Sorry to keep bugging folks, but I'd rather be safe than sorry...
I found the "perfect" photo to go along with a poem of mine...but the ONLY information about it, regarding whether there is or is not a copyright is this:
"Date: ca. 1906. Photo from the Santa Cruz Public Library collection."
Is it, or is it not then, considered in the public domain?
It is GENERALLY anything before 1923 that is public domain.... there are some weird circumstances that it wouldn't be, but chances are it's public domain.
Does it say it's been altered in any way from the original... or do you not have that info?
I do not have that info. The phrase I posted is all that appears.
Given my rather extensive knowledge about the topic, I do not believe the photo is altered at all.
If it's not altered and it's 1906, then it's public domain with 99.99 surety. Use it and attribute it as well as you can. (That's what I would do)
You may use it but try not to alter it too much.
A) Photographs or other works published anonymously, under a pseudonym or the creator is unknown taken or published prior to 1 January 1955
B) Photographs (except A): taken prior to 1 January 1955
C) Artistic works (except A & B): the creator died before 1 January 1955
D) Published editions (except A & B): first published more than 25 years ago
E) Commonwealth or State government held photographs or engravings: first published more than 50 years ago, or if made before 1 May 1969, first made more than 50 years ago"
There are some exceptions however: Fair use rationale for any countries where copyright may still apply: unique photograph of a subject by virtue of being the first. Rare, as only a few photographs of said subject are known to exists. Cannot be reproduced today.
Hubpages gives you a very specific list of websites to use to find your pictures. I would seriously stick to those in order to avoid any problems. I can usually find really great pictures on Flickr. Those are all I use and I haven't had any problems yet.
This is such a specific, limited-interest topic that I had to search by topic rather than site.... ;(
Unfortunately though, they are specific about which sites you draw from to protect you. I've had to get creative on what pictures I used just to stay within their parameters as well. If you stray from their guidelines and policies, you are just asking to get denied on your article. Hope this helps. You'll have to find a way to get creative. Think metaphors if you need to.
Normally, my search parameters on Google include the phrase, "public domain photos of...." and I get several sites from which to choose. When I find a photo that is suitable, the image itself normally states whether it is public domain or not; if not, I continue searching.
This particular case is the first time I've had this sort of ambiguous situation occur.
I use pixabay.com...they have a huge selection and if you don't see anything you like, there's a site that advertises on that site as well...you can purchase a license pretty reasonable for a better quality picture.
Next question in this topic:
My grandson took a self-portrait with his cell phone, (in his Army gear with rifle as he nears the end of his basic training), which he sent to his mother, which she subsequently shared on FaceBook, which I then did likewise.
Is there really a copyright issue if I use that photo to accompany one of my poems that is about him?
No problem, unless he explicitly denies you its use
Let's be real. Copyright is really only an issue for photographers and artists who seek to make a living from their work. Every time we copy one of their paintings or photos, we're stealing their livelihood.
But there are millions of photos taken every day, where the photographer has no interest in the value of the photo - it's just a memento of an occasion. If we copy a photo like that, even if it's not ours, we're doing no harm.
The difficulty is in telling which is which. If you see a stranger's photo on a website, you can't know what attitude the photographer has to it, and it's dangerous to make assumptions (because a professional photo can still look very casual). That's why we say, if there's no indication on the site, it's best to be respectful and assume the owner didn't intend it to be shared.
However in this case, you know the provenance of the photo and that the person who took it won't mind.
I agree with Marisa 100% . She gave you a perfect answer. When it's obvious that it's not taken by someone looking to make money from their picture, nor using someone's name or likeness to make money from them, I don't worry much about it. Realistically, when we share images, we are giving others free advertisement, backlinks, etc. I ask myself things like "Does hollywood.com really care if we use a picture of Eminem in an article about him?".
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