ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2007-08 > 1186774365
From: marianne dillow <>
Subject: Re: [ROOTS-L] Copyright
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 12:32:45 -0700 (PDT)
Yes, I made a typo. It is before 1923 that photos are in the public domain and is usually safe instead of after and I believe I stated the 120 year old rule was an exception and only used in certain situations. Most people are interested in Walmart saying no to them in copying a family photo with a copyright on the back of it. That's why I didn't take it any farther, so, your not missing anything. I do sports photography,and my work is current. But I also have been doing genealogy for 25 years so I do understand the importance of old family photos. I have some photos of my own grandparents who I never got to meet. I wouldn't take anything for them.
What I meant was some old photos could still on rare instances be included in the 120 year old rule in someone's estate or the copyright renewed by their representative. That was all I was referring to. In any event most places like Walmart, etc. won't take the chance of violating copyright with the copyright signature on the back of the photo.
Drew Smith<> wrote:
I assume you meant *before* 1923 (instead of after), as anything
published before 1923 in the United States *is* safe to reproduce (not
just usually). What would be the exceptions?
The 120-year rule would apply only if the work was created prior to
1978 but was not published until after 1978. But something is
published if it is sold by the creator to someone else. So if a
photographer takes a photo, and then sells the copy of the photo to
the customer, publication has taken place (as I understand the
definition of "publication"). So I'm afraid I don't see how the
120-year rule applies to a photo created and sold before 1978. What
am I missing?
On 8/10/07, marianne dillow wrote:
> Under copyright law anything after 1923 is usually safe to reproduce as it is in the public domain. There are a few instances that could apply to the change in the law in 1978 which means any photo created before Jan. 1, 1978 could fall under the 120 year part of the law going back to 1887. This might include a few instances where the photo was renewed periodically by the owner.