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Photograph - Copyright Issue


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Hi folks,

I'm trying to find out how to get permision to use a photograph which has a copyright notice printed on it. It's a photograph that is in the possesion of a group I help with but apparently searches for the name printed have proved fruitless.

I still have a few avenues to explore, however my question is, at what point can you just go ahead and use the image if all attempts to find the owner have failed? Is there somewhere you can register the fact you have made reasonable efforts etc..

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Any idea how old it is Mike? I'm thinking of my old postcards from 1900 or so that are out of copyright.

You could add a notice to the effect that every effort has been made to trace the copyright owner. If you believe your copyright has been infringed then contact XYZ. I know this doesn't answer your immediate question but it may help?

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It's an aerial photograph with no date, but guessing about 1980s or 90s. As it covers the area we 'operate' in the idea is to reproduce it and sell it to raise funds during an event next year.

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But:

Please note that if you are having difficulty locating a right holder, you should keep good records of your efforts. (This will help to show that you have been trying to act in good faith.) If you are unsuccessful in tracing the right holder, and still wish to proceed with your project, you should do so with caution. You may wish to set aside an appropriate fee for the use of the work in a special bank account, and, when you use the work, apply a statement indicating that you have tried to trace the right holder, but have failed to do so, and then invite any legitimate right holder to contact you. You should bear in mind that should the right owner appear, they may consider suing you for infringement of their rights, and in such a case you would want to show the right holder, and perhaps the courts, that you have acted in good faith and have made reasonable efforts to try to track down the right holder.

Interlectual property office

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Hi Mike, I think the fact that your group wish to make money out of selling the photo means you must have permission from the copyright owner otherwise you leave yourselves open to action . Perhaps to show you have made reasonable endeavours to trace them you could put a small ad in the local paper?

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History dude

As it's an aerial photo in this area I would try the local airports or aerodromes to see if aircraft owners or users or anyone takes aerial pictures for a living. If you have a name maybe someone at the airports might recognise it.

Another thing you could try is Picture Libraries. It might have been submitted to one of them. You can find them in the latest editions of the Writers & Artists Yearbook, or The Writers Handbook.

Another thought.... Could the photo have been commissioned by someone? Maybe by some place in the photo. For example a building features in the centre of the picture?

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Does this answer it ?

Interesting, but looks like a US based blog.

But:

Please note that if you are having difficulty locating a right holder, you should keep good records of your efforts. (This will help to show that you have been trying to act in good faith.) If you are unsuccessful in tracing the right holder, and still wish to proceed with your project, you should do so with caution. You may wish to set aside an appropriate fee for the use of the work in a special bank account, and, when you use the work, apply a statement indicating that you have tried to trace the right holder, but have failed to do so, and then invite any legitimate right holder to contact you. You should bear in mind that should the right owner appear, they may consider suing you for infringement of their rights, and in such a case you would want to show the right holder, and perhaps the courts, that you have acted in good faith and have made reasonable efforts to try to track down the right holder.

Interlectual property office

Far more useful, thanks. Shall keep a note of that link.

I've discovered it was taken in October 1997 and looks like the company who took the image (infoterra-global) either went out of business or was taken over by a company called Astrium Geo, who are more interested in satellite images these days. I've made contact with them to ask what they know about the image I have, and of any others taken on the same flight. So looking more hopeful.

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