Question about copyright-Any professionals in here?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by junk250, Jul 26, 2003.

  1. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    I have tried to research this question but cant seem to find a straight answer,so any help would be appreciated.Here goes,I purchased these awesome old photos(negatives) this old man took back in the early 1930's,lots of Harleys women and leather,I had a few printed and they are too cool!I have the negatives and these pics were never copyright(his personal pics),he is now deceased.My question is could I copyright the photos?In my research it seems the first requirement is that you have to be the original "author" or heir,and I am not.I purchased from the original author(the old man)Any hope? :roll:
     
  2. nikon90s

    nikon90s TPF Noob!

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    Did you give him anything for them and did you have a contract for the sale?
     
  3. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    Well I gave 5.00 for the box.He said he did'nt care what I do with them.Sadly he died soon after.I could probably find the receipt.He was quite a "rebel",later survived Pearle Harbor(brother was killed) and sailed on a destroyer in the pacific and europe,winning WWII.
     
  4. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    unfortunately, unless you have it in writing that copyright has been transferred, you are out of luck. out of luck if you want to use them for commercial purposes, that is. print the heck out of them for personal reasons if you wish.
     
  5. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    MOTCON,excuse my ignorance,but how do you transfer copyright if item was never copyrighted?After 70 years no abandoned/expired status?I'm holding historical stuff,what do I throw it away?
     
  6. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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  7. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    MOTCON,thanks for the links.It looks like public domain,now the same question....can I assume/apply/renew copyright?I saw that heirs have the right to renew for a period of time,but can I copyright or do I have any assumed rights?Again photos were never published.Thanks
     
  8. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    as far as i've read, public domain doesn't add up to personal copyrights unless you are family.

    everything that i've read is, in the case of posthumous copyright, 'widow', 'children', and 'next of kin'.
     
  9. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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  10. Conk

    Conk TPF Noob!

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    Valuble info motcon, thanks.
     
  11. junk250

    junk250 TPF Noob!

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    OK,public domain. I had a thought...can I take my photos that are public domain and improve(colorize,edit),and have any copyright? Would I be breaking any law if I printed and sold public domain photos?CONK,your photos are awesome!
     
  12. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    well, you've stepped right into a hot issue. someone (don't recall his name) took an image of the Mona Lisa and did a few edits to it....and claimed that it is now his. he also did this by 'sampling' some works of old photography masters. naturally, a debate ensued to no conclusive end (of which i'm aware). i have my own personal feelings about this, but to each his own i think.


    as far as you being able to print them and sell them; i regret that i don't have an answer for you. the sticky wicket here is that you bought the negatives at one point in time: you clearly have ownership of the physical negatives. 'public domain' says one thing and transfer of negatives of non-copyrighted negatives may mean something else. i'm not sure.

    some more light reading for all of you:

    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/
     

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