Copyright on WW2-era photos

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history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 04 Dec 2012 08:42

Vikki wrote:[...]
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. [...]
~Vikki
The quote by Eindhove is my comment, hence my reply: If you´re walking in my photographic studio and hire me for a nice family shot then it´s also "work for hire" same when you order me to shot your daughters wedding. Though the copyright belongs to the photographer. That´s where they live from, that you come and order a few prints. And in nearly every case of a professional photographer there´s a copyright note on the backside so that they can not go to the next shop and order a print from the print.
Another example. A company hired me to shot photos of different pets (birds, rabbits,...) for new labels on their pet food. They had to pay me for material, work and addtitional for the constricted use of those photos.

I don´t think that the bigger part on Ebay & Co where one sells some prints of WWII has been shot by photographers working for any news agency.
Otherwise I don´t think that many WWII photographers bequeathed the copyright of their photos to their heir. Most of them where simple men and where happy if they had a camera what was a treasure at the time.
But - there´s allways the chance that one did, and that´s the "problem". As Eindhoven the people unfamiliar with law and copyright knows only about the "50 years time limit".

MLW
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by MLW » 05 Dec 2012 10:57

A good example are the Hoffmann photos in the possession of the Bavarian State Library. They hold the photos but pay fees to the family heirs when copies are sold to the public. Try using one pf those photos without having usage rights and see what happens! The Bavarian government actually took the US government to court, demanding that NARA stop providing free access to the photographs on file there. The US government won the case, but it demonstrates that some WWII photographs are still very much under copyright protection.

vathra
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by vathra » 28 Jul 2016 12:43

Here is interesting discussion I had with staff of IWM regarding obtaining one photograph from them.

I work in media, and I am very accustomed to image copyright, rights etc.
That is why I find this case very interesting.

I wanted to order one photo from Yugoslavia in ww2, which is not digitized in their archive, for a book I am preparing.
They answered me that they don't know who owns copyright, and that I might have to pay to additional copyright.
OK, that is what I expected. Photo was made in Yugoslavia, and by local law copyright is valid for 70 years after author's death, so author's family can still own copyright if he died after 50's.

Next, I got bill with following fees:
- scanning, 30 pounds
- digital image, 6,5 pounds
- FTP transfer, 2 pounds
- image license 26 pounds
And 13% on VAT on every fee.

(Image license can vary depending on type of publication, size, position etc, and can be 10+ times bigger.)

Now, cost of scanning, preparing image and sending it are a bit strong on modern market, but that is their right to do so.

I was very surprised to see Image license fee. That is definitely wrong, since they don't own copyright for it.
So how can they charge for it?

Their answer was - "Sometimes in process of reproduction enough changes can be made to image so it can be called creative work and to claim copyright for it."
That is certainly case in situations when scratches and missing parts are reproduced, image colorized or similar work done.
But I doubt that regular scanning, cropping and applying levels can be called creative process which alters image.
After all, I don't want some new work, as they claim to do, but I want simple reproduction.

There is also unusual practice to charge both scanning service and copyright for it. Most stock photo agencies do not work on that way.

For last two objections, I got answer that they can not send me raw scanned file (simple reproduction) and that they think they can charge both fees.

All that sounds as rather strange practice.
I have never seen that someone can claim copyright over simple reproduction process.

OpanaPointer
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by OpanaPointer » 28 Jul 2016 13:54

Consider also that "All rights reserved" may be a smoke screen.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 29 Jul 2016 08:37

vathra wrote:[...]
They answered me that they don't know who owns copyright, and that I might have to pay to additional copyright.
OK, that is what I expected. Photo was made in Yugoslavia, and by local law copyright is valid for 70 years after author's death, so author's family can still own copyright if he died after 50's.

Next, I got bill with following fees:
- scanning, 30 pounds
- digital image, 6,5 pounds
- FTP transfer, 2 pounds
- image license 26 pounds
And 13% on VAT on every fee.
[...]
Now, cost of scanning, preparing image and sending it are a bit strong on modern market, but that is their right to do so.

I was very surprised to see Image license fee. That is definitely wrong, since they don't own copyright for it.
So how can they charge for it?

[...]
There is also unusual practice to charge both scanning service and copyright for it. Most stock photo agencies do not work on that way.

