Re: Photos, copyright etc.

Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>


A small point on your explanation. When I purchased Will Whittaker's SN negatives, I specifically asked for an assignment of copyright for those negatives I was buying, which he generously did. His letter is somewhere in my files.

I frequently see prints of the same negatives, possibly dupicates, or likely prints Will, sold being swapped around. I don't know if I own the reproduction rights to those particular prints, but it probably isn't worth challenging. Such things are usually settled by lawyers, and when parts of one of my books were ripped off by another author, I learned I would have to prove specific damages in a suit in Federal court.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 6/9/15 1:47 PM, Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC] wrote:

Dave Nelson wrote:

AFAIK the most conservative answer is 70 years before the current date for anything created by an individual for himself and 90 for works for hire and/or corporate creations.  If you assume books are works for hire you get June, 1925.  If you assume photos are personal works you get June 1945.  General speaking the owner of a print does not hold the copyright… the guy with the negative does (it’s just like owning a book… you own the printed paper but the author owns the story).

    I will illustrate one of my prior points, and touch on Dave's comment, with the story of Will Whittaker's freight car photos, of which he took a really large number. Late in his life he began selling off negatives, but no one purchasing them had asked for, nor had Will offered, transfer of copyright. Arnold Menke, who had not found out about the sales quickly enough to buy the entire collection, bought everything still remaining, AND also bought Will's 3-ring binders of prints, which included ALL of the collection, including prints of the negatives which had been sold. Arnold requested, and Will complied, with a letter transferring copyright to ALL the images, as part of the sale to Menke. That means that those who purchased some of the negatives cannot publish the photos (or post them on line) without Menke's permission. Arnold in fact is not restrictive at all and would readily grant permission; but you still need to ask. You cannot assume permission, from Menke or from anyone.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.