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Author Topic: Engravings sold on Microstock websites  (Read 3159 times)

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« on: February 23, 2015, 10:23 »
0
Hi everyone, hope you had a good weekend.
I have noticed a lot of scans of 'engravings' on the micro stock websites and I've always wondered where they stand on the copyright of them?  I'm talking about images like this:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-hampton-court-royal-palace-london-borough-richmond-thames-greater-london-historic-county-middlesex-image35675087

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-william-shakespeare-image20396098

Are they allowed to scan and sell them on micro stock websites because the engravings are over a certain number of years old?  I'm just intrigued.

Chris :)


« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 10:30 »
-1
Yep.

« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 10:37 »
0
I think the microstock sites have different policies for these kind of images. Shutterstock used to allow them but they don't any longer if I'm not mistaken?

In most countries the copyright of a book or a piece of art seems to last 70 years after the death of the creator. But somebody else may have bought the copyright during this period, so it's hard to be absolutely sure that the copyright has really expired.

I think it's a bit weird that some sites allow these images. There must be thousands of illegal vectors and photos on Shutterstock and other sites that allow (or used to allow) these images.

« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 11:21 »
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On Shutterstock you cannot upload that anymore...although I think they did not remove the ones that were uploaded...

there must be a reason why they dont' accept anymore...some risk?

« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2015, 11:29 »
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Yeah there has got to be some risk involved.  Even though the time-frame has passed, the copyright of the works may have been purchased by another party.  However submitting them as 'editorial' is surely less risky.

« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2015, 11:30 »
+4
Yeah there has got to be some risk involved.  Even though the time-frame has passed, the copyright of the works may have been purchased by another party.  However submitting them as 'editorial' is surely less risky.
I don't think that's how it works.  The copyright doesn't get extended if someone else buys it, AFAIK.

« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 13:28 »
0
The two image linked were both editorial, so that makes a difference as well.

« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 15:51 »
+1
Yeah there has got to be some risk involved.  Even though the time-frame has passed, the copyright of the works may have been purchased by another party.

Nope. Public Domain is Public Domain.
The main risk is that when you buy old books, scan images, edit the images, keyword and upload: The image can then be downloaded by someone and then distributed freely, there is really no way of preventing this.

I have some old engravings on microstock sites, I just happened to have some books with nice images - it would have been a shame to just hide them. They make some money - but I stopped this when SS stopped accepting them. I also feel a bit guilty when someone buys an extended license to some of the images - legally they really wouldn't need to do that...

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 16:08 »
0
Even though the time-frame has passed, the copyright of the works may have been purchased by another party. 
That must be country by country, if it's so. I spent quite a while looking earlier and couldn't find a way copyright on images can be extended here.

« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 16:36 »
+1
IS Used to have their limit at 1884, that is a sure bet, it's even before the Berne Convention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention

Uncle Pete

« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 21:18 »
+1
Yes and No.

If someone buys the company and takes over the rights, the original copyright is continued to be in force. Also correct, the time limit on a copyright does not change or extend, because someone buys a company. The term/deadline/expiration is still the same.

No it doesn't just end because a new company owns the rights. Just in case some people thought that was what you wrote.

If a company goes out of business and no one takes over the rights and the works, they become public domain. Once again, be careful, that's the company rights if they owned all right to the images. The artists right would still apply if they were licensed to the company, but not owned by the company. Very similar to our kind of work for agencies.

There are no easy answers in legal matters. There are different regulations by country. What country is the Microstock agency located in and what laws regulate them?

I have a number of engravings that I thought would be interesting and are out of copyright, in the USA and also in Europe and also according to the Bern convention. (trying to be safe)

If this is any help, most have never been downloaded, and the ones that have, are very limited. One is a number that applies to the number of downloads.  :)

I was trying to figure a way to convert them from Rasters to EPS Vectors, regulars here will recognize my questions and requests. People who know illustration have said, "just upload the rasters" Don't waste your time. Somewhere I keep thinking that vectors might be better sellers, because the rasters sure don't get any action.

I have done high quality scans, 600 dpi, edited, cleaned and adjusted, sometimes it can take half an hour of more, to make a really clean, high quality, image. And for that? A sub now and then?

I'll make a suggestion as someone who's been doing this particular material for a couple of years. Find something else, besides scanning old box, or shooting old engravings. The time and work vs the returns will be disappointing.

If you disagree, please do a couple hundred, and come back in 2016 and tell me how you did with real experience, not optimism. I was loaded with anticipation for the returns when I did the first of them. Now I see, limited demand and sales. Darn I still think it's a great idea. Too bad the buyers don't agree?  :-[

Oh and ps, there are illegal images on some agency sites, I wouldn't judge by what's being licensed as a guide to what's legal. Pretty much SS and IS have gone overboard on legal and restrictions, you won't find much that slipped through. Other sites, out of the US or Canada, have not been as diligent.

