Requesting Help With a Weegee Project

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by bushpig, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    I finally broke down and ordered a copy of Weegee by Weegee.

    I've wanted to read his autobiography for some time and haven't been able to find a copy for less than $50. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong places.

    Anyways....

    Since it's out of print and difficult to find, I was interested in putting back into the photo community.

    I plan on creating an e-book of it for those who are interested in reading it.

    I have a somewhat busy schedule, so I'm requesting help in doing this.

    If anyone owns a copy of the book and would be willing to type up a few pages, it would be much appreciated and would speed (graphic) this up quite a bit.

    Also, since I'm not a computer expert, I may, when it's done being typed up, be interested in some help in converting it to different formats so that it can be displayed on as many devices as possible.

    If anyone is interested in helping me in any way, either reply here or email me at:

    iamfuntography (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you very much in advance for any help and/or interest in this project.

    -James.
     
  2. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    Also, I'm only doing this because the book is out of print and uncommon. I have no interest in commercial gains from this and no interest in fame or any other benefits other than offering people a chance to read this book that they wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy. I would not be doing this at all if the book was still in print, and if by some chance some publisher resumes printing it before I complete this project, it will be scrapped.

    This request for assistance will be posted on a couple other photo communities, so please, if you email me, only do it once.
     
  3. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Are you the copyright holder for this book? If not, you need permission from them or you could get into serious legal trouble. In the US, copyright is held until 90 years after the creator's death. In this case, Arthur Felig died in 1968, so the copyright remains in effect until 2058.
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Very fishy. People get paid for this--really! Research, creative/editorial, production services aren't free where I live. Lucky me.
     
  5. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Just because a book is out of print does not mean that the copyright has expired.

    Weegee's entire body of work is in the collection of the International Center of Photography in New York, NY, and they are the copyright holders.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You cannot be serious. You come here openly looking for accomplices in your crime? Get lost!
     
  7. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    In light of the aforementioned copyright constraints you might want to rethink your project. Perhaps you should consider contacting the current copyright holder (ICP, per 'rthomas' above?) and request legal permission to freely copy and redistribute the work in question. I have no doubt they will advise you directly as to their position in the matter.

    Ken
     
  8. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    I'm sure your suggestion is made with the best of motives, but it really would be a series copyright violation. However, why not get in touch with the ICP to see if there would be interest in them providing such a re-issue. (Or offer your services. For a fee though.) However, to transcribe a whole book would be a bit of a pointless mission. Often, when text books are reprinted in 'classic' cheaper editions, such as out of copyright Charles Dickens paperbacks, each page is simply scanned from an older volume ready to be compiled for printing on press. There is also software that can convert the visual file of the words into a text file, though it needs to be proof read to ensure no letters have been mis-read. However, as the previous comments state, doing it yourself will get you in lots of trouble.

    If you haven't seen it, try and get hold of a copy of Limelight by Helen Gee from Abebooks.com which is about her photography gallery/cafe in Greenwich Village in the 50s. Fascinating read. Weegee and lots of others like Steichen, Robert Frank and W. Eugene Smith feature.

    Oops. Beaten to it by the above post.
     
  9. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    That's a little rough, 2F. Are you serious? Did you actually believe that James was intent on involving you in a criminal escapade? Stop being such a self-righteous bully! I agree that the request is out of line, but I believe that James was honestly mistaken regarding the legalities of his position. Some kind and guiding advice would go a lot farther in our dwindling film community than telling him to get lost.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Possible infringement issues notwithstanding, this sort of post is really just a chum slick, pitched to attract the uninformed and naive. No qualms with 2F's uppercut.

    "I have a somewhat busy schedule, so I'm requesting help in doing this."

    I read: "The opportunity cost of my time is so high, you should be grateful for the chance to all but do the project for me." I don't think this a hobby project for the OP; had it been so, he'd have done it himself--happily.

    Although he admits he's spread his chum slick of requests for help elsewhere, I don't see much honesty here, though. Sounds too much like a whiney undergrad jonesing for research/writing they can't/won't do themselves.

    No one owes the OP beans on this "project." Best of luck to him.
     
  11. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I suggest you get legal counselling before doing that.

    It is entirely possible that, in some countries and possibly in the US, a not exercised copyright allows under certain circumstances any entity to copy a book (provided other rights of the author, such as paternity and work integrity, are respected). Even if such a norm exists in the US, you should check if there is, as there would probably be, a procedure that you have to observe in order to be able to copy the work: for instance, notifying the copyright holder of your intention to publish the book, if they don't. There might be some terms for your warning and the copyright holder's publication. Those terms expired you might be able to copy the work.

    Just like in different cases of intellectual property such as patents and trademarks, also in the case of copyright it is quite conceivable that the ratio of the law is not only to protect the right of the author to see its authorship recognised (paternity right), to see the work to be distributed entirely (right of integrity of work), and the obvious right to enjoy the profits of the copying (patrimonial rights on the work), but also to protect and foster the right of the general public to know the work, and the right of the author to see his work diffused. If the copyright holder does not exercise its right to print the work, he deprives society of the work itself and deprives the author, if different from the copyright holder, of an important part of his rights.

    Imagine, to make a school case, somebody buying the right to a book only for jealousy, and then not publishing it because it would obfuscate the merits of his own book. Imagine a rich Ben Jonson, in modern times, buying the rights to Shakespeare plays to eliminate them from the scene... or just imagine, in modern times, Shakespeare's publisher to run out of money and not publish anything, hoping he might be able to publish them one day, in the future.

    So, in general, it is quite possible, or even quite likely, that the patrimonial rights of copy come, in the hidden plies of the laws, with some implicit strings to actually exercise the copyright, or lose it.

    In Italy IIRC and no, I'm not going to scavenge laws, it is not considered a copyright violation an integral photocopy for study purposes of a book which is out of print. That is different from a new edition though, as each student, who is in need of studying the book, has the right to make one photocopy only, his personal photocopy of the book.

    So it might be that if the copyright holder does not exercise his copyright, somebody else has the right to do it, but there probably is a procedure, and the entire process is full of risks if you chose the DIY route.

    There certainly might be a legal way to do that, but by every means do it legally :wink: get professional advice.

    Fabrizio

    PS And I do take you very seriously. Works must be published. If they are not, I do sympathise with any effort to bring them back to life, in the author's interest, and in the interest of society at large.

    PS I think for books the patrimonial copy rights expire after 70 years after the death of the author. Non-patrimonial rights, such as right to paternity and right to integrity of the work, obviously never expire.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sorry if I was a bit "rough" in my remark. It was not a general comment to "get lost" from the Website. It was specific to this "venture." But the sentiment was serious, and I do not see how it is being a bully to say that. Being a bully is picking on someone smaller than yourself. As for being self righteous, I suppose so. But that is not necessarily a bad thing in all cases.
     
  13. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    Sweet Corn! I was not expecting feedback like this!

    Thank you to all those who politely pointed out that I seek legal counseling or attempt to contact the copyright holders/publishers.

    I will take all of you words and advice into consideration.

    And if you read my original post, you would've seen that I had/have every intention of doing it myself if others do not wish to assist. And VERY happily. Perhaps before you attacked my, you could've asked me a question or two regarding my motive? But no, you instead decided to spread nasty, libelous garbage. Or at best, spout out your uninformed opinion in an insulting manner. Do you see how many others who possibly feel that I was doing something dishonest provided their opinion and suggestions in a polite, and respectful manner? Not that I'm asking for your respect. Since I clearly don't deserve it.


    Of course not. Not when you're throwing punches of your own.

    Correct. Nobody owes me anything. I asked if anyone wanted to assist me in getting an out of print work back into the hands of any curious parties. I never asked for money and never will. I never asked for anyone to do the work for me. If anyone was interested, they would've let me know and I would've spoken with them and discussed any contribution they could've made.

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I perhaps jumped the gun and neglected to think of any legal consequences of my actions. But if I were knowingly trying to take advantage of people and make money, why would I post here, where I've shared personal information with several people (full name and address)? This is something that I could've trolled elsewhere.

    Again, to all of you who provided constructive criticism, thank you very much. I very much appreciate everything you've said.

    -James.
     
  14. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    Now you're picking on me because I'm fat? :laugh:
     
  15. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    No worries, James. As long as the current copyright holder gives their permission, you'd be good to go. And that requires only a quick question and answer aimed in the right direction.

    Everything else here is just the standard pleasant APUG background static. And I can identify it as such because I've certainly in the past contributed enough of my own. Think of it as the stuff that makes these threads so much fun to read.

    No harm, no foul really. Let us know how you make out...

    Ken
     
  16. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    Thanks again to everyone.

    Just an update. I emailed the ICP. (I hate typing that. Reminds me of a certain musical group...) I'll keep everyone here posted when they return my mail.

    I suggested first of all that they start another printing. Failing that, an electronic version offered by them. Failing that, allowing me to offer (For Free! Again, I have no desire to take anyone's money for this) an electronic version.

    I'll let you guys know what they say when/if they contact me. If they don't email me, I'll call and/or write by snail mail.
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I totally appreciate your attitude about this, and your motives. Too bad some people look for the worst in everyone...

    I've copied a number of books from the library, for my own purposes, and I wish there was a way to legally distribute them. Let's face it, most of these books have zero commercial potential. That being said, wishful thinking doesn't change the law.

    However, there are a number of books on archive.org that should still be under copyright. I wonder how they got there... perhaps a similar agreement was reached with the rights holder?

    Also, if it turns out that the ICP is not fond of the idea, I'd be weary about offering an "email" service. Though I admit that the idea of an "Underground Book Railroad" is appealing... :wink:
     
  18. bushpig

    bushpig Member

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    Another update!

    I recieved an e-mail from Kelly Heisler who is the Director of Marketing Communications for the International Center of Photography.

    She informed me that they're planning on using portions of the autobiography for an upcoming Weegee exhibit. I don't know to what extent that would be.

    She said that at this time they MAY (she confirmed nothing) offer the book online through their website. If they do this, there's more than a good chance they'll charge, but I doubt that it'll cost $50 or more (which is what many people are charging for the book currently online).

    Unfortunately, she said there are no current plans to reprint the book though.

    She said that the in house attorney for the ICP is away for the moment, but she'll discuss the issue with them when they return.
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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