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Thread: Copyright Discussion

  1. #1

    Default Copyright Discussion

    I'm aware a few discussions have cropped up regarding Crown Copyright and especially the IWM. However I was I was browsing something on wikipedia and recognised a picture from the IWN collection.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IWM-E ... 411126.jpg

    What I found interesting is the obvious declaration that the work is in the public domain as its Crown Copyright and older than 50 years and hence ok to reproduce. This got me thinking so I did a quick check on the IWM collection website:

    http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/terms.php
    http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/tnc.htm

    Many of the images are subject to Crown Copyright protection. Crown Copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for research, private study or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as schools, colleges and universities). This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context. Where any of the Crown Copyright items on this site are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified, the copyright status acknowledged and picture reference numbers quoted (usually a two or three letter code followed by a series of numbers). Please contact imagesales@iwm.org.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false for further information about individual images.

    Images purchased from the Imperial War Museum are for private and evaluation use only and are subject to the following terms & conditions

    All other usages, including websites and private publishing, require a license. For further details, please contact imagesales@iwm.org.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false
    Now this is interesting, because their declaration of the terms of reproduction for Crown Copyright material seems to fly in the face of the guidelines set down by the OPSI (ex HMSO) regarding crown copyright:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/crown-copyright/index.htm

    What is Crown copyright?
    Copyright material which is produced by employees of the Crown in the course of their duties. Therefore, most material originated by ministers and civil servants is protected by Crown copyright.
    So by that definition, any photo taken by a member of the armed services while on duty is an employee of the Crown. Wikipedia then goes on to quote a request for information from OPSI themselves, similar to the request I previously sent them:

    http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wi ... 22055.html
    It has long been nagging me about the policy of HMSO with respect to
    Crown copyright material outside of the UK. Inside the UK the position
    is clear: published material from 1954 or earlier is out of copyright
    as it was published over 50 years ago. Outside the UK the position of
    Crown copyright material has long been ambiguous.

    I therefore sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office
    for Public Sector Information (what HMSO has changed its name to)
    requesting clarification of the length of copyright for published
    Crown copyright material outside the UK. I received the following
    reply from their Information Policy Adviser:

    "Dear David,

    Thank you for your email enquiry dated May 23rd, 2005. Crown
    copyright protection in published material lasts for fifty years from
    the end of the year in which the material was first published.
    Therefore, to use your example, material published in 1954, and any
    Crown copyright material published before that date, would now be out
    of copyright, and may be freely reproduced throughout the world.

    I hope this information will be helpful to you, but if you have any
    further questions please feel free to get in touch with me again."

    So, it appears that Crown copyright material that has been published
    in 1954 or earlier is considered public domain worldwide by OPSI and
    is thus fair game for the Wikipedia to use.

    David Newton
    I then also found the following PDF guide for museums regarding Crown Copyright which helps clear some things up: http://www.museumscopyright.org.uk/crown-a.pdf

    So at the moment, it appears as if the IWMs "terms of use" for Crown Copyright material actually go against the actual terms set down by the UK Government. Obviously media created by the IWM themselves is their own work and thus their copyright but I cannot see how the can claim it on photos taken by the RAF and it's employees within their collection.

    I think it's time to write a letter to OPSI in regard to this matter and get some definite clarification and then maybe approach the IWM on this. While I would have no issue at all in paying for the cost of reproducing a photos to obtain a copy, how can they legitimately claim one has to a license to reproduce it in print? As I understand it attribution is the only requirement.

  2. #2
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    Well that is exactly what I thought, and this is similar to the advice that I was given. It appears therefore that IWM and RAFM have made their own rules and like I have said before this is against that in force under Crown Copyright. If this is illiegal then they need to be sorted out and taken to task over it.

  3. #3
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    Still, at least it has been made easy for the genral public to understand! Maybe just publish them on the internet and see who pops up with a egal team?

  4. #4
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    There is always confusion over this.

    The RAFM and IWM (and other collections) do have seperate rules to crown copyright. Because the pictures (be they Crown or otherwise) are from their own collections they can legitamately enforce their own copyright regulations and charges over any images that are sourced from them. It is the same as if a museum buys a photographers collection (RAFM Charles E Brown), once sold and in the museums hands they can charge what they like and enforce their own copyright, the original photographer/source dosen't have a say in it.

    ie, there are two seperate issues, images (crown or otherwise) from museums and collections,
    and crown copyright regulations.
    I think any CC images sourced from the Air Historical Branch or TNA are not subject to any other copyright than the originator, in our case MoD / Crown Copyright.

    As for taking organisations to task over it, and talking about too much - I think the lest said, then soonest mended. We are doing ok and don't want to upset too many apple carts.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    I fully understand about the IWM position with regard to bought and their own collections.

