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cherrystone
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I will keep this short & concise as possible. There is a front story that goes along with it, but I'll avoid that.....for the moment.

You own original images of your ancestors from dags, to ambros, to tintypes, to CDV's to 2x3's. Of the later variety, you also own many of the negs. Dates range from 1850 thru 1915. Set up the old copy stand, and start taking digital images of your collection.

To the best of my knowledge there would be no copyright associated with the originals. I would assume there would be copyright to the person clicking the shutter while making copies.

Any credible input on my assumptions in the last two sentences?

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cherrystone wrote:


To the best of my knowledge there would be no copyright associated with the originals.

True.

cherrystone wrote:


I would assume there would be copyright to the person clicking the shutter while making copies.

False.  Making a copy does not create "an original work of authorship" nor "a derivative work".  The original is in the public domain; making a copy of it does not change that.

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cherrystone
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Any situation where one might find variances on the later Roger?

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cherrystone wrote:

Any situation where one might find variances on the later Roger?

You would have to make changes to the original sufficient to qualify it as copyrightable in its own right - create a "derivative work".  Although there are those on the Internet who like to claim that any change is sufficient to create a derivative work, that is not true.

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Bear in mind also that basically what you would own copyright to in the derivative work would be the changes you made.  The underlying original work would remain in the public domain; so if anyone backed out your changes, they would have a public domain image.

For instance, suppose you put colors on the black and white originals.  You would own the copyright to the colored version, but someone who converts it back to black and white reduces it back to a public domain image.

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cherrystone
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Yeah I'm cool with that. I hired a retoucher.....once. They tried to claim what they did was a derivative, and I told them they were full of shit.

The work I did do to them was of a restorative nature, they were bad enough some took 1-2 hours. Other than that, a little cropping was it. I'm not sure whether restorations would be considered derivative....then again a couple of them were bad enough to almost be useless.

How do collections/museums et. al avoid public domain? Or do they only sometimes?

The front story....g-g-grandfather, his brother & their uncle all served in the same unit during the Civil War. I knew a guy who was heavily researching that unit, and I did afford him 3 images to be used in a limited mailing printing only, which he did. That's cool anyhow, they get around and it helps not to be lost to the ages.

3 months later I find out he is printing a larger publication, which is going way past a mailing, it's a purely profit orientated endeavor. I could probably be okay with that if he properly credits them and myself. One short conversation at this point he became a total douche nozzle attitude wise. I haven't said much in reply at this point.

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I would argue that restoration, if it makes a very significant difference to the image, would qualify as a derivative work.  Whether a court would uphold that or not is another matter - they may or may not. 

In your situation, if you haven't done it already, I would immediately register the restorations with the copyright office.  You can throw in a thousand or so of your own images at the same time, so the cost is very low (total $50 for all of them.)  Then tell him that they images are registered, that you own the copyright, and he publishes them at his own risk.

If you get them registered (arrives at the copyright office before he goes to publication) with the new print run, you can ask statutory damages and attorney's fees.

Let him know that.

Actually suing him for that is another matter - I've done it, and it's expensive.  But it makes for a damned good threat.

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cherrystone
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There we go......a decent solution. I'm not likely going to sue him and/or the publisher, but I'd like to give him pause for thought, perhaps he'd find his manners again. He's a bit of a nutcase anyhow....listening to him talk, you'd swear he is Virgil Cain re-incarnated. wink

Thanks...

Oh yeah...what I asked about about collections/museums and the originals they own?

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Museums do not own the copyright to ancient works that they own.  However, they may own copyright to photographs of them, depending on the situation.

If there is an independent publisher involved in this endeavor, I'd let him know that the limited usage license you originally granted was for only that original publication; any subsequent publication exceeds the terms of that license, and that you will so notify the publisher if your requests are not granted.  He may want to bluster it through, since he will have ego involved.  The publisher will be a lot more interested in not violating a copyright claim, especially since they have enough money to make suing them worthwhile.

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cherrystone
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I understand they don't own copyright, but a lot of their stuff certainly doesn't seem to fall into public domain.

I used to order many copies of old photographs from the Burton Historical collection. I almost had to give them a thumbprint of my first born, a strand of DNA and swear on my life I would never do sell or copy those images myself. Personal use only.

And really in the case of my stuff, what is public domain when they sit stored on my premises? They have to get thru me first.
So lets say I did authorize limited publishing of an original copy without much restoration. Does that mean anyone could legally copy that from the publication, or even a webpage for that matter?

I appreciate your indulgence this morning.

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cherrystone wrote:

I understand they don't own copyright, but a lot of their stuff certainly doesn't seem to fall into public domain.

I would guess it does.  Specific circumstances may make that untrue, but as a general rule I believe it to be true.

cherrystone wrote:


I used to order many copies of old photographs from the Burton Historical collection. I almost had to give them a thumbprint of my first born, a strand of DNA and swear on my life I would never do sell or copy those images myself. Personal use only.

See below.

cherrystone wrote:


And really in the case of my stuff, what is public domain when they sit stored on my premises? They have to get thru me first.

That is precisely the point of the way Burton acted.  "Public domain" does not mean that anyone has the right to break into your house, steal pictures and publish them.  You have physical ownership of the images, and have every right to keep them in a desk drawer and never show them to anyone.  The term "Public domain" simply means that neither you nor anyone else has a right to restrict others from publishing them - assuming those others have legal access to them in the first place.

What Burton did was replace copyright law with contract law.  In agreeing not to publish the images, you entered into a contract with Burton, and could be sued in state court or small claims court for violation of that contract. 

cherrystone wrote:

So lets say I did authorize limited publishing of an original copy without much restoration. Does that mean anyone could legally copy that from the publication, or even a webpage for that matter?

Probably, yes.

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cherrystone
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Super....that clicks it all. Particularly with my aforementioned "buddy".

Gracias.

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SLE Photography
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My mom's the director of education at the Florida Museum of Art, I can ask her to check with their legal people about the rights on work past original copyright.

I am a Model Insider site admin, please feel free to PM me with any site related issues, or for faster response contact our team via the Helpdesk

James Glendinning / SilverLight Esoterica Photography / SLE Photography

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cherrystone
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Go for it James, always willing to listen.

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SLE Photography wrote:

My mom's the director of education at the Florida Museum of Art, I can ask her to check with their legal people about the rights on work past original copyright.

?

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SLE Photography
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Emeritus wrote:

SLE Photography wrote:

My mom's the director of education at the Florida Museum of Art, I can ask her to check with their legal people about the rights on work past original copyright.

?

Ack, I forgot all about that, thanks for reminding me Roger.  I'll check with her this weekend.

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James Glendinning / SilverLight Esoterica Photography / SLE Photography

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SLE Photography
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Mom says in some cases of the artist of his heirs or a foundation that owns the rights to work in a collection holds them, then they apply... but in many cases the museum owns/controls the rights.  Her museum allows no photography at all.  I sent her a link to look over the thread & she'll email me with some specific points.

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James Glendinning / SilverLight Esoterica Photography / SLE Photography

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That would make sense for works which are still protected by copyright.  However, in all probability the photos referred to in the OP have passed into the public domain.  That was the premise of his question.