This area of copyright law is rather complex because there are potential liabilities for the uploader; the owner of the server and the downloader, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction of each.
In the U.K., as jdaw1 mentioned, copyright on texts usually lasts the life-time of the author + 70 years, though editing/translating the text by a third party can have the effect of extending this. However, if an out-of-copyright work is published, unedited after the authorâ€™s death, there may also be copyright on the typographic arrangement of the works which is why retyping may be fine when photocopying may not.
Fair use is somewhat different in the UK to the US (and itâ€™s also known as fair dealing, rather than fair use). The statute is not terribly helpful:
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 s. 30 (as amended) wrote:Criticism, review and news reporting
(1) Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of criticism or review, of that or another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe any copyright in the work provided that it is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement and provided that the work has been made available to the public.
though the courts appear to have generally interpreted â€œfairâ€ as meaning â€œnot costing the copyright holder anything in lost profitsâ€. So, for instance, posting a page of a book for the purposes of criticism might be ok with acknowledgement, but if that page was (for instance) a list of all declared Port vintages, and the only reason someone would buy the book would be for that information, then there might be difficulties.