Using Historic Family Photos In Hubs

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  1. profile image0
    Bronwyn Joy Ellioposted 3 years ago

    I have read the FAQ, and gone through page after page of forum threads looking for advice on this. So far I have not been able to find an answer.

    I would like to use historical family photos in some of my Hubs. Some of these go back as far as the 1880s, so obviously it is not possible to ask the family member who took them for permission - even if I knew who took what.

    Can I credit these images as "Private Collection" or something similar?

    Thank you

    1. Titia profile image96
      Titiaposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I always do exactly that. I've a lot of hubs with old family photographs and put 'family album' as source.

    2. agvulpes profile image88
      agvulpesposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      From what I have read copyright in Australia runs out 70 years AFTER the death of the owner of the Copyright!  Who may be either the 'photographer' or the 'commissioner' of the photograph!
      For more detailed reading have a look here: … _Australia
      It seems very complicated but from my reading if you have the original 'positive'/ 'negative' you may in fact be holding the Copyright yourself ?

    3. Christy Kirwan profile image99
      Christy Kirwanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Bronwyn,

      Copyright law can get tricky when it comes to historical and family photos, but this guide seems like a very helpful resource on the subject that you might find useful: Copyright and the Old Family Photo

  2. Phyllis Doyle profile image94
    Phyllis Doyleposted 3 years ago

    Yes - "Private collection of author (or your name)" is best.

  3. DzyMsLizzy profile image96
    DzyMsLizzyposted 3 years ago

    I've just read the legal article from the link given by Christy.

    I have used a number of my father's photos in my hubs.  He was not a professional photographer, but a professional-level hobbyist.
    As an only child, I have inherited all those photos, and therefore I now own the copyright, and may use them as I see fit.

    However, there are a number of other old family photos in albums, some are even old tin types and daguereotypes.  There is no way to even find out who to ask; the studio name is either not present, or illegible.  As well, the photographer is obviously long dead in any case. 

    I would imagine, in the case of photos of one's family, no one is going to actually chase down a copyright on such ancient personal family photos.  It would be a different case, I'm sure, had it been a famous and recognizable photo, and/or one that had been published in a magazine or newspaper.

    Ditto for another album of photos from my parents' pre-marital days, taken either by them or their friends, of places they went and people they were with.

    My parents are both dead, and likely, so are all the people in the photos as well as anyone who took them.  They were not taken by a professional studio; they are personal snapshots.  Again, who would you even ask?  I don't even know who the other people in the photos are!

    At the moment, I'm involved in a cleanout project, and I imagine a lot of those photos, featuring people I don't know, will end up in the trash.  As a photographer myself, that seems like such a sacrilege, but what's the point of keeping such photos?

    I suppose I could sell them as "instant ancestors" to people who don't have any old family photos.   (just kidding).  lol

  4. profile image0
    Bronwyn Joy Ellioposted 3 years ago

    Thanks everyone. From what I have read - including the legal stuff - I should be right with most of what I want to post, as I own the original negatives and images. My family support my writing, so there will not be any problem there.
    It was more the HP view of things that I was concerned about. smile


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