About to enter public domain?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
Post Reply
Lumberjack
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:40 am
Location: UK

About to enter public domain?

Post by Lumberjack » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:34 am

Wilhelm Hester images
He died on 25th February 1947 in Seattle, USA. See link:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cate ... elm_Hester
Most of his images are currently online in the USA. Does this mean that on the 26th of this month, they will all enter the public domain, and consequently become free for anyone to use?
Al

Nick Cooper
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:56 am

Re: About to enter public domain?

Post by Nick Cooper » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:52 am

Lumberjack wrote:Wilhelm Hester images
He died on 25th February 1947 in Seattle, USA. See link:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cate ... elm_Hester
Most of his images are currently online in the USA. Does this mean that on the 26th of this month, they will all enter the public domain, and consequently become free for anyone to use?
Where a 70 year term is applicable, it will expire after 31 December 2017, as the clock starts at the end of the year in which the photographer died, rather than the exact date of death.

Where the term is less than 70 years, they will already be PD. In the case of the United States, many will be PD by virtue of being taken before 1923. Similarly, most will have had any British copyright (if applicable) expire under the 1911 Act terms of creation +50 years.

Lumberjack
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:40 am
Location: UK

Post by Lumberjack » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks,
I thought there may be something like that, and even then it is virtually impossible to find out if things are in the PD. Another UK archive has images online where the photographer died in 1922, but they are still saying that anyone who wants to use them should pay reproduction fees. But if they had wanted to charge for their use, I wonder why they put them online for all to see (and download) anyway!
Al

Nick Cooper
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:56 am

Post by Nick Cooper » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:48 pm

Lumberjack wrote:I thought there may be something like that, and even then it is virtually impossible to find out if things are in the PD. Another UK archive has images online where the photographer died in 1922, but they are still saying that anyone who wants to use them should pay reproduction fees. But if they had wanted to charge for their use, I wonder why they put them online for all to see (and download) anyway!
Well, that's a fundamental truth about such archives - they charge to supply a copy of a photograph "with strings attached," regardless of whether the image is still copyrighted or not. If a copy can be sourced elsewhere, they're free to use, but if you make an agreement to be supplied a copy by the archive and adhere to certain conditions of use or reproduction, you have to abide by it. Not doing so, though, would be breach of contract, not copyright infringement.

Lumberjack
Experienced Member
Experienced Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:40 am
Location: UK

Post by Lumberjack » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:29 pm

I can understand that, but they put them online for all to see and download, and downloading them direct, you don't actually agree to anything! Some of them, Australia State Libraray, for instance, state quite clearly: "No known restrictions, you don't have to seek permission to use these images," but please credit them to us! but others just leave it vague!
Al

Post Reply