Jump to content
  • 0

Question about magazine covers


Question

I was a keen guitarist when I was younger and I have a bunch of guitar magazines from the early 1990s. I have photographed some of these and wondered if they can be uploaded to Alamy and under what conditions? I was planning to make them editorial only which I think would be required. But in addition, I'm wondering whether I need to mark them as non-exclusive as per the recent Alamy guidelines?

 

I've photographed the magazines outside on a wooden table. I've paired them in terms of covers that seem to go together, as I thought this might be more interesting that photographing them individually. The covers feature images of people such as Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Mark Knopfler, Joe Satriani etc.

 

I can see many examples of magazine covers, album covers, book covers etc on Alamy, but I'm a little unclear about the conditions under which such photos can be uploaded. I am happy to tick the non-exclusive box if this is what is required as per Alamy's recent message on this, but I'm not quite sure if what they were referring to includes magazine covers. In the case of album covers, they often do depict artwork, so I'm guessing they may need to be non-inclusive if photographed in isolation without context.

 

I also photographed some packets of vegetable seeds with the brand on the front. I've had brands of things appear incidentally in other photos I've taken, but in this case they are more isolated, so again, a bit unsure about these. I can ask Alamy directly, but given they are busy and likely to have slower response times at present, I thought I would just run this past the forum first.

 

I am thinking at the moment to make them editorial only and non-exclusive even though only uploading them to Alamy (and all my images are RM). Just a bit confused about magazine covers, branded items etc, and interested to know your thoughts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

23 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

I can't answer all of your post but I would think that there is still copyright in existence on the images used on the covers.

 

Allan

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

+1. It's a non-starter in my book.

Additionally, as you don't own the copyright in the photographs on the covers, you'd be in breach of contract.

There is plenty of this sort of stuff on Alamy, but that's by the bye- it's in breach of contract as well, and presumably Alamy is getting round to dealing with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There are a lot of book covers, LP covers and the like on Alamy. I asked Penguin about it once and you will not be surprised by their answer!

 

As with other artwork it comes down to copyright ( whether you are permitted)  and context ( whether they will be considered exclusive). There are ways to photograph books/magazines and create new a copyright which is more than just a 2D copy. 

 

This from DACs might be relevant:

 

"Copyright in typographical arrangements of a published edition has the shortest duration under UK copyright law: it lasts for 25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was first published."

 

So it could be that your mag front covers are not under copyright if more than 25 years old, and if you photograph them other than as a straight 2D copy and add context you could argue that they become eligible to be exclusive. 

 

Just my opinion and I'd take that with a huge pinch of salt. 😜

Edited by geogphotos
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

"Copyright in typographical arrangements of a published edition has the shortest duration under UK copyright law: it lasts for 25 years from the end of the year in which the edition was first published."

true but any photographs will have the usual copyright duration.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
25 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

true but any photographs will have the usual copyright duration.

 

 

I just don't know for sure, but would assume that the copyright covers the entire cover rather than the individual components of it. ie) photographing the layout of the magazine cover which included text, images, graphics does not infringe copyright of each of them. You are making a photo to show what the cover looks like.

 

As ever it would be best for the OP to ask Alamy.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Many thanks for all of your answers. Yes it sounds that I would be in breach of copyright, which I definitely don't want to do. I had been thinking that if they were editorial, then someone writing a blog article about guitar players of the 90s, for example, may want to use such a picture, and I thought this might not be a copyright issue. But I do not know enough and want to do the right thing, so I think it is best I don't upload the images. I did notice many magazine covers on Alamy which was making me unclear about what is ok, but as you mention Space Cadet it may not be something Alamy wants to happen.

 

And thanks Geophotos, yes there may be a possibility of it being ok as all the magazines were between 1990 and 1994. But as Space Cadet says there is the issue of the copyright of the photos themselves. Even though there is plenty of writing on the covers partially obscuring the images, someone could still copy part of an image. I agree with you, the best thing is to ask Alamy directly.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
11 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I just don't know for sure, but would assume that the copyright covers the entire cover rather than the individual components of it. ie) photographing the layout of the magazine cover which included text, images, graphics does not infringe copyright of each of them. You are making a photo to show what the cover looks like.

