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  1. #1

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    selling photos printed off old expired film

    I recently purchased a whole whack of old expired B&W film off ebay and I would like feedback on whether it would be proper to sell prints off of any images that these rolls have.I don't plan to take any credit just put a stamp saying from the collection of...


    Doug

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    Under UK law, the photos would be the copyright of the photographer, or, if a professional photographer, the copyright of the person who commissioned the pictures. So, unless the films were sold to you "with copyright" of the images, you would be potentially in breach of this if you sold prints.

    In practice, or with really ancient film, you might "get away" with it, but.......

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Well they aren't your copyright so there could be issues. I'd wait and see what's on them.

    Ian

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    It depends on how old the negatives are in the U.K. copyright on printed matter lasts until fifty years after the death of the author.
    Ben

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    With you holding the negatives it can be hard for someone else to prove that they own the copyright, but from a legal point of view you cannot sell prints from them if you do not have permission to do so (either if you have permission from the copyright owner or the copyright has expired).
    You are, however, free to sell the film or print copies for your own personal use.

  6. #6
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoolman View Post
    I recently purchased a whole whack of old expired B&W film off ebay and I would like feedback on whether it would be proper to sell prints off of any images that these rolls have.I don't plan to take any credit just put a stamp saying from the collection of...


    Doug
    Don't you mean exposed film?

    First, I'm not a lawyer. How old are they? Did you buy them from the photographer? If not, did the seller know the photographer? Who or what's on the film?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoolman View Post
    I recently purchased a whole whack of old expired B&W film off ebay and I would like feedback on whether it would be proper to sell prints off of any images that these rolls have.I don't plan to take any credit just put a stamp saying from the collection of...


    Doug
    A quote from the US patent and trademark office (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dco...efresher.htm):

    "For works created by individual authors on or after January 1, 1978, copyright protection begins at the moment of creation and lasts for a period of 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work” (prepared by two or more authors) the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. "

    What is unclear to me is the meaning of "at the moment of creation". Does that mean at the moment the exposure was made? Probably not, since the creative work is not completed at that point, at least not with print film. Does it mean at the moment of development of the negatives? Does it mean when the print was made? I don't know, but these seem to be important questions.

    It seems to me that if you develop and print the film then it is a "joint work", and you would have equal interest to the work with the person who snapped the shutter. Under US patent law (which may or may not apply to copyright law, I don't know) unless there is an agreement of other provisions to the contrary, all inventors have 100% undivided interest in the work, which means that each can market or use the work without permission from the others. If copyright law works the same way, and if developing and printing the photos counts as part of the creation, making it a joint work, then it would seem to me that you would be free to sell the work without permission from the persons who snapped the photos.

    I am not a lawyer, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanrockwood View Post
    A quote from the US patent and trademark office (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dco...efresher.htm):

    "For works created by individual authors on or after January 1, 1978, copyright protection begins at the moment of creation and lasts for a period of 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work” (prepared by two or more authors) the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. "

    What is unclear to me is the meaning of "at the moment of creation". Does that mean at the moment the exposure was made? Probably not, since the creative work is not completed at that point, at least not with print film. Does it mean at the moment of development of the negatives? Does it mean when the print was made? I don't know, but these seem to be important questions.

    It seems to me that if you develop and print the film then it is a "joint work", and you would have equal interest to the work with the person who snapped the shutter. Under US patent law (which may or may not apply to copyright law, I don't know) unless there is an agreement of other provisions to the contrary, all inventors have 100% undivided interest in the work, which means that each can market or use the work without permission from the others. If copyright law works the same way, and if developing and printing the photos counts as part of the creation, making it a joint work, then it would seem to me that you would be free to sell the work without permission from the persons who snapped the photos.

    I am not a lawyer, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

    processing the film+printing it has nothing to do with its creation.
    creating a photograph happens in a camera with film or paper,
    not in the darkroom with an enlarger.

    for copyright laws to be enforced, in the usa at least, the images
    have to be registered with the copyright office, or it is not easy to declare ownership / creatorship
    and if there is an issue, you won't be able to get a judge to hear the case. registration is needed.
    if the film was abandoned / orphaned you might have a chance because of new laws
    that suggest if you look for the owners and can't find them
    you can use their work without consent ...

    i'm no lawyer either so take my comments with a grain of salt as well ...

  9. #9

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    selling photos printed off old expired film

    CGW, I asked the seller where these rolls came from and he said they were in a box he bought at a flea market and did not know who shot them or where they originally came from.I doubt I'll get any useable images but I decided to float this question to see what the response was.

    If tere are any printable images,I'll probably make one print for my collection and thats it.

    Doug

  10. #10

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    Ian that is exactly what I plan to do.If there are any useable images I'll make a print for my self and store the negs away.Thanks all for your input.

    Doug

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