Rambly, long-winded question for experienced ARC reviewers:
Once upon a time, around three years ago, a nice person gave me a box of free secondhand books. Some of them were regular books, but a bunch of them were ARCs (and all of them were dusty, hence the shelf name "dusty-arc-box"). I've dipped into the box occasionally over the years, reading a book here and there, and then recently decided to go through all the books and read the interesting-sounding ones and pass the not-so-interesting ones on to people who will find them interesting via the charity shop.
HOWEVER! I just came across this in one of the ARCs:
Do not quote for publication until verified with finished book. This advance uncorrected reader's proof is the property of [publisher]. It is being loaned for promotional purposes and review by the recipient and may not be used for any other purpose or transferred to any third party. [Publisher] reserves the right to cancel the loan and recall possession of the proof at any time. Any duplication, sale or distribution to the public is a violation of law.
Ahem! Apparently the nice person who gave me the box was being naughty (and possibly the person they got it from, as there's a dollar amount written inside the cover of the same book that notice is in, and all the books are US editions, which means it's likely that at some point this box crossed the international date line).
I've never set myself up to do the whole request-ARCs-for-review thing and I never plan to, so I'm a little ignorant of how the ARC system is supposed to work. Thus far the only consideration I've been giving them is not mentioning typos in my reviews (since, you know, uncorrected proof and all). My question is what should I do with these ARCs? Should I rip the covers off and chuck them in the recycling bin instead of passing them on to the charity shop? What's ARC etiquette call for here? I mean, I'm not afraid the publishers are going to come after me for reading and reviewing secondhand ARCs, but now I just feel awkward about the whole thing. Heh.