    One thing that did erk me a bit is that fact there are a number of photographs I've wanted to publish with my written work which I know for fact are Crown Copyright because I know the name of the photographer and the fact he was working for the RAF photographic unit when he took them. Of the five pictures in the set I know of, the IWM collection website lists three, one of those and one other I know were published as I've seen (and lost out on) two original A.M. prints issued by the press office. The fifth, as far as I know, has never been published in print but was shown at an exhibition in London in the 50's.

    This is where it gets a bit grey. Technically the pictures are Crown Copyright and at least four were "published" by the A.M. which meets the criteria for copyright being waivered is met. But does the IWM licensing rules still apply if I don't source the image from them - i.e. use original A.M. prints from another source?

    You can see where the confusion comes from!

    I also tacked something onto the end of the thread about Luftwaffe photos that I found. Up until 1985(ish) Crown Copyright was pretty simple - you could reproduce it 50 years after the publish date as long as you provided attribution. From 1985 onwards the government/HMSO decided there was commercial value in CC material and decided to removed the freedom to reproduce under the guise of having it all catalogued/indexed and licensable. I think the idea was that your license fee is paying for the archival/indexing process. It seems that anything in the PRO/IWM/RAFM archives was specifically included under this "Value Added License" scheme.

    However, don't get me wrong. I'm not "Angry of Tumbridge Wells" about this and am very respectful of copyright, etc. What annoys me is there must be many people who have researched histories, etc. who would like access to reproduce this photos to illustrate their work. I image that some, like myself, has only a smallish target audience so the only option maybe to self-publish. That being the case, with say a limited run of 200 copies, there's no way on earth I can afford the licensing fees to use 3-4 images from the IWM. I know of several people who have abandoned books simply because the licensing of this Crown Copyright material isn't economically viable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    If you have the image in your possesion, and sourced from somewhere else (very possible) then you are free to use it within CC guide lines only.
    For intsance I have aircraft pics direct from source, the RAFM have copies of the same, but I wouldn't pay or ask for copyright from them.

    Re your last paragraph, RAFM and IWM work differently, and more commercially than PRO, TNA and AHB.

    One very annoying thing is collections going to museums etc, for instance I knew RCB Ashworth personally and he would alloy me to use his pics and just credit him. Now the collection is owned by a collector so I have to pay and credit him and credit RCBA if I need to use a pic from that source, but the pictures in my possesion that I got from RCBA I can use at will and just credit him.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    I know the feeling. Middle Wallop have the Lawrence Wright collection and some of the stuff in there is phenomenal. Last year when I was down there chatting to the curator I asked about policy on reproducing items from it and they said they were "still trying to work that out at the moment".

  8. #8
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    I couldn't belive it when a load of RCB Ashworths pictures started turning up on E-Bay, I e-mailed the person who was selling them and asked whether there were any pictuires of airfields but he never replied.

    Is that correct Mawganmad, then Copyright is transfereable, it does not remain with the photographer then or his family once pictures have been sold? Interesting, surely though it does not matter who has the positives, it is the negatives that count.

  9. #9
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    I am not sure about this if a picture is CC then CC it is and all CC Rules apply, the RAFM and IWM cannot then apply some copyright law of their own, if the 50 year rule applies then thats copyright finished with. Surely Copyright is not the correct term in this case. A case in point are the RAFM airfield plans which were OS Copyright but the 50 year rule applies (so OS say) and there is no copyright its finished!. The RAFM cannot claim copyright, just because they have a collection of plans. I too have a collection of plans not sourced from the RAFM does this mean these are my copyright - no it dose not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Couple of interesting bits I found regarding crown copyright

    Well a lot of my current job is of the "creative" form and in recent years copyright has raised it's head.

    Basically *anything* I create is automatically copyright me and I should anyone break my copyright it's up to me to enforce it. By that token, anything you create (drawings, etc) are YOUR copyright. I believe there are certain cases when an original work is derived from something else and it depends on to what degree you incorporate the original work in your own. But say tracing an OS map or aerial photo as PNK does to make your own line drawing is OK and that drawing is copyrighted to you.

    Another good example - I created an artistic piece and it was bought for used by another entity. Rather than pay a license I simply sold the intellectual property/copyright to them. I still have the right to identify myself as the original creator but the entity that bought the rights now holds the copyright.

    I think something similar applies for collections in museum. I assume during the transfer/buying of the collection a contract is signed whereby the copyright is taken over by the museum. Of course the original photograph is identified as the author still.

    I'm pondering writing to the HMSO/IWM etc. and putting the case forward for an addition to the licensing options for self-published limited run works. They have a click license for web pages so why could they not have a cheaper license for say smaller self-published works were the print run does not exceed 200 copies and sold only in the UK?

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