Ownership of photos of people who are deceased?

2 months 2 weeks ago #738269 by Eliffman
Let's say you have photos that your father took of Marilyn Monroe (example), who is obviously deceased, and your father gives you these photos.  Just to be clear, he took these photos.  Would you own the rights to these photos?  


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2 months 2 weeks ago #738271 by Screamin Scott
Did he have a model release? I believe you would still need that for commercial purposes. If no commercial use, it wouldn't matter.

Scott Ditzel Photography

www.flickr.com/photos/screaminscott/

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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #738272 by TCav
Personalities usually have the rights to their image or likeness, however they are obtained, and upon their demise, their estate maintains those rights.

Case in point: A local restaurant called itself "W.C.Fields and Friends" and included a caricature of W. C. Fields in the logo. The estate of W. C. Fields sued and won, so the restaurant paid damages and changed the name to "W.C.and Friends" along with the caricature. The estate of W. C. Fields sued again and won, so the restaurant paid damages and changed the name to "Just Friends" along with the caricature. The estate of W. C. Fields sued a third time and won, so the restaurant paid damages and dropped the caricature.

It's now a 'Five Guys'.


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2 months 2 weeks ago #738319 by Chris Briggs
Interesting, never thought about this 


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2 months 2 weeks ago #738324 by Esseff

Screamin Scott wrote: ... you would still need that for commercial purposes. If no commercial use, it wouldn't matter.


Interesting.

I recently started a new photo series. I found some photos of my town (from 100+ years ago) and managed to find the locations and take a 'now' photo from the same angle. The plan is to create a collage of an old photo with the corresponding new photo. The old photos I downloaded from a site that claim they own copyright too. I have written and asked for permission to use the old photos but not gotten a response.

I assume from Scott's post that I can use them regardless if only posted to, say, Instagram and Facebook for non-commercial reasons...


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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #738349 by TCav

Esseff wrote: I assume from Scott's post that I can use them regardless if only posted to, say, Instagram and Facebook for non-commercial reasons...


Nope. It could be argued that they serve to publicize your commercial endeavor, even if you don't derive income from them directly.


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2 months 2 weeks ago #738369 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Eliffman + SF

As I understand it ... the Copyright LEGISLATION states that the 'copyright of the work remains with the author for 50 yrs AFTER their death'. Obviously meaning that the estate of the deceased still controls the operation / activities / usage / of the work

For your example above - you would be well advised to locate the author (if possible) and in the absence of success there, to obtain written agreement with whomever has the images for you to use them for your desired purpose along with full acknowledgement of their 'ownership'

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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2 months 2 weeks ago #738391 by icepics
What Scott says sounds right for the US; depends on your/anyone's country.

You should be able to re-create or use photos as 'inspiration' I think, but I'd be careful about posting/sharing pictures that don't belong to you (you aren't the owner of the copyright).

I rarely post my photos online and if anyone steals one you can be sure I'll do something about it. At the very least a DMCA take down notice. They'd be stealing my crative work - years of hard work, my talent/ability, etc. They can use their own photos; not mine, without my permission or compensating usage. I could contract usage if I wanted, I just don't want to do it (unless someone is offering me enough money to make it worthwhile!). I don't need the work!

So you're probably fine sharing your own photos, and maybe link to someplace where those photos have been made available publicly that others could view them (if that's an option). Take a look at Terms & Conditions on any site you're using and think about what you want to share on it. Some to me allow others to use your photos so I don't post much if any on a site that allows that (incl. social media).

Sharon
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2 months 1 week ago #738506 by Silver Fox
So, let me toss another scenario into this, if your father is deceased as well, and you don't have model release, only know he took the photo, would that change anything?  


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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #738566 by Ozzie_Traveller

Silver Fox wrote: So, let me toss another scenario into this, if your father is deceased as well, and you don't have model release, only know he took the photo, would that change anything?  


G'day SF

As I said above - the LEGISLATION regarding copyright (which by the way is almost identical around the western world) clearly says that the copyright remains with the author after their death.  The legal follow-on from this is that the copyright author's estate then holds the legal rights to the work.  Think about Ansel Adams' images for example - now published by his estate, now a business paying taxes

So for your father-son scenario, you would receive the legal copyright for your father's works

Phil


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2 months 1 week ago #738668 by Ian Stone
But how would he proof that was his fathers work? 


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2 months 1 week ago #738675 by icepics
Depends on usage. To share/show to relatives, that's editorial use I think and should be fine to share. On social media?? I don't know... depends on who it is, if they'd want a relative's photo posted online. If in doubt, maybe ask a relative/family member first.

Read terms on social media before putting someone else's photos on a site (and your own for that matter, or the site may be able to use your photos or allows others to use your photos without permission/notification).

Editorial use also includes newspapers, magazines, etc. where releases may not be needed but may be requested depending on the media outlet.

For anything commercial or money making you'd need releases. Try ASMP for more info. If you intend to do anything more than share you'd need to learn about licensing usage, although that doesn't seem like what you intend to do.

Sharon
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2 months 6 days ago #738812 by Garbo
Good information, honestly had no clue on this one

Nikon D300: 24-70 2.8 | 70-200 2.8 VR |Sigma 150 2.8 | 50 1.4 | SB-800
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2 months 1 day ago #738962 by Uplander
Wait, you all sure on this?  If the photo was passed on in someone’s Estate, you own the photo.  You don’t need to prove anything.  


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