 

As ever it would be best for the OP to ask Alamy.

 

 

You're still copying the photograph in its entirety. The 25-year term for a typographical arrangement is a separate copyright- it doesn't replace the copyright in the component images.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
30 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

You're still copying the photograph in its entirety. The 25-year term for a typographical arrangement is a separate copyright- it doesn't replace the copyright in the component images.

 

I tend to disagree but don't know enough. I think that there is a distinction between making a photograph of the entirety of the magazine cover to illustrate what it looked like when it was published more than 25 years ago - issue number, headline, font of typeface, masthead, price and so on -  and the copyright of its individual components such as a photograph that is within the overall design.

 

But as ever best to ask Alamy.  

Edited by geogphotos
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

I tend to disagree but don't know enough. I think that there is a distinction between making a photograph of the entirety of the magazine cover to illustrate what it looked like when it was published more than 25 years ago - issue number, headline, font of typeface, masthead, price and so on -  and the copyright of its individual components such as a photograph that is within the overall design.

 

But as ever best to ask Alamy.  

I agree that there's a distinction- it's that the layout has a short copyright term but the individual photographs making it up have a much longer one. There might be a fair dealing defence for a publisher of such an image but I don't think that would be good enough for Alamy.

That's one reason why I think Alamy's answer would be no- bearing in mind that it tends to take the path of least resistance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 minutes ago, Michael Ventura said:

Book and magazine covers (as well as music album covers) are in demand and are sold everyday on Alamy.  Not sure of the legalities but Alamy definitely has them and sells them.

Yes, stacks of them. But the OP sought opinions and mine is that the newer ones are in breach of copyright. I'd be surprised, with all the exclusivity shenanigans going on at the moment, if Alamy didn't think so too. It's a no-brainer in my book that a cover comes within Alamy's definition of "artwork".

The nearest I have are some wine labels, but they're attached to the bottles and so well in context, and it's probably the nearest I will go. They've sold too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Yes, stacks of them. But the OP sought opinions and mine is that the newer ones are in breach of copyright. I'd be surprised, with all the exclusivity shenanigans going on at the moment, if Alamy didn't think so too. It's a no-brainer in my book that a cover comes within Alamy's definition of "artwork".

The nearest I have are some wine labels, but they're attached to the bottles and so well in context, and it's probably the nearest I will go. They've sold too.

 

If you search for nearly any resent best seller book cover, you will find it on Alamy.   And yes, it should fall into the definition of "Artwork".

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, Avpics said:

Maybe place a guitar such that the head stock appears in frame, add a few picks. That'd give enough for context wouldn't it?

You don't just need context- you need permission to reproduce the photographs.

Edited by spacecadet
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 hours ago, Avpics said:

Maybe place a guitar such that the head stock appears in frame, add a few picks. That'd give enough for context wouldn't it?

 

Thanks Avpics. I thought about doing something like this as I have guitars and guitar accessories. However, I think I'll leave the magazine issue for now until I'm clearer about what the parameters are. I've emailed Alamy about it, but with potential delays at present it might be a while before I get a response.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

Thanks Avpics. I thought about doing something like this as I have guitars and guitar accessories. However, I think I'll leave the magazine issue for now until I'm clearer about what the parameters are. I've emailed Alamy about it, but with potential delays at present it might be a while before I get a response.

 

 

My guess is that Alamy will remind you that contributors are responsible for what they upload and of making sure that it is within the contract. There are all sorts of images on Alamy that might or might not be within the rules but my decision is to try and play it as safe as possible ( no doubt I have made mistakes and poor decisions).

 

It is not Alamy's responsibility to check our decisions and if it goes wrong we will each be on our own. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

An Alamy search for "magazine cover" finds 132,935 images. Not all are marked editorial only. Which means nothing in terms of copyright infringement, but you'd not be alone in posting them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
17 hours ago, noelbennett said:

So an old dogeared paperback bought 30 years ago should be ok? 

No.

To repeat, copyright in a typographical layout as such is ony 25 years, but that doesn't include photographs. Copyright in them lasts for the usual term- now 70 years from the death of the photographer.

You can only be fairly sure (only fairly) that a photograph is out of UK copyright if it was taken before 1912. The 1911 Act extended copyright to 50 years