author benefits at a glance:
- Your book will be digitized and become an eBook, published on SpringerLink, our online platform, and for e-reading devices such as the Kindle or iPad.
- Your book can never go 'out-of-print' and will be preserved for future generations of scientists.
- You will be provided with free access to the electronic version of your book once it is included in the archive.
- You will receive royalties, or can choose to waive them in support of charitable organizations such as INASP or Research4Life, that help provide the developing world with access to scientific research.
Please go to the following website and select your preferred royalty option*: [omitted]
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated Author Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President STM Global Publishing & Marketing
UPDATE: Tad Brennan (Cornell) observes that, "It's a shame that the famous Aristotelian scholar, Hippocrates G. Apostle, died back in 1990. Springer could have given him royalties for the whole Corpus Hippocraticum, and the New Testament as well!"