For last two objections, I got answer that they can not send me raw scanned file (simple reproduction) and that they think they can charge both fees.
[...]
I have never seen that someone can claim copyright over simple reproduction process.
Though situation, vathra.
From what you´re describing here it seems that they have a very similar or even identical law regarding copyright to my country.
But note, it´s not only the photographers family who can hold the copyright but EVERY person he/she might bequeaths the rights. That of course includes friends, neighbours, etc..
Also they did charge you an image license = usage license, not to be confused with the copyright license as they don´t possess the copyright. It wouold be very unsmart from them to charge costs for a copyright they don´t own, every client and copyright holder could sue them later for any troubles.
They even told you that additional costs can arise ( eg. when the copyright holder see his work used from you). And what I see from your post you´re very familar with rights and sure know what a copyright violation can cost. Hence I wonder that you did accept their offer.
Also it´s not sure where they did the scanning, maybe they had to visit the next city for this job? They even might have include costs for gasoline to drive to the next office with a propper scanner.
Be aware that I do not defend or justify their specification of costs, they made the price and you did accept it.
BTW, I like to inform me beforehand about costs, no need to lament about them later ;-)

vathra
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by vathra » 29 Jul 2016 11:02

History1,

I know that rights can be passed to family, or transferred by contract, etc.
They informed me first on costs, I was not charged.

As I wrote before, their scanning and manipulation costs are high - but they can charge as much as they like.
Main problem is that i don't think they have any right to charge Image license fee for images that they don't have copyright for.

ihoyos
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by ihoyos » 29 Jul 2016 21:21

I wonder who the rights on a photo, let's say , picture of a soldier in war front , the surviving family of photographer, or the son of the soldier?

vathra
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by vathra » 29 Jul 2016 21:56

ihoyos wrote:I wonder who the rights on a photo, let's say , picture of a soldier in war front , the surviving family of photographer, or the son of the soldier?
Since it is public place and something was happening, there is no model release rights.

So only photographer, or his family, if the rights are still valid under their law.
But in case if it is official photo, it is copyright free.

history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 30 Jul 2016 08:01

@ vathra: "Since it is public place and something was happening, there is no model release rights."

If the front-line runs through my garden, or in urban teeritory even through houses is that "a public place"? I don´t know a law which mentions " if something happens then...". Can you quote it please?

Why are again falsely claiming "So only photographer, or his family,[...]"?
I mentioned before that there is NO limitation to whom a copyright may be inherited. Is there such restriction in your country? BTW, please state where you live as is no location in your profil.

@ ihoyos:
Let´s assume it´s a private shot from one of his buddies. Anyone of the photographers family will NOT automatically own/hold the copyright. It must be inherited (in a last will, or any other written will) like every other valuable article, eg. car, watch, paintings, house, etc..
The son of the soldier or any other family member of course do not hold any rights, the father was only a motiv not the producer of a copyright protected work.

One should be aware that laws are very different. While it´s fully legal in the US to record and take pictures of people on public places and to publish them without their consent the same can bring you here (Austria) into jail. And though I got harassed in Florida two years ago twice for taking pictures of BIRDS on public roads (the 1st time even with the involvement of a police officer!)!
In Germany there´s a law which prohibits the photography of people for ostentation (https://dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/201a.html). Last case were two men who recorded a burning truck with the jammed driver. Now they face a trial for not rendering first aid as requested by law (as two other men where trying to remove the driver who died) and for the ostentation of the burning driver.

vathra
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by vathra » 30 Jul 2016 22:47

history1 wrote:@ vathra: "Since it is public place and something was happening, there is no model release rights."

If the front-line runs through my garden, or in urban teeritory even through houses is that "a public place"? I don´t know a law which mentions " if something happens then...". Can you quote it please?

Why are again falsely claiming "So only photographer, or his family,[...]"?
I mentioned before that there is NO limitation to whom a copyright may be inherited. Is there such restriction in your country? BTW, please state where you live as is no location in your profil.
I live in Serbia, and I believe laws are similar to your country.

Copyright can be transferred by contract to any person of company, partially or completely, or inherited by family etc.
For most of ww2 era photos we are discussing I believe that such contracts were not made, and they are not mentioned in will, so if author is dead, family inherits rights. I am certain you could produce more examples, but for ww2 photos they are less probable.

Formulation "if something happens" is from modern photoreporting practice.
You can take photos of public places, meetings, etc, but you can not zoom on specific person, unless he is by his unusual behavior drawing attention.
If person is just standing, walking, doing what every other person is - you need model release if he is in focus of image. If he is ie protesting, doing some performance, you can take his images. It is thought as he gave his consent for taking images since he is doing unusual stuff on public place.

