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  #1  
Old 04-28-2009, 10:25 PM
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Default Rights to vintage originals

Since the issue of rights has been kicked around lately I would like to pose this question: As a collector of vintage photographs, would there be a reason I wouldn't have the rights to print/sell/post copies made from non-commercial negatives and/or transparencies which are now in my possession via estate sales, auctions or antique stores? For example, I have rolls of negatives that are 71 years old which include marketable images of NYC scenes. I also own a half dozen glass plate negatives.

Mike
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:01 PM
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I guess if you own the negative you can do whatever you want with it, right? I say print them up, but I don't really know what I am talking about...
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:47 PM
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Their all yours now to what ever you want with them, since you acquired them through legal means. If you had stole them or acquired them from someone else that had stole them, that would be another story. This often happens when buying stuff (i.e., stolen property) at pawn shops.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:41 AM
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Posession of someone else's negative does not always give one the right to make prints for sale. I suggest googling for copyright to get the information applicable to you. Copyright law seems complicated, and infringement occasionally leads to high priced legal complications.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:34 AM
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There could be legal complications if the photographer or his/her heirs are still alive. I have many old negatives and prints which were given to me by the photographer with full permission to use them. If in doubt do check for copyrights.
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:04 PM
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I'd say, touchy. I really don't know. Like any law, I am sure it could be fought both ways. Interesting thought Mike.
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:40 PM
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Copyright law once stated 75 years from creation or something like 15 years after the death of the artist. That changed about 6 years ago when Disney was nearing Mickey's 75th birthday and they lobbied Congress for a change in the law in order to protect their empire. Still not sure what might have happened if they hadn't been successful, with the Mouse being a registered TM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:43 PM
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Angie is right. I remember taking intellectual property (I.P. law) in school (yes, I have a boring full-time job as a paralegal) and copyright does expire after some time. If you are unsure just call an an attorney. I am sure they can just tell you over the phone for free.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azikaphotography View Post
I am sure they can just tell you over the phone for free.
5 lawyers in the family...all different specialties; while I often am privileged to ask questions for free I'm not sure everyone gets the same treatment.
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