Herbert Felton photo

Advice for those new to the concepts of copyright
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Herbert Felton photo

Post by Shiva »

I wonder if someone could clarify the following for me, for which I have had different answers.

I have a photo of All souls College, Oxford dated 17th November 1931 as received by the Daily Telegraph art department.
It’s a stunning photo and I would like to copyright it. Is this possible. Herbert Felton passed away in 1968.
Thankyou for your help.

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Re: Herbert Felton photo

Post by AndyJ »

Hi Shiva.

For the period when this photograph was created the law (the 1911 Copyright Act) said that the term of copyright for photographs was 50 years from the date the image was made (see section 21 of the Copyright Act 1911). Therefore, copyright in this particular photo ended on 1 January 1982. This was long before any new EU rules came along to change things and so that remains the situation with this image today. This applies no matter who owns the copyright, either at the time the image was made or later.

This means that the image is now in the public domain and anyone may freely use the original photograph. However if you are talking about a digital copy of the original (for instance as found on the internet), it may be that whoever made the digital copy is trying to claim a new copyright in their version. It is highly disputable whether a court would agree that a 'new' work had been created which was deserving of a new copyright.

And lastly you can't 'copyright' something that you didn't create.
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
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