Never judge, or make the false conclusion, that what you see available on agencies is an indication of what is accepted now or what is legal. There are different rules on different agencies for a good reason.

Let me help with one more item. Zero Views, Zero Downloads is Normal. If you are looking at older files from the 2004 and 2005 era, that some sites show total DLs, that's not the norm now.



Yeah there has got to be some risk involved.  Even though the time-frame has passed, the copyright of the works may have been purchased by another party.  However submitting them as 'editorial' is surely less risky.
I don't think that's how it works.  The copyright doesn't get extended if someone else buys it, AFAIK.

« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2015, 05:25 »
0
Yes and No.

If someone buys the company and takes over the rights, the original copyright is continued to be in force. Also correct, the time limit on a copyright does not change or extend, because someone buys a company. The term/deadline/expiration is still the same.

Yes, but in old enough images (for example 1884 and earlier) there is not any copyright, there never was, because no such thing existed (not at least in current form). If there never was a copyright, it cannot be renewed or extended.

« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2015, 05:31 »
0
I have done high quality scans, 600 dpi, edited, cleaned and adjusted, sometimes it can take half an hour of more, to make a really clean, high quality, image. And for that? A sub now and then?

I see it more like cultural work, to make images available instead of having them gather dust.

I have gotten decent returns from my engravings, especially from SS. I propably don't have a single image that has only 1 download. It's all about having a fast workflow and scanning only the images that may interest current audiences (and that aren't already on the sites). Also accurate keywording is essential, so I have learned history quite a bit while doing this - I know the story behind every image :D

But now I don't do this anymore, when SS stopped accepting the images, it was the best selling site - hands down.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 05:33 by Perry »

Uncle Pete

« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2015, 13:32 »
0
Yes, I wish I had done more, when they were taking them. As for the rest of the sites, that's what I was referring to - the people that will still take them. Not much action.

My problem was I took too much time, making them perfect and I probably didn't need to.

See below, great way of looking at it. I also look at the search and finding something interesting as good entertainment.

I have done high quality scans, 600 dpi, edited, cleaned and adjusted, sometimes it can take half an hour of more, to make a really clean, high quality, image. And for that? A sub now and then?

I see it more like cultural work, to make images available instead of having them gather dust.

I have gotten decent returns from my engravings, especially from SS. I propably don't have a single image that has only 1 download. It's all about having a fast workflow and scanning only the images that may interest current audiences (and that aren't already on the sites). Also accurate keywording is essential, so I have learned history quite a bit while doing this - I know the story behind every image :D

But now I don't do this anymore, when SS stopped accepting the images, it was the best selling site - hands down.

Copyright, I probably went into too much detail but it's complex and complicated. Countries, ownership, editors of collections vs individuals. Country of publication also makes a difference. How many years after the death of the artist in some modern laws. It's not just about, pick a date, and there's the answer.

Yes, but in old enough images (for example 1884 and earlier) there is not any copyright, there never was, because no such thing existed (not at least in current form). If there never was a copyright, it cannot be renewed or extended.

Really there were no copyrights in 1884? I think you need to check your facts on that.

1) UK - The British Statute of Anne 1710, full title "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned", was the first copyright statute. (basically granting a monopoly on works that printers had published to prevent unauthorized copying = thus Copy Right)

2) USA - An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned.
The Act was signed by the Speaker and the President of the Senate on May 25, 1790. It was signed by George Washington on May 31, 1790.
(it was for 14 years)

3) The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, usually known as the Berne Convention, is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886.

But: Before the Berne Convention, national copyright laws usually only applied for works created within each country. So for example a work published in United Kingdom by a British national would be covered by copyright there, but could be copied and sold by anyone in France.

Berne Convention was devised to have the International copyright laws, cover works, from anywhere and their reproduction, anywhere else. It was supposed to enable some uniformity. Unfortunately the US didn't stick with the same rules as the rest of the world. We're getting closer.

4) USA before 1923 it's Public Domain. The rights have run out. There's a nice easy one.  :)

I think your assumption that anything from 1884 is probably public domain, is valid, although, in theory someone born in 1874, who published something in 1884 and then lived to be 100, would take that work to 1974 - and 50 years after their death would be... 2024. Not impossible but highly unlikely and improbable.

How many ten year olds have works worth renewing the copyright after expiration? Which is another complication. Some old works, were never properly protected and many were never renewed.

I think the reason SS has dropped this is nothing more than legal complications and not knowing if someone who makes or copies something, is aware of the source and the actual copyright laws. Rather than get into impossible reviews and expensive research, (not to ignore possible lawsuits for infringement) they just said "no more". Also as we have seen over and over, some people will copy, steal, and claim works as their own, for a few more downloads.


 

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