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Thread: copyright on old photographs ?

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    copyright on old photographs ?

    Hi all,
    If I wanted to use an old image.....(taken before 1955 by an unknown or deceased photographer......I have done some research! ) but it is a very iconic image that is now held by the Police museum....would the police museum be the one to contact concerning use? It is the only image of this person bar the ones floating around on the net....and the copyright should have passed.....

    I dont want to use the image per-say but turn it into a line drawing for another image...if that makes sense?
    I also dont want to turn it into something bigger than Ben Hur!
    cheers
    Jan

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    Darren
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    IANAL ... but 1955 was life of Author + 50 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Act_1911

    You need to determine the author and the date they died. For unknowns it is much harder to determine (c)
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    Not according to my link, theres s specific paragraph there on photos, unless I'm reading it wrong

    "The term of copyright protection for photographs taken before 1955, regardless of whether the author has since died or is still alive, has expired"

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    I had cause, in a previous life as a cycling advocate, to use an old photo.

    Whilst my memory may be flawed, my advice was that copyright expires 50 years after the death of the original author. If the author is dead, you must seek permission from the estate (or new copyright owner). If the photo was taken prior to 1955, it is already public domain (for photographs) regardless of the author's being alive or dead.

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    Sounds like the same link I read Kiwi.
    So in theory cause the photo was taken before 1865, the photographer is probably deceased, it has been in the public domain for more than 50 years.......I should have ticked all the boxes.....
    but it is my responsibility and no legal advice has been accepted!

    cheers
    Jan

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricstew View Post
    Sounds like the same link I read Kiwi.
    So in theory cause the photo was taken before 1865, the photographer is probably deceased,
    Probably???? I think you can take this certainty to the bank

    Scotty

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    For once thsi year Scotty, I think there's some certainty on a "Business of Photographt" thread

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    Without making this bigger then Ben Hur - while it is an interesting point of discussion, and often misunderstood.

    According to the lawers specialising in this:

    I'm afraid that all info to date is a bit flawed - here is the answer from the Australian Copyright Council

    http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-...photographers/


    Directly from the Copyright Council FAQ, in response to "How Long Does Copyright Last ?"

    1.6.2008

    If the photograph was taken before 1955, the copyright has expired.



    If the photograph was taken after 1954, copyright usually lasts for 70 years from the year the photographer died if the photograph was published in the photographer’s lifetime.



    If the photograph was first published anonymously or under a pseudonym, however, copyright lasts for 70 years from the year of first publication.



    If the photograph was first published after the photographer’s death, copyright lasts for 70 years from the year of publication.



    If the photograph has never been published, copyright can last indefinitely
    And I'm only quoting them, so please argue with them


    For future reference people might like to make a note of this essential information PDF explaining copyright and how it relates specifically to photographers (its the best time investment any photographer can make - just 11 pages of reading):

    http://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cm...0168563bdf.pdf
    Last edited by Longshots; 24-12-2010 at 9:51am.
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    I knew it

    so, youd have to check when first also check when first published + 70 years

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    Without making this bigger then Ben Hur - while it is an interesting point of discussion, and often misunderstood.

    According to the lawers specialising in this:

    I'm afraid that all info to date is a bit flawed - here is the answer from the Australian Copyright Council

    http://www.copyright.org.au/find-an-...photographers/


    Directly from the Copyright Council FAQ, in response to "How Long Does Copyright Last ?"



    And I'm only quoting them, so please argue with them


    For future reference people might like to make a note of this essential information PDF explaining copyright and how it relates specifically to photographers (its the best time investment any photographer can make - just 11 pages of reading):

    http://www.copyright.org.au/admin/cm...0168563bdf.pdf

    Oh yes, I do recall the 50 / 70 issue now you bring it up The Kindle book reader had a problem with that too which got Amazon.com into some bother

    Still, pre-1955 is certain is that it has expired.

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    seems the same as music... 50 years after the death of the composer.

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    No wonder people get confused So if the pic was taken before 1865 ( 2010 - 1865 = 145 .......thats years.) I think I am pretty safe. I am gonna assume the creator has been dead for a looooong time and I am pretty sure it was first published in the Sydney Gazette possibly around the same time.....
    cheers
    Jan

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    Yep sure is confusing when we're talking about this type if historical piece. If its important, I'd suggest a quick email to the copyright council for some guidance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ving View Post
    seems the same as music... 50 years after the death of the composer.
    Thats because its the same act that the decision would be based on

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    No, it's not the same. That is the assumption that got Amazon into trouble.

    It is death plus 70 years (for a photo published within the author's lifetime).

    For photos taken pre-1955 (regardless), they are public domain already.

    Scotty

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    Its probably only important to me Longshots but I want to do it correctly so I think I will fire off that email......

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    And don't forget getting permission to alter the image is a different issue. And giving credit where known.
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    Ah fooey Redgum........who do I approach about using such an image? The original is kept at the police museum.....( I am assuming its the original ) I wonder if they have someone who would know this stuff....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty72 View Post
    No, it's not the same. That is the assumption that got Amazon into trouble.

    It is death plus 70 years (for a photo published within the author's lifetime).

    For photos taken pre-1955 (regardless), they are public domain already.

    Scotty
    Scotty, my point was that copyright is protected by the one single Copyright Act in Australia. Which is what I actually said, that "its the same act that the decisions" are based on.

    And Amazon situation that you're referring to is about the issue of United States of America law system, and their copyright act. People often confuse situations in the States with their own country. We are governed by Australian law here.

    For the record, I was talking about Australian Copyright, and not any other country.


    I'd repeat my earlier advice and seek guidance from the Copyright Council - that's why they're there to give the correct advice relating to Australian Copyright.
    Last edited by Longshots; 26-12-2010 at 8:58am.

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