If you are talking of private places, if there is photo in album of soldier being at his home with family and kids, that is private photo and if it is modern one I know you would need permission, but for historic I don't know.

history1
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by history1 » 31 Jul 2016 14:27

" [...] Copyright can be transferred by contract to any person [...]"

If that is correct and you are talking about "copyright" and not about the "right of exploitation" the situation is VERY different in most European states.
Here it´s impossible by law to transfer a copyright to any person/institution as it can be only inhereted [with a will/testamnent =Тестамент] and not handed over with a contract [Уговор]. Also the copyright doesn´t go over to the rest of the family automatically when the photographer/painter/author dies. If he doesn´t mention them in a will they are public domain after 70 years after his death. No matter what the family thinks about, it´s the law!
I must agree with you that the most persons sure will not have kept copyright laws in mind at the years, but basically it´s possible that people hold still the copyright of their ancients works (photos, books, paintings, etc].

"[...]If person is just standing, walking, doing what every other person is - you need model release if he is in focus of image.[...]"

Over here you don´t need the agreement of anyone to take a photo of him/her from people on public places [but I never take photos of people without their approval, that´s a morale thing for me]. What one need is their agreement when you plan to publish it. And with "publishing" isn´t only meant in a newspaper, book, website, etc. but even when you want to show the photo your friends which are visiting you in your home.
You´re right when talking about participants of parades, soccer matches, concerts, etc.. ["It is thought as he gave his consent for taking images"], but not with " but you can not zoom on specific person". That would make to work for us press photographers very hard when not impracticable. Also you don´t need to ask everyone for an agreement when it´s unreasonable [eg. a photo of a crowd].

vathra
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by vathra » 01 Aug 2016 10:35

history1 wrote:" [...] Copyright can be transferred by contract to any person [...]"

If that is correct and you are talking about "copyright" and not about the "right of exploitation" the situation is VERY different in most European states.
Here it´s impossible by law to transfer a copyright to any person/institution as it can be only inhereted [with a will/testamnent =Тестамент] and not handed over with a contract [Уговор]. Also the copyright doesn´t go over to the rest of the family automatically when the photographer/painter/author dies. If he doesn´t mention them in a will they are public domain after 70 years after his death. No matter what the family thinks about, it´s the law!
I think we have some misunderstanding with legal terms.
In our law, there are moral rights of creator which cannot be transferred. Moral rights are that he is an author, should take credit etc.
Thing you call "right of exploitation" can be transferred fully, or partially (i.e. o give buyer all rights, or just right to publish it in one issue of magazine, book etc.).
In any case, inherited copyrights to family will expire after 70 years.
history1 wrote:Over here you don´t need the agreement of anyone to take a photo of him/her from people on public places [but I never take photos of people without their approval, that´s a morale thing for me]. What one need is their agreement when you plan to publish it. And with "publishing" isn´t only meant in a newspaper, book, website, etc. but even when you want to show the photo your friends which are visiting you in your home.
You´re right when talking about participants of parades, soccer matches, concerts, etc.. ["It is thought as he gave his consent for taking images"], but not with " but you can not zoom on specific person". That would make to work for us press photographers very hard when not impracticable. Also you don´t need to ask everyone for an agreement when it´s unreasonable [eg. a photo of a crowd].
By "zooming" I mean to put in center and focus only one person on street, i.e. beautiful woman carrying designer bag. For that you need model rights.
If same person is in crowd, does not stand out, than it is OK.

MLW
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by MLW » 05 Aug 2016 01:52

Here is a good run down on the copyright of photos in the US - http://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/03 ... ily-photo/

ihoyos
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by ihoyos » 31 Oct 2016 20:21

Some thing is weird about that long photo copy rights.
Now most of books from WWII ERA can be copied, can be reproduced with out permission after 70 years. But, what happen with pictures in that books?
Photos are part of the books, and how they can have more rights than books. /?

nibor00
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Re: Copyright on WW2-era photos

Post by nibor00 » 16 Dec 2017 12:08

Scanner reviews are hard to come by, and I know there are some serious graphics types in this forum, so I'm looking to glean a little knowledge from you guys.

Many years ago when I had my last scanner, I needed to install a separate controller card for it, and every time I turned it on or off I needed to reboot my computer. I assume that today, most scanners are USB and you can plug 'em and unplug 'em as many times as you want and they'll still work. The biggest deal, I suppose, is color and detail accuracy.

For those of you guys in the know, where's the best place to start when picking out a scanner? What do you look at? What specs matter? What do they mean? I'd learn how to fish than be fed, so to speak, so that I can find a scanner that fits my needs without just getting a plain recommendation.

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