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copyright laws

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Old 07-22-2003, 10:33 AM
Jim Conway's Avatar
Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
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Our system - If we have the studio name either from the photo or the mount, we do an online search by name. That is followed by a yellow page search of the state where the photo was made. We also call or e-mail the local historic societies. (We have found that many deceased photographers collections of negatives, particularly those who were in business in small towns for decades, have been donated to a museum that now holds all rights for reproduction.) As was brought up here earlier if the photo was published (a known church directory), we also check that source . Sounds like a lot more work than it is but it's a safe bet that no one can accuse you of not trying!

I don't know how it can be accomplished, but we need something in the law that offers a safe haven from "unregistered copy rights abandonment". If there is any such clause in the law, I haven't found it but would welcome hearing about anything someone may know about it.

Jim Conway
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Old 08-10-2003, 04:39 AM
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fotofreak fotofreak is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 52
Lightbulb Just a few words......

I deal with copyright all the time. Some of the views on here are way off and some are on point. I just want to say a couple of things. The person that takes the photo is the copyright holder for that particular photo. That person will always be the copyright holder of that photo. The only exception is if you sell that photo and give the client all rights to the photo. This must be in writing of course and goes without saying. Now if I submit a photo for restoration,unless the is a prior agreement in writing, I am still the copyright holder for that photo. The one doing the restoration has no rights to that photo what so ever. Some have said what is th big deal about getting some prints made at your local Wal Mart. The big deal is lets say that you sell your photos online. You want to make money at this just like any other business. Now someone comes along and copies the photo and goes to their local Wal-Mart to make a print for themselves. You usually charge someone for that particular photo and now this person has just got it for free. How would you feel? Would you say it's ok? Or would you feel like they stole from you? This is a blatant copyright violation and you can be sued in court for thousands of dollars, and believe me the person will win. The only catch is that you must have the particular photo, or group of photos, copyright on file at the US Copyright Office to be able to sue in court. If this is your business then it is a good idea to copyright your work. It only costs a couple of hundred bucks and then you have legal ground to stand on if your copyright has been violated. If you only deal with your own photos, then you will never have any problems concerning violating anyones copyright. The only ones that are usually concerned with violating someones copyright, are the ones that try to take what is not theirs to take. Oh, by the way, if Wal-Mart would have sold those copyrighted photos they would have been liable as well for violating someone copyright.
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Old 08-10-2003, 06:08 PM
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Kevin Connery Kevin Connery is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 82
The person that takes the photo is the copyright holder for that particular photo. That person will always be the copyright holder of that photo.
99% correct in the USA. 90%+ INcorrect in Canada, the UK, and Australia. It's important to remember that this is not a US-only forum.
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:06 PM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 511
I thought I would muddy the water even more. Reading the Copyright Basic Circular 1, linked to by Margaret, I interpret that all works that were to be protected by the Copyright laws prior to 1989 were required to have the copyright notice on the work.

Also, "Before 1978, federal copyright was generally secured by the act of publication with notice of copyright, assuming compliance with all other relevant statutory conditions. U. S. works in the public domain on January 1, 1978, (for example, works published without satisfying all conditions for securing federal copyright under the Copyright Act of 1909) remain in the public domain under the 1976 Copyright Act."

In 1978 the works were automatically copyrighted when they were created. Before this date the copyright was obtained only by registering the work with the copyright office.

Does this say that any work created prior to 1978 that doesn't have a registered copyright certificate is in the public domain? How about work created after 1978 and prior to 1989 that doesn't contain a copyright notice? How are your supposed to determine the validity of a work that is old but unmarked?

Last edited by KevinBE; 08-18-2003 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:50 PM
jjwalker jjwalker is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Re: copyright laws

Today I called PPA myself because I like to deal with facts. The PPA told me that photos taken before 1989 that has no name, address, phone number , or symbol of any kind from the photographers is fair game and can be copied. I was told by Walmart just yestreday that i can not copy a photo because of the copy right laws. Even through this picture is 60 years old with no photographers marks on it.
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