Plain Speaking

Who Frightens the Copyright? Probably Not He Who(m) You Think

Who owns the copyright, once a photo enters public discussion?

LOL  No matter of contract (there is none), or employer (there is none), or any other here.

Going forward, if you or your slavering ninnies would  like to continue to use my own photograph–or any others–of you (as you’ve done on multiple sites–and on which I’ve  not bothered–yet–to make an issue to this point)–perhaps you should contact–according to your own imaginary matters of some recently-discovered EU rule–me, myself, rather than those who have nothing to do with the matter.  Opportunity would be a fine thing.  As would bravery.  Not holding my breath on either account.

Were I dealing with those I respect, I’d look forward to hearing from you.  Otherwise, perhaps you should all just go away and moan and cry–among the weird sisters–in private.

Much love.


3 thoughts on “Who Frightens the Copyright? Probably Not He Who(m) You Think”

  1. “Who owns the copyright, once a photo enters public discussion?”

    No one. By definition if it is in the public domain, the copyright has lapsed.

    Your real issue is when a photograph enters the public domain. Short answer is in the US 95 years. Or rather after 95 years it enters the public domain regardless of the creators’ or copyright owners’ desires. Anything older than 95 years is in the public domain.

    That does not mean everything younger than 95 years old is still under copyright. A copyright owner can voluntarily release it to the public domain, like Tom Lehrer did recently with his body of work. Additionally anything copyright before 1976 (when the 95 year period was set) could be in the public domain if the copyright was not renewed prior to 1976 when it expired (back then I believe copyright was 22 years renewable for another 22 years. So anything copyright before 1954 that was not renewed is in the public domain. But not necessarily.

    Also anything produced by the Federal Government (but not necessarily state governments) is released into the public domain. All those eye-popping Hubble and Webb images produced by NASA are in the public domain (but not God’s view images from Google Earth).

    Publishing an image (like in this blog) does not void copyright. So photos you or I take that we post on the Internet are still in copyright for the next 95 years after they were taken – which I think is your real worry. Unless the contract specifically otherwie photos I took I use in books I write remain my intellectual property, with a publisher’s limited-use access (such as the right to use them in the book, reprints of the book and promotional material for my book. Another author cannot use them in their book unless they get permission from me.

    1. Thanks for raising some fascinating points, and for pointing out that there are some considerable complexities to copyright law–complexities which multiply exponentially when national boundaries are crossed, and more than one nation is involved.

      I’m not really worried at all, as the passive aggressive bloviations of a small group of unhappy people, together with their (deliberate or not) misunderstanding of, and (deliberate or not) misstatements about how copyright actually works are just too moronic to lose sleep over.

      I do, however, get a bit tired of the same group repeatedly reposting a photograph that I took, and which no-one has ever asked me for permission to put on the Internet, and then using that very photograph as a springboard for conversation among themselves which specifically lies about, insults, and defames the person who took the photograph–that is, me. One would hope for better from a group of well-educated geriatrics, but it’s as if they’re still in middle-school.

      I’m well aware that one of these lovelies is a self-confessed avid reader of this blog, so I hope that–as a result of your efforts and mine–light will begin to dawn. But experience with this bunch tells me that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to hold my breath.

      Thanks again.

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