Copyright on WW2-era photos

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pugsville
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Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by pugsville » 05 Sep 2012 09:41

[Split from Pictures free of rights]

Wiki Commons is the answer for all your troubles.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Max Williams
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by Max Williams » 05 Sep 2012 12:34

pugsville wrote:Wiki Commons is the answer for all your troubles.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Not all Wiki photos are free of rights. Check each individual image. Your best method is to get to know a collector who is willing to allow his/her photos to be used for your needs, but you will have to be up front about what you want the images for.
Max.

ambrus
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by ambrus » 06 Sep 2012 13:57

It's really difficult to find any pic of ww2 free of rights... :cry:

pugsville
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by pugsville » 01 Dec 2012 06:32

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Wiki media commons almost all the images are free of most rights, some ask for a credit attribution (saying where you got it from) there is a vast amount of images all the image pages say exactly what the rights are, for ww2 personalities , weapons, general images there are thousands. On the one site generally free of rights or at most wanting correct citing.

A lot of ww2 images were copyright to British/US governments which explicitly went public domain after a time period. Dont know about German images.

Never ever had a problem in finding a free of rights (other than citing) ww2 image to fit my requirements, 10 minutes on google max.

Max Williams
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by Max Williams » 01 Dec 2012 11:14

As I said before....you have to check each individual picture. Just because a picture is on Google does not mean it's completely free of rights.
Max.

Charles Trang
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by Charles Trang » 01 Dec 2012 11:35

I could help but I would like to know for which purpose these photos are. Just send me a PM.

jim toncar
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by jim toncar » 01 Dec 2012 16:21

I have never heard of a case where someone was taken to court over a picture of a nazi ? sounds kind of weird to me?
What kind of money are we talking ? attorneys fees, dealing in a foreign land ? different laws ? seems absurd ?

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coburg22
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Re: Pictures free of rights

Post by coburg22 » 01 Dec 2012 17:09

I agree with Max

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eindhoven
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by eindhoven » 01 Dec 2012 20:53

The images posted to google are mostly BPK, Bundesarchiv, NARA, Signal Corps or otherwise and you're incorrect to assume they are royalty free. The state owns the rights in that case as the photographers were working for the government at the time. Any copyright on the ebay photographs is long expired, sold when the estate sold off those rights to the buyer who passes it on to another buyer who then has the rights to the image.

You should also note your google pulled images are not at the best resolution. BA offers very high resolution from the negatives and there are thousands of unpublished images. Meyer, Wünsche, Knittel, Steiner and many others.

Why post everyone elses material when all it takes it visiting an archive or paying for them?

history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 02 Dec 2012 14:49

eindhoven wrote:[...] Any copyright on the ebay photographs is long expired, sold when the estate sold off those rights to the buyer who passes it on to another buyer who then has the rights to the image.[...]
You are clearly wrong.
Any photographer can bequeath the copyright of his own photos to his/her successors or other legal heirs.
So it´s quite possible that anyone holds the copyright of the mentioned Ebay - images, and then any use of them is a infringment of the copyright.
No one can sell the copyright of any photo, even if he/she wish to do so. Nor is the copyright handed over to any person who buy a print of the negative / file. They copyright is allways in the photographers property.
It´s only possible to sell the right of use.

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Marcus
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by Marcus » 02 Dec 2012 15:19

Christian Ankerstjerne summarized a few points about relevant copyright
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
  • German (and some other countries, including for example Sweden) copyright law states that the copyright expires 50 years after the photograph was taken. See § 72 UrhG.
  • Works made by the US government are automatically placed in the public domain. This only applies to work done while carrying out official duties, and therefore not to regular soldiers' own photographs.
  • Copyright resides with the photographer, unless it's sold on, or it's work for hire.
  • Copyright to a photograph can not be aquired by owning a print of the photograph or owning the negative.
history1 commented on it in a later post:
history1 wrote:Today I`ve been aware that in the mentioned thread has been placed following further explanations by Marcus:
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote: Christian Ankerstjerne summarized a few points about relevant copyright:
German (and some other countries, including for example Sweden) copyright law states that the copyright expires 50 years after the photograph was taken. See § 72 UrhG.
Correct, sadly you has overseen § 28 UrhG which says that the copyright holder can alienate his rights to his/her heir due to a testament. What doesn´t mean less as you can forget § 72 UrhG or one has to proof if this paragraph can not be executed in every single case.
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote: Copyright resides with the photographer, unless it's sold on, or it's work for hire.

