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Reprint of Souvenir Guide from 1900

 
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lifeisamazing
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reprint of Souvenir Guide from 1900 Reply with quote

Hello,

I am considering reprinting a souvenir guide from 1900 in the UK.

The book was published by W Mate and Sons, "under the auspices of the Portsmouth Corporation".

It contains numerous photos from a company called Russell and Sons, London and Southsea.

I wonder what bases I need to cover to ensure I am reprinting this legally?

Thank you,

Matt
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt,
The photographs are now out of copyright. This is due to the special provision is Section 21 of the Copyright Act 1911, which gave photographs a fixed term of fifty years from the date the image was made. We can therefore be certain that protection for the photographs would have ceased at the end of 1950 at the latest, long before the 1956 Copyright Act came into force.

The text however constitutes a literary work and the term of protection for this was the lifetime of the author plus 50 years. I assume that no author is named. On that basis the work can be treated as an anonymous work. The 1911 Act did not deal with the treatment of anonymous works, and so we need to turn to Schedule 2 of the 1956 Act, which provides for a fixed 50 year term from the end of the year of publication. So in effect this is the same provision as for photographs.

I am reasonably sure that Crown Copyright did not apply to local government and so we do not need to consider that here.

Thus unless an author is named in the guide, you should be OK to re-publish it. If there is an author, albeit an untraceable one, you would need to assume a reasonable lifespan, which probably takes you to around 1950 (assumes the writer was 25 years of age when he wrote the text and lived to the age of 75) and then add 50 years post mortem. This gives you the date of 1 Jan 2001, but by then an extra 20 years would have been added by the 1995 EU Copyright Term Directive, and so the text attributed to a known author is likely to remain in copyright for another 6 years, and 32 days. However the actual owner of the copyright is likely to be the current Portsmouth City Council and I imagine they would give you permission to republish the guide.
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lifeisamazing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject: Author is named in book Reply with quote

Hello,

Thanks for that comprehensive reply.

The author is named in the book, so I guess it is a question of trying to find out when he died.

And I've just looked and found out he died in 1907.

Would PCC still be involved with this? The structure of your answer implies that it is now out of copyright due to the author's demise in 1907.

Thank you,

Matt
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt,
Since the author died in 1907, the copyright would have run out on 31 December 1957, ie 50 years from the end of the year in which he died. Although the 1956 Copyright Act would have come into force by then, it didn't change the basic term (lifetime +50 years) and so the work would have passed into the public domain at the time mandated by the 1911 Act*.
The only way in which either Portsmouth Corporation or more recently Portsmouth City Council would have been involved is as owners of the copyright. I think it is fair to assume that when they commissioned the guide, the Corporation will have required that copyright be assigned to them, or if the author was an employee of the Corporation, this would have happened automatically under the law. These owner's rights would have passed to any successor body, hence the mention about the present day council. But the term of copyright was still based on the lifetime of the actual author. As the work has been in the public domain for over half a century, Portsmouth City Council no longer have any rights over the work.

* As a point of interest, the 1911 Act allowed for works which had been created prior to the Act itself coming into force, to be subject to a compulsory licence thirty years after the author died. So had you been wanting to re-publish this guide in 1938, all you would have had to do was apply to the then Board of Trade for a licence, and you could have gone ahead and published.
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Last edited by AndyJ on Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lifeisamazing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:02 am    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

Hello,

Thank you so much for your help. That's green for go then.

Brilliant.

Take care,

Matt
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Matt,
Just a quick follow up. If the guide has the city crest on it, there may be a trade mark issue to consider.
This crest is currently registered to Portsmouth City Council and so if your brochure has anything similar to that on it, your might be best checking with the council, as their registration covers printed matter.
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CliveB
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt,

I'd be interested in your reasons for wanting to re-publish this document, what is its content? I'm just generally interested in why old documents like this would be revived.

Thanks
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lifeisamazing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:28 pm    Post subject: No PCC crest on this item. Reply with quote

Hi,

Regarding the Pompey crest - there is no crest in the book, nor a trademark / copyright claim in it. The attribution to the Corporation is vague - "Published under the auspices of the Portsmouth Corporation". I think this means that the book had oversight from the Corporation to ensure that it showed the best of Pompey off. Auspices means an endorsement, as far as I understand it - like an approval.

Regarding the question of why I am re-publishing. I have done market research as to whether this book is saleable locally. There is a strong feeling for nostalgia in Pompey, and a very strong sense of local identity. I would be looking to do short print runs, POD.

I've already done one POD book, which shifted several hundred units in 2 weeks, so am looking to expand the titles.

Thanks,

Matt
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CliveB
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: No PCC crest on this item. Reply with quote

lifeisamazing wrote:
Regarding the question of why I am re-publishing. I have done market research as to whether this book is saleable locally. There is a strong feeling for nostalgia in Pompey, and a very strong sense of local identity. I would be looking to do short print runs, POD.


So, if I am understanding it correctly, you believe you can earn some money out of it because the book has some cultural value in the locale? And you couldn't really have done it without the technological change that POD brings?

What is it a souvenir of, exactly?
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lifeisamazing
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, trade secret.
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CliveB
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really, your business relies upon withholding answers to all three of those questions?
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