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geogphotos

Orphan Works puzzlement

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Not an unexpected problem this. As I mentioned on another thread I enjoy buying up neglected old photo slides at house clearance auctions. And some of the pics are interesting and actually of some cultural and historical importance. But they are Orphan Works - I own the slides but not the copyright, and the auctioneers don't know the copyright owner and often they have come through a circuitous route through dealers and intermediaries to the auction. They have almost certainly never been published - they are family and travel pics, that sort of thing.

 

 I duly contacted the Orphan Works Licensing Team, Intellectual Property Office. 

 

I explained that I possibly had a couple of hundred slides that I wanted to show as low res, small images on the internet for the public to see and perhaps for the interest of publishers ( who knows). 

 

Their reply told me that I needed to apply for an Orphan Works licence. Yes. I know the procedure. If you have an OW and you want to publish it in a book ( or whatever) you do a diligent search and then you can pay a licence fee from the OW office.  So I reminded them that this was not what I actually wanted to do and repeated that I was talking about hundreds of low res images that I wanted to scan and just show on my website etc etc. ( admittedly a form of publishing )

 

Their reply basically repeated their first email about how to apply for an OW licence for an image after doing a diligent search etc.

 

I cannot show anybody these images without a licence and a licence can only be purchased if the intended use in a publication is know. It seems that there is no blanket licence that could cover a large number of low res images. This seems like a perfect Catch 22.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos

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Okay, an update. Have been told that just to apply costs £80 for each 30 images, and that is before and licence fee. 

 

So it look as though these Orphans are going to stay hidden in slide boxes along with all the rest that must be out there. 

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I would have thought that displaying the images on a suitable website with an appeal for information about the copyright owner(s) would fulfill at least part of the requirement for doing a diligent search as far as orphan works legislation goes and be covered under fair use as far as copyright legislation. 

 

After all, it's not as if you're expecting to "cough" profit from their publication.😊

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30 minutes ago, John Richmond said:

covered under fair use

The fair dealing exception is very narrow (CDPA s30). It's not the rich man's get-out-of-jail-free card that fair use is in the US.

IMO it wouldn't cover this. You might take a calculated risk to show the images, together with a notice to copyright holders that they could contact you to have the images removed (more likely they'd want a copy!) and let any potential publisher do the OW legwork.

Edited by spacecadet
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Great comments. Thanks

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Some inspiration here, perhaps, about one way of dealing with anonymous pix...

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4 hours ago, John Morrison said:

Some inspiration here, perhaps, about one way of dealing with anonymous pix...

 

Interesting though why did the photo lab have all these old rolls of film dating back to Soviet times? 

 

 

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Interesting though why did the photo lab have all these old rolls of film dating back to Soviet times? 

 

 

Taken in for developing and abandoned, maybe. It must happen.

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23 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Taken in for developing and abandoned, maybe. It must happen.

 

But the Ukraine war was in 2014.

 

Must have been a lot of people wondering what happened to the films that they had sent in! 

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4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

But the Ukraine war was in 2014.

 

Must have been a lot of people wondering what happened to the films that they had sent in! 

They were all at least 25 years old- my guess is, a bunch of very old stuff chucked in a drawer. I still have spare prints that were never delivered, replaced or whatever from the 90s. These go back to the 40s. Forgotten, is my guess. Some are obviously professional work- easy enough to see how that gets left in a studio.

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8 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Must have been a lot of people wondering what happened to the films that they had sent in! 

 

They were more patient back then. "One day", they used to say, "my prints will come"...

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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

They were all at least 25 years old- my guess is, a bunch of very old stuff chucked in a drawer. I still have spare prints that were never delivered, replaced or whatever from the 90s. These go back to the 40s. Forgotten, is my guess. Some are obviously professional work- easy enough to see how that gets left in a studio.

 

 

What I mean is that you send films to a photo lab to have them processed and then they return the film and prints to you. Some of these pictures are dated back to the 1970s and the finder says that he wants to return the negs and slides to the original photographers if he can find them. 

 

Maybe it was some sort of communal darkroom space? But some of the films look like they are from very cheap instamatic cameras.

 

Not that it matters. I was just curious, 

 

Interesting story.

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1 minute ago, John Morrison said:

 

They were more patient back then. "One day", they used to say, "my prints will come"...

 

 

You still using that one! 😁

Edited by geogphotos

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5 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

You still using that one! 😁

 

The old ones are the best... which is what people also say about me. 😀

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2 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

What I mean is that you send films to a photo lab to have them processed and then they return the film and prints to you. Some of these pictures are dated back to the 1970s and the finder says that he wants to return the negs and slides to the original photographers if he can find them. 

 

Maybe it was some sort of communal darkroom space? But some of the films look like they are from very cheap instamatic cameras.

 

Not that it matters. I was just curious, 

 

Interesting story.

Yes, I'm surprised the finder didn't ask the question of how they came to be there.

Another thought. KGB used to confiscate films from people who went somewhere they weren't supposed to. Perhaps they're confiscated films, processed, found to be innocuous and not returned.

It happened while I was working at the weapons range in the 90s- a public beach adjoins it and somebody took photographs over the fence. We processed and printed them but there was nothing they shouldn't have seen. So they were returned. At least they got free processing and some prints- I'm guessing the KGB didn't bother with that..

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7 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Yes, I'm surprised the finder didn't ask the question of how they came to be there.

Another thought. KGB used to confiscate films from people who went somewhere they weren't supposed to. Perhaps they're confiscated films, processed, found to be innocuous and not returned.

It happened while I was working at the weapons range in the 90s- a public beach adjoins it and somebody took photographs over the fence. We processed and printed them but there was nothing they shouldn't have seen. So they were returned. At least they got free processing and some prints- I'm guessing the KGB didn't bother with that..

 

Do tell....unless it's an official secret.

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46 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

Do tell....unless it's an official secret.

The fact that I worked at Proof & Experimental Establishment, Shoeburyness isn't, at least, I don't think it is. High-speed 16mm cine, trials recording, video, and all the stills work because no-one else could lawfully take photographs. All the processing, including cine, for reasons of confidentiality. Blowing stuff up, helicopter rides, the works. We spent millions.

 

 

Edited by spacecadet

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6 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

The fact that I worked at Proof & Experimental Establishment, Shoeburyness isn't, at least, I don't think it is. High-speed 16mm cine, trials recording, video, and all the stills work because no-one else could lawfully take photographs. All the processing, including cine, for reasons of confidentiality. Blowing stuff up, helicopter rides, the works. We spent millions.

G3XB1K.jpg

The Duke of Kent's ride and 18" rail gun.

 

It sounds like the stuff of a James Bond film.

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20 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

It sounds like the stuff of a James Bond film.

That as well. Items acquired by certain means that had to be covered up with camouflage netting at the end of the day in case anybody was looking from above, that sort of thing. Items with funny writing inside.;)

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