Note that no one can or will sell the copyright even if he/she want do! You can only bequeath it (german law § 28UrhG , austrian law § 23 UrhG) What you sell is the right of exploitation.
/Marcus

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eindhoven
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by eindhoven » 02 Dec 2012 19:05

No one can sell the copyright of any photo, even if he/she wish to do so. Nor is the copyright handed over to any person who buy a print of the negative / file. They copyright is allways in the photographers property.
It´s only possible to sell the right of use.
Read the German law, 50 years. The copyright IS expired and ownership passes to the current owner. It's been 67 years since WW2 ended as of this year. The copyright is held by the current owner and the bequething is no different than published works. Why do you think people are paying enormous sums for the panzer, Uboat, SS and otherwise on ebay.de? So they can secure rights.

Photographs are no different than published works and in that sense you are right unless the family gives up ownership which is not difficult to prove. Check Amazon for Steiner's reprinted books by no less than three current publishers including Ishi Press with the worst forwards I've ever read.

Those images owned by the state/govt NARA are a no brainer. In the past a simple attribution would suffice. Most like BPK require you to state your intent of usage and pay a fee for them securing your right to publish. NARA, BPK, BA all have a fee now.

Abandoned property law applies and can be used regarding photographs picked up. In the US possession is 9/10ths of the law. Take the Ansel Adams garage sale negatives case where Ansel's family sued for the rights to those negatives despite them never looking for them. Only when the new owner proposed making prints at a profit for himself did they claim ownership. Estate sales are a relinquishment of right to property by the heirs. If you somehow found a diamond in the rough it will be hard for those heirs to suddenly claim ownership after contracting a company to sell their relatives items irregardless of lack of oversight by that family.

MLW
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by MLW » 02 Dec 2012 22:42

NARA does not charge a fee for usage rights. Furthermore, not all photos at NARA are copyright free. Most are, but not all.

history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 03 Dec 2012 08:17

eindhoven wrote:[...] Read the German law, 50 years. The copyright IS expired and ownership passes to the current owner. It's been 67 years since WW2 ended as of this year. The copyright is held by the current owner and the bequething is no different than published works.

Read the citation by Marcus, especially
[....] you has overseen § 28 UrhG which says that the copyright holder can alienate his rights to his/her heir due to a testament. What doesn´t mean less as you can forget § 72 UrhG or one has to proof if this paragraph can not be executed in every single case.
eindhoven wrote: Why do you think people are paying enormous sums for the panzer, Uboat, SS and otherwise on ebay.de? So they can secure rights.[...]
The answer is that the people aren´t familiar with the law! They don´t know about the above mentioned possibility = §28 UrhG. They are, like you, familiar with the 50 years time limit but don´t know nothing else.

This was my final statement, there´s no need to discuss those facts.

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Vikki
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by Vikki » 03 Dec 2012 20:20

eindhoven wrote:Read the German law, 50 years. The copyright IS expired and ownership passes to the current owner. It's been 67 years since WW2 ended as of this year. The copyright is held by the current owner and the bequething is no different than published works. Why do you think people are paying enormous sums for the panzer, Uboat, SS and otherwise on ebay.de? So they can secure rights.
Owning a photo, or even the original film, doesn't confer copyright. That's merely owning the image, and at least in US copyright law, that has nothing to do with copyright. And owning an image gives the owner no protection regarding duplication or use.


eindhoven wrote:No one can sell the copyright of any photo, even if he/she wish to do so. Nor is the copyright handed over to any person who buy a print of the negative / file. They copyright is allways in the photographers property. It´s only possible to sell the right of use.
If the photographer took the photo as "work for hire" as Christian says in Marcus' quote above--that is, if the photographer was being paid--then the copyright belongs to the agency who was paying the photographer. That probably accounts for copyright still being held for some photos by national archives.

In addition, even if copyright is held on a photo, Fair Use clauses normally allow the use of photos in some cases, for example for educational purposes.

~Vikki

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