Magazine copyright question

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
New Member
New  Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:15 am

Magazine copyright question

Post by bripriuk »

We were researching the history of my local pub (The John Baird in North London) and we discovered that the opening in 1960 had been covered by the brewery in-house magazine 'The Courage and Barclay Journal' with photographs in February 1960.
We have obtained scans of the article from Oxford Brookes Library, and we would like to enlarge the scans and display them on a poster in the pub.
What is the situation regarding copyright for this use? Can we sell copies of the poster?

Brian Price
User avatar
Posts: 2475
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:43 am

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Brian,
A photograph and text from 1960 will still be in copyright today. This is because the length of the copyright term when they were created was based on the lifetime of their respective authors plus fifty years, so even in the highly unlikely event that the photographer and author of the article died the day after publication, that period would have taken us to 2011. But since the copyright was still operating in 1995 when, as a result of an EU Directive, the term became lifetime + 70 years, the copyright in both the photograph and text would have been extended by 20 years, so at the very least it will run until 2031. However it would not be reasonable to assume that the photographer and writer died so soon, and indeed they may both be alive today, so the likelihood is that the copyright has many years yet to go. In theory you might be able to obtain the names of photographer and writer from other pages within the Journal from which the article came, but that isn't really necessary because they would probably not be the owners of the copyright in their respective works.
As for who does own the copyright, originally I think this would have been Courage, Barclay and Co Ltd, on the assumption that they owned their in-house magazine. This is because an employer automatically owns the copyright of a work created by an employee in the course of their duties. Obviously Courage and Barclays no longer exists, but all their intellectual property rights (copyright, trade marks, maybe even patents) will have passed on the successive owners of the original company. From this Wikipedia article the owners today would appear to be Wells &Young's Brewing Company. So you need to contact them for permission to use the article. It is possible that if the company has an archive*, the original photograph may still be stored somewhere, and this would reproduce and enlarge much better than a scan of what is probably a half-tone printed image taken from the magazine.

*If Wells and Young's don't themselves have an archive, someone interested in the history of brewing may be able to point you in the right direction.
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
Post Reply