Page 1 of 1

Clarification requested please

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:25 pm
by 5Printst
I have read a number of Q&As on this very helpful forum (big thank you to the experts) but I still don't fully understand one specific aspect, .. my query relates to the advice about copyright protection for monthly magazines published in the UK more than 25 years ago.

I understand the protection applies only to the typographical layout of the published edition of a magazine etc, ... it might be a stupid question but what exactly does the "typographical layout" actually mean ? .. exactly what can be used without fear of breaching copyright law?

I was planning to scan, reproduce and frame motorcycle adverts from old motorcycle magazines (1970s and early '80s) and sell them to benefit a cancer charity. The adverts fall into 2 sections, i) adverts for specific motorcycle manufacturers paid for and naming the importers/concessionaires of those manufacturers. The importers and concessionaires concerned are no longer in business. And ii) motorcycle manufacturers' own adverts for their own specific models.

At the time these adverts would not have been exclusive to these publications and may be single and double page versions of posters displayed in other publications and motorcycle retail outlets.

Is the 25 year copyright rule (Typographical arrangement of published editions) of UK published magazines and periodicals a red herring and all content is actually covered instead by the 70 year rules for Literary and Artistic as well/instead?

Many Thanks

Re: Clarification requested please

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:20 pm
by AndyJ
Hi JC,

Your last paragraph accurately sums up the situation. The separate items which make up the content of magazines (text, pictures, adverts etc) are individually all protected under the relevant heading of literary or artistic works, and in general this protection will last for the lifetime of the author plus either 50 or 70 years depending on when the author died. It is safest to assume that the 70 years post morten applies unless you are certain the author died prior to 1945. Clearly, with adverts from the 1970s and 1980s copyright will still exist, and so you will need permission to republish them.

The protection for the typographical layout is a hybrid form of copyright intended just to protect the layout of the assembled contents (positioning, choice of typeface, colour schemes etc) and benefits the publisher. It is unique to UK law amongst the EU member states, although the proposed new Article 11 within the EU's draft Digital Single Market Directive will create something similar for publishers across the EU, if it is accepted into law.

Since you are specifically interested in the adverts, copyright in them will be owned by the advertisers themselves, not the magazine publishers, and it is to them that you should go for permission to republish. The chances are that since these are very old adverts and the project is for charity, the copyright owners may grant permission for free. If you cannot trace a current-day owner of a brand, you can use the orphan works licensing route to protect you from liability for infringement.

Re: Clarification requested please

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:50 pm
by 5Printst
Thank you Andy, your reply is very helpful and much appreciated.

I will take your advice and keep the forum posted n the outcome.