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  1. #11
    tjaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naturephoto1 View Post
    It is my understanding that if you are the photographer (artist, work of art) for works created after January 1, 1978 that the copyright lasts your entire life plus 70 years after your death so that your relatives can benefit from the copyright.

    Rich
    That, to my mind, is where my question stems. These were all taken long before Jan 1978, and if I remember right the previous copyright laws were much shorter . If the copyright is expired, does that make them public domain or can someone (me in this case) register them now (not that I would...)
    --------------------
    "Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand

    www.glasskeyphoto.com

  2. #12
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Here is a fairly definitive statement of the terms of copyright, from Cornell University's Copyright Information Center-

    http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/tra...lic_Domain.htm

    .

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    A copyright may still exist when a copyright has not been formally applied for and obtained.
    The only question is whether a copyright has expired and/or who owns it. All creative works are copyrighted from the moment of their inception. Copyright may be registered but there is no "obtain" in that sense. One does not get copyright from government.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    The only question is whether a copyright has expired and/or who owns it. All creative works are copyrighted from the moment of their inception. Copyright may be registered but there is no "obtain" in that sense. One does not get copyright from government.
    Perhaps you failed to read or to grasp what I clearly stated in the last sentence of my post. For your information, I will restate it here..."A copyright may still exist when a copyright has not been formally applied for and obtained."

    For your further information, when one does apply for a registered copyright under the purvey of the federal government, they do grant a certificate that very clearly attests to the existence of that application and registration, if acknowledged as being valid. I do have a certificate attesting to that in my possession. So one does "obtain" verfication of the existence of the copyright.

    I am not an attorney, certainly not in the area of copyright or patent law. I assume that you probably do not fit into that catagory either.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  5. #15
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    Perhaps you failed to read or to grasp what I clearly stated in the last sentence of my post. For your information, I will restate it here..."A copyright may still exist when a copyright has not been formally applied for and obtained."

    For your further information, when one does apply for a registered copyright under the purvey of the federal government, they do grant a certificate that very clearly attests to the existence of that application and registration, if acknowledged as being valid. I do have a certificate attesting to that in my possession. So one does "obtain" verfication of the existence of the copyright.

    I am not an attorney, certainly not in the area of copyright or patent law. I assume that you probably do not fit into that catagory either.
    That's the sentence I was responding to. The "may" part only relates to the possibility of expiration. It existed or exists entirely without regard to it's registration. There is a process for registering copyright. There's no such thing as applying to "obtain" copyright. Certifiying a fact is not the same thing as making a fact. The distinctions between registering a copyright and the existence of copyright as well as the purposes of each are useful to understand.

    I'm not sure why you find working towards clarity a matter of personal confrontation but if you'd rather fight than discuss, you fight and I'll discuss, ok?
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  6. #16
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    It needs to be pointed out that even if you own the copyright of an image, you may not own the right to use the likeness of a person pictured in the photograph depending on the disposition of the person, and the circumstances of said photograph. In the simplest sense, if I photograph you, I certainly hold the copyright to the photograph, but without a release for your image, there are limitations as to how I might use that photograph and that liability may in fact be of some concern to the OP.
    That's just, like, my opinion, man...

  7. #17
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    It is my general understanding that absent any documentation to the contrary, ownership of the negative implies ownership of the right to reproduce. I would consult a copyright lawyer to get a definitive answer on this.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Question: What if I purchase and now own the negative? Have the rights of reproduction passed to me?
    No. Not unless the photographer has released those rights to you.
    The physical possesion of a negative does not automatically grants you the copyright, in the same way as the possesion of a print does not grant you the rights to copy the print.
    The copyright is immaterial and has to be granted specifically.

    -- MW
    Men, said the Devil, are good to their brothers: they don’t want to mend their own ways, but each others.
    -- Piet Hein

  9. #19
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Question: What if I purchase and now own the negative? Have the rights of reproduction passed to me?

    Steve
    I wish I could give a better reply, but my advice is to consult a copyright lawyer. It sounds like you have a good collection, and having professional advice in regard to sorting out how you may use it would be worth the effort.
    That's just, like, my opinion, man...

  10. #20
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stever View Post
    Question: What if I purchase and now own the negative? Have the rights of reproduction passed to me?

    Steve
    Nope, not unless you have been explicitly given or purchased those rights. As stated above (correctly in my opinion) owning a piece of artwork does not give the owner copyright to the artwork. In a practical matter, I agree that if someone sells negatives, in many or most cases they are not concerned about the possibility of them being printed by someone else. An example to the contrary is that occasionally I have seen framed and matted prints sold as an edition of one with the negative mounted with the print (an idea I am not wild about, but that isn't the issue here...). The person doing this is clearly not intending to transmit copyright to the buyer for them to reproduce the print. That would make the whole cache of it being an edition of one kind of a moot point.

    Another issue is that copyright needs to be defended by the owner, and if the owner doesn't care, there may be copyright, but for all intents and purposes there isn't, because the owner won't defend it if you make copies. It's not the same as a piece being put in the public domain, and probably not good enough for a smart publisher, but the effect is the same nonetheless.

    As with the other folks that have posted here, I am not an attorney, but the issue of copyright not following the ownership of a negative is pretty clear in my mind.

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