Who owns Vivian Maier's copyright?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by lxdude, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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  2. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Moderators, please correct my brainfart misspelling in the title.
     
  3. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Thank you for the link makes for some fun reading and answers a question I've been asking myself for a long time.
     
  4. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Done. Interersting situation. I prefer the person who bought the work and printed it to benefit. The state of Illinois would have likely thrown her archive out if the storage lockers had been emptied after her death.
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I agree, Suzanne. The royalty arrangement sounds reasonable if it the state gains ownership of the copyright.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The legislation that provides that the assets escheat to the state if there is no Will and there are no intestate heirs isn't there to provide for a windfall to the state - it is there to protect the value of those assets ant to permit the "winding-up" of estates.

    Given the potential value of the estate, I'd be willing to bet that someone will spend the money to find a heir.
     
  7. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    Ahhh, but one must remember where this is taking place. The State of Illinois is broke and desperate after decades of fiscal mismanagement, and won't leave a revenue opportunity such as this alone. A friend of mine in Chicago, who knows Maloof and is familiar with the whole Vivian Maier saga, is worried that it has changed his life, and not necessarily for the better. He could end up broke and broken, trying to defend himself from the state.
     
  8. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    What are the rules on abandoned items in lockers??
    I think it boils down to this , does it not?
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The items belong to the person who buys the items when they are auctioned. The negatives and everything else belong to those who bought them. But ownership of a negative does not confer ownership of copyright.
     
  10. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Interesting, so how long does copyright last on images, as well does one have to register copyright on images?

     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Under US law, i.e., Title 17, US Code:

    Copyright lasts 70 years beyond death of the author.

    Copyright exists from the time of creation.

    Without registration, the author of a "work of visual art" can claim authorship and sue for infringement and receive actual damages, but not statutory damages or attorney fees. A "work of visual art" is defined in Section 101, page 7. Specific to photographs is Sec. 101(2)


    www.copyright.gov/title17/
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Note that lxdude's info applies to the US.

    In Canada: "The general rule is that copyright lasts for the life of the author, the remainder of the calendar year in which the author dies, and for 50 years following the end of the calendar year."
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    In other words, it's a big goddamn mess.
     
  14. Ed Sawyer

    Ed Sawyer Member

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    The state should own all of it, and put it in the public domain, for free use and enjoyment of all. Have it professionally archived, scanned and made available free. 2 or 3 carpetbagging , 'storage wars'-types should not be benefitting/profiteering from this as they have so far.
     
  15. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Copyright, in the US will last as long as Mickey makes money. The duration used to be shorter, but as the expiration date approached Disney lobbied for a longer duration. Mickey Mouse brings in huge money for Disney, as do other characters for their copyright holders. Money buys lobbyists, lobbyists buy legislators, and so the great circle of life continues.


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