Copyrights on Photographs


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Trent Pheifer

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Hey everyone,

I was curious as to all the aspects of getting permission to use copyrighted photographs in a publication. Will it cost a lot of money? How do I contact the person who holds the copyright? I am looking into photos of Titanic as well as her passengers. Thanks for any help you can provide me.

-Trent
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Hi Trent,

You will have to pay reproduction or "use" fees if you order from a commercial photo service/archive such as Corbis, The ILN Picture Library or any number of others.

These fees are certainly exorbitant for an independent researcher. Generally your publisher absorbs the cost of acquiring rights to reproducing images in print. All you will need to do in most cases is to let your editor know where he/she can have the art department order the image or images in question. For a non-commercial publication, however, such as a membership journal, you may have to foot the bill in order to use a particular image that is under copyright.

Most Titanic images are in the public domain AS LONG AS THEY ARE ONES YOU OWN YOURSELF. If you purchase a print (regardless of its date) from a company like Corbis, for instance, which is not easily done (as they work mainly with publishers) and it appears in print without a use fee having been paid, you can be in hot water.

I would suggest that you consider purchasing Titanic images from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division as these are almost all in the public domain. The price for ordering images is expensive (generally $75 for exhibition-quality, archival prints) but the LofC DOES NOT CHARGE REPRODUCTION OR 'USE' FEES. They are "free" in that sense. You may even purchase negatives for the images you order.

Best wishes,
Randy
 
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Trent Pheifer

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Randy,

Thank you so much for the help! I wanted to try to independently publish a little thing (I don't think I could get it published any other way) and wanted to illustrate it. But it seems the cost might outweigh the return. Ohh I have another question, some photographs are privately owned by researchers (ie passengers pictures)...do they usually charge a lot for the use of the pictures? Thanks again for the help.

-Trent
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Trent,

I'm not sure about Corbis, as that company tends to change its policies with the wind, but I know that the ILN Picture Library (a wonderful source by the way, staffed with top people) has special rates as to reproduction fees, depending on the scale of a publication project, so you might want to check around and ask. Just because your printing may be limited, that doesn't preclude the possibility that even one of the really big picture agencies will provide you with images at a reasonable rate for the size of your undertaking. Don't ever be afraid to ask up front about special conditions. You may be surprised. I know I have been!

Below are some links to picture archives. With the exception of the ILN, you can search through a large selection of online images at these sites. All you have to do is join and log in with your user name and password.

Best of luck in your research!

Randy

THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS PICTURE LIBRARY

THE HULTON ARCHIVE

CORBIS
Corbis

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION
 
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Trent Pheifer

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Thank you so much Randy...those links are great...can wait to surf around them some more! Thanks again for your help as always.

-Trent
 

mary mason

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Aug 24, 2003
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i went on the LOC site and did a search for titanic, on the second page of results, number 34 there is a picture titled: "survivors of Titanic - family group", can anyone tell me who this family are?
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mary mason

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Aug 24, 2003
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sorry i'm useless with these things, its really long so you will have to copy and paste it into your browser because clicking on it wont work.


No worries, Mary. Edited to remove incomplete (but extremely long!) link and fix thread format. FN 29/9
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Use Randy's link to the LOC search engine, then Mary's route of keyword Titanic, second page of results, image No 34.

The family are the Goldsmiths (Third Class) in around 1908, so the caption Survivors of Titanic - family group is rather misleading. Mr Goldsmith died in the sinking, and young Bertie had died from diptheria a few months earlier.
 
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