Copyright Query

25th February 2007, 07:24
Probly bin asked a thousand times before but here we go..

I have a swag of old photos...some from the family archives ...most by photographer unknown....some purchased and with a big copyright stamp on the back ( most of these were not taken by the person who stamped em ).

The majority are of ships that went to the breakers 20 or 30 years ago.

So, and bearing in mind that pix posted here by me are of about 300 kB and not fit for nicking and printing for personal gain, what is the position re posting these?

Ta in advance


25th February 2007, 10:55
If you have a name with the photos to aknowledge/credit, then say as much when you upload them.

These images sound as if they will be shown for the purpose of aiding research, and with this in mind, they should be o.k. to upload.


25th February 2007, 19:00
Hi Cisco,
Sometimes, you may be able to trace the owner of copyright by entering their name in If it comes up, it is a simple matter to ask permission, saying what you want them for. I have done this loads of times & the usual answer is "Go ahead," just credit them to me! I have often seen my own photographs reproduced all over the place - on the web - or even in the national press. I feel that it would be absolute madness for me to challenge it & take it up in court (swelling the coffers of laywers). I am usually just pleased to see my pictures appreciated over a wide audience & this is probably true of most photographs. If you don't actually make a profit from publishing them, the aggrieved can't really claim any losses of revenue. Ask for permission if you can locate the owner of copyright, otherwise publish them "in good faith," apparently this simple clause is very valid if you aren't making a penny piece out of publication.
Once I asked a judge (who was passenger on my ship) about it. He said the copyright laws were so vague for pictures more than 50 year old it was anybody's guess who would win (apart for the lawyers, of course).
So there you are, for what it's worth!

21st March 2007, 08:17
This might help you:

Duration of Copyright
The duration of copyright in a photograph taken in an EU country or by an EU photographer is 70 years from the end of the year in which the author dies. This applies to work created after 1st August 1989 - different terms apply to photographs taken before this date.

Taken from an article at:

The laws seem to be a bit different to the ones in Australia.


26th October 2007, 19:38
I'm going to jump in here and only get my toe wet, there has been a lot of debate about copyright on transport web pages it seems that people cream off pictures off various sites and then pass them off as their own at shows.
Like others I'm not to bothered about mine being used but please credit it to me.


9th December 2007, 19:49
On the back of all my photographic prints I stick a label with
the following info:

1) My Name
2) Subject title/other info
3) Date
4) A unique reference number (Film number/Neg number combination)

All my negatives are kept in albums and kept in chronological order.

I have kept this record since the mid sixties recording everything ship related and of course my Merchant Navy career. Hopefully, after my demise whoever has the (laborious?) task of deciding what to do with this lot, will find it not too difficult.

After I came ashore, I still continued to shoot 2 or 3 rolls of film a week, mainly the comings and goings of shipping on the Solent. I dont get the opportunity to do this so much now, though will do so as and when I can.

All my photography has been on Nikon gear, regret (to digital buffs) that despite trying digital I just couldnt get on with it. Still have my darkroom in full operation, computers just dont have the smell of a dark room!

9th December 2007, 21:17
I have a similar problem, i recently came across some long forgtten effects of my late father, who passed on in 1990. There are some excellent photos in there, one or two of which i would dearly love to post on SN, but there is no name or indication of who took them or who holds copyright, and i have therefore been reluctant to post.
Andys reference to research, got me thinking about one of the photos, which shows the greatest towing fleet ever assembled in the UK (at the time)would this type of photo come within the research umbrella?
It seems a shame that a photo with such historical pedigree, cant be shared with fellow enthusiasts? Any advice would be welcome.

K urgess
9th December 2007, 21:24
Don't worry about it.
If there are no copyright details on the back then you cannot acknowledge the photographer.
If it was part of your father's collection then an acknowledgement of that is all that is required.
Copyright photographs must be acknowledged if posted.