Image derived from photo of vintage chemistry set. Who owns copyright?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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hayd
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Image derived from photo of vintage chemistry set. Who owns copyright?

Post by hayd » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:53 am

I sit on a committee for a charitable orginisation. We are organising a new conference and have created a draft flyer, which has been derived from an image found on the web. The image is a photograph of a vintage chemistry set, made by a company which no longer exists. We have been unsuccessful in contacting the person who posted the photo. Who owns the copyright in such a case? Is it the original designer of the chemistry set box, or the person who photographed it and uploaded it to the web?

We are a charitable organisation so won't be profiting from the image.

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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AndyJ
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Re: Image derived from photo of vintage chemistry set. Who owns copyright?

Post by AndyJ » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:35 pm

Hi hayd,

The copyright will most likely belong to the photographer. There will be no copyright in the chemistry set itself since that would not be a work of artistic craftsmanship. Have you checked to see if there is any metadata embedded in the image, which would tell you who the photographer was? Failing that, try to do a reverse image search (use either Google Image Search or TinEye) to locate any other places where the photograph appears on the internet as this may lead you to the photographer, or to someone who has previously licensed the image. It might also be worth checking with some of the picture libraries such as Getty or Shutterstock to see if the image comes from one of their clients. You can do this via the BAPLA search tool.

Although the fact that you are a charitable organisation may make a difference if you have to pay a fee to use the image, but it won't make any difference if you go ahead and use the image without getting permission and the copyright owner makes a claim against you.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

hayd
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Re: Image derived from photo of vintage chemistry set. Who owns copyright?

Post by hayd » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:04 am

Thank you for the response. All very useful information.

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