How can an image, taken in 1916, still be under copyright? For example, Getty Images wants to charge for such a picture. Isn't it, by definition, in the public domain?
Anything done before 1923 is public domain. However it may be different if the copyright has been sold or given at some stage, in this instance to a company?
The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended copyright protection to the following: Individuals are granted copyright protection for their life plus 70 years. This means your heirs can own your work for 70 years after you die. Copyrights owned by businesses are protected for the shorter of either 95 years from the year of first publication or 120 years from the year of creation.
So if the photo fell to heirs, 140 years from 1916 would be 2056.
http://couturepopcafe.hubpages.com/hub/ … Copyrights
Thanks for the info. It's tough to decipher sometimes. I can imagine all those companies grabbing everything they can.
I thought this only applied to works created since 1971? I may be wrong however.
It is most likely not under copyright but might still be subject to restrictions like trademark or reproduction rights.
The 1916 photo would be under the act in place at that time. Thus, out of ordinary copyright.
I went as far back as 1783, the first actual copyright act, up to 1916. As far as I can tell (and there's a lot to go through/read) in 1834 authors were given rights in perpetuity. Up until 1916, that hadn't changed. In 1865 photographs were included in the list of copyrightable material. So if psycheskinner is right about that photo being under the copyright law in affect at the time the picture was taken, maybe they do have this in perpetuity.
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