Copy right rules

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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Barnie
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Copy right rules

Post by Barnie » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:10 am

Hi,

I'm new to this copyright stuff and was hoping for a bit of info. We are a small charity and are looking to gather some history. We have a number of photgraphs and postcards and want to put together a leaflet asking popele to share their stories / images etc. This will be handed out locally and also put on our website.

Does anyone know the copyright impications for this?

Thanks

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Hi Barnie,
I assume that the aim of the charity is to do with local history. And that you want the leaflet to be eye-catching enough to get people's interest.
As far as what you put into the leaflet is concerned, I suggest you use the oldest material you have unless you are very sure of the origins of a particular item. For example, the postcards will no doubt have a publisher's name on them so a quick bit of research may track down when they were published and even if there is some successor-in-title who might own any residual rights, and from whom you could get permission to use the images of the postcards in the leaflet.
If you have material which pre-dates 1900, then I think you can make some broad assumptions that they are now likely to be out of copyright, and will certainly not be covered by a special form of copyright in a printed edition, which only lasts for 25 years from the date of publication.
However for original photographs, copyright will usually exist for 70 years after the death of the photographer, so as you can imagine that covers some fairly old material. This is why I made the earlier statement about material which pre-dates the twentieth century. Say an anonymous person took the photograph in 1899 when they were aged 30, and they then lived to the age of 75 (ie a further 45 years) which when added to the 70 years of copyright post mortem, brings us to 2014. It is likely that any court would find that kind of assumption reasonable and the charity would be able to invoke section 57 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 as a defence
57 Anonymous or pseudonymous works: acts permitted on assumptions as to expiry of copyright or death of author.
(1) Copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is not infringed by an act done at a time when, or in pursuance of arrangements made at a time when—
  • (a) it is not possible by reasonable inquiry to ascertain the identity of the author, and
    (b) it is reasonable to assume—
    • (i) that copyright has expired, or
      (ii) that the author died 70 years or more before the beginning of the calendar year in which the act is done or the arrangements are made.
(2) Subsection (1)(b)(ii) does not apply in relation to—
  • (a) a work in which Crown copyright subsists, or
    (b) a work in which copyright originally vested in an international organisation by virtue of section 168 and in respect of which an Order under that section specifies a copyright period longer than 70 years.
(3) In relation to a work of joint authorship—
  • (a) the reference in subsection (1) to its being possible to ascertain the identity of the author shall be construed as a reference to its being possible to ascertain the identity of any of the authors, and
    (b) the reference in subsection (1)(b)(ii) to the author having died shall be construed as a reference to all the authors having died.
The reason you need to know that something either is out of copyright, or that you have permission to use it in a leaflet is that publishing someone else's copyrighted work is a form of infringement and they could rightly sue you, although I believe that is unlikely to be their first step. At the very least a complaint could involve the charity having to destroy any un-issued stocks of the leaflet to prevent further infringement.
As far as how copyright affects material you gather from your members or the wider community, that should not raise any major issues as long as the donated items are not copied without permission. Where people contribute their own recollections either in written or oral form, it would wise to get them to attach a short note stating that they are happy for the charity to use their recollections in public displays, publications, broadcasts etc. Something similar can be done with photographs which your contributors state they own the rights to (either because they took the photographs, or because they have inherited the rights from a relative etc). Careful documentation and curation of the materials you gather will help future generations not only understand the provenance of a particular item, but it will also assist in resolving any possible copyright doubts of the sort you currently face.
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

Barnie
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Thanks for the info

Post by Barnie » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:00 am

Thanks for the info
Last edited by Barnie on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Barnie
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Pictures of Pictures

Post by Barnie » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:16 am

I am looking at getting permission to use pictures of postcards but have been told that in the interim it is ok to photograph a collection of postcards that we have arranged on a table. Do you know whether that is ok.
We are a small activity centre and are just asking local people for their stories. We have some images we wanted to put on a leaflet but I don't want to do something that is not ok.

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Post by AndyJ » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:13 pm

Hi barnie,
It really depends on who is saying it's OK to photograph these postcards on a table. I suspect that they may not be the one who is liable if any infrngement were to occur. If the postcards are still in copyright then photographing them without permission from the rights owner, could potentially lead to a claim for infringement. Realistically if the circulation of your leaflet is small and local, your use may not come to the attention of any rights owner, but that is much the same as saying if you drive at 40mph in a 30mph zone you might not get caught for speeding. You are leaving things to luck.
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

Barnie
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Pictures of Pictures

Post by Barnie » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:05 am

Thanks for the info again.

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