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Wartime and 1930s Press Photographs

 
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MrsTwosheds
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Joined: 28 Mar 2016
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Location: Ramsgate

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:05 pm    Post subject: Wartime and 1930s Press Photographs Reply with quote

Hi Andy et al

Please help (so sorry - thought I was done with knotty copyright issues for a while)!

We have our little local temporary exhibition set up and all is going swimmingly. However, today a dear lady has presented us with a pile of beautiful, large press-type photographs of herself and her family during the 1930s and war years - her mother used to model war-time clothing and devices, and the photographer was (at least for some or most of the pictures, she believes) Terry Ashwood.

The pictures have mostly been stamped on the reverse, 'With the compliments of The Photo Service, Ltd, 176 Fleet Street, London EC4 (Copyright)".

There is no photographer actually named on the reverse and no reference numbers. I have tried to find this agency online, with the intention of asking for permission to use the pictures (although they are over 70 years old, I am assuming that the photographer is/was the copyright holder?).

We would love to display these photographs - ours is a community exhibition of charitable status - but the pictures are precious to our visitor, and we don't feel able to show the originals in case anything dire happens to them.

We really don't want to disappoint the lady who has so kindly shared them with us - is there any way round this one, please?

Many thanks and very best regards

Sally
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sally,
It's a shame you can't find some way of protecting the originals so that you can display them. That would not infringe copyright, which as you surmise, almost certainly still exists for these photographs.

The photographer's lifetime would determine the length of the copyright term, even though the copyright itself may well be owned by someone else, say, the successor to the Photo Service Ltd.

I can suggest two possible courses:

And as you have a possible name for the photographer, it could be worth checking with Getty Images first of all as they have some images by someone of that name, which appear to fit the time period: Getty.

Failing that, contact the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA) to see if they have any record of who might have taken over the stock of the Photo Service Ltd, and if all that produces no leads, use the IPO's orphan works licensing scheme. You will have already done a fair amount of the diligent search which is required, so the process should be relatively quick. And it's not expensive, although of course any cost may be beyond the resources for this exhibition.

If you decide to follow the orphan works licensing route, BAPLA have an online form you can use to send a query to all their members to see if any claim the copyright for these particular images. Picture agencies and libraries normally have fairly comprehensive indexing facilities for identifying images so it's worth a try.
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MrsTwosheds
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy

Thank you so much for your speedy and, as always, wonderfully comprehensive reply.

I think that we may have to beg the use of the original photos whilst we work feverishly to try to find the copyright owner. Thank you for putting me on the right lines with this (lots of helpful leads here - I shall be burning the midnight oil!).

Very best regards

Sally
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Nick Cooper
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If these photographs date from the 1930s and War years, surely the copyright would have expired 50 years after being taken, as per the 1911 Act? Certainly those taken before 1945 would have expired before the 1995 Regulations.
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Nick
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MrsTwosheds
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys

Ooh......don't know whether I should be hanging out the bunting here, but probably not?

The photographs were definitely taken 'just before the war', but I have now seen a newspaper cutting placing the work squarely in the 'Terry Ashwood' camp, so the photographer is now known (and am guessing that this means that we're back to 'life of the photographer plus 70 years').

Terry Ashwood OBE was, it seems, a famous Pathé News war photographer and he died in 1993 (so, if my suspicions are correct, his work is protected by copyright until 2063). Unless I get to be the oldest woman on the planet, I very much imagine that I shall be beyond using his wonderful pictures by then!

It would be splendid if I've got the wrong end of the stick (but have a ghastly feeling that I haven't). Back to the drawing board?

Thank you for your help with all of this.

Best regards

Sally
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sally,
As Nick has pointed out, photographs made prior to the coming into force (on 1 June 1957) of the 1956 Copyright Act are subject to the 'old' rules set out in the 1911 Act which treated photographs as a special case in that the term of copyright was fixed at 50 years from the date the photograph was made, irrespective of the date of publication, if any.

Paragraph 2 of Schedule 7 of the 1956 Copyright Act confirmed that any photograph taken before commencement (that is, 1 June 1957) would remain under the previous term and only photographs made after commencement would be subject to the same term as other artistic works, namely the lifetime of the author plus 50 years from the end of the year in which he/she died. The 1995 Regulations which Nick mentioned brought in the 20 year increase of the post mortem element in line with a European Union Directive on the subject. Unlike the 1956 Act, these Regulations were retrospective in the sense that any work which was still in copyright on 1 July 1995 automatically benefited from the new lifetime plus 70 years term. Thus any photograph made after 1 Jan 1945 would have come under the new rules.

So, if you (or your contributor) are able to establish the exact dates when these photographs were taken, and if that was prior to 31 December 1944 then those photographs are no longer in copyright. There is one exception to the above, but fortunately if doesn't affect 'your' photographs, and that is where the photographs were either made elsewhere within another country which is now a member of the European Union, or were made in the UK by a national of one of those other states, in which case the UK would need to apply the new lifetime plus 70 years if the term of copyright in the other state meant that the photographs were in copyright on 1 July 1995 in that other member state.
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Nick Cooper
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've discussed before whether or not the 1995 Regulations applied retrospectively to pre-1957 photographs. I note that on the UK legislation website, while the 1988 Act has been extensively amended to show the position as it stands now, Schedule 1 Section 12 ("Duration of copyright in existing works") is largely untouched. In fact, while there are indicated amendements to sub-section (3), sub-section (2) remains the same. This leaves the pertinents text as:

12 (1) The following provisions have effect with respect to the duration of copyright in existing works.

The question which provision applies to a work shall be determined by reference to the facts immediately before commencement; and expressions used in this paragraph which were defined for the purposes of the 1956 Act have the same meaning as in that Act.

(2)Copyright in the following descriptions of work continues to subsist until the date on which it would have expired under the 1956 Act—.
(c)published photographs and photographs taken before 1st June 1957;.

If the intention of the 1995 Regulations (or any later) had been to retrospectively remove the much narrower protection for pre-1957 photographs, then surely this would be reflected in the legislation as it stands now?

So what we get is that all pre-1 June 1957 photographs are still covered by creation +50 years as per the 1956 Act transitional savings, while photographs created and published between 1 June 1957 and 31 July 1989 are covered by the 1956 Act proper's publication +50 years. It it then only unpublished photographs from 1 June 1957 to 31 July 1989, and all photographs from 1 August 1989 onwards, that get photographer's death +70 years (or creation/publication +70 years for anonymous works).

The upshot of all this would be that all pre-1 June 1957 photographs are now public domain, as they would have expired by the end of 2007 at the latest. Meanwhile all photographs taken and published between 1 June 1957 and 31 December 1965 have also expired, as all others pre-1 August 1989 will continue to do so progressively.

ETA: It seems that currently there is a proposal to amend part of Schedule 1, but not the pertinent one here. By sheer coincidence, this consultation closes at 16:00 today!
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

It's been a long day so I don't fancy dealing with too many double negatives and 12 line sentences. And I don't want to confuse Sally who, I think, can safely go ahead and use the photographs she has come across.

However, the reason I mentioned the bit about copyright and other EU (actually it's the European Economic Area but I do want to keep it simple) states is because of Regulation 16(d) of the 1995 Regulations:
Quote:
16. The new provisions relating to duration of copyright apply—
[ ...]
(d) to existing works in which copyright expired before 31st December 1995 but which were on 1st July 1995 protected in another EEA state under legislation relating to copyright or related rights.

Copyright in a photograph made in the UK before 1957 might have existed in another EEA state in July 1995 due to that other state treating photographs like other artistic works (and so the rule in that state would have been a term of the lifetime of the author plus X years). X can be a variety of numbers: 70 years for Germany, 80 years for Spain, and in some special cases in France between 50 and 80 years for authors who died 'pour La France' in either of the World Wars, for example. A photograph would be entitled to protection under the other state's copyright law if, for instance, it was first published there, or if the photographer was a national of the country, even though he/she might have been living in the UK at the time.

And I think you will find that the proposals contained in the IPO's consultation will affect photographs made before 1 June 1957, assuming that they are adopted. But that's for another time.
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MrsTwosheds
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys

Thank you so much for your learned input with this. I will be using the photos as advised - our contributor will be so proud to see her family up on our displays and peace will be restored in our neck of the woods!

I can't begin to tell you how amazingly helpful this site is to us (and others like us), who have the best of intentions but are clueless in this particular respect. Thank you so much again - thorough and useful answers as always.

Best regards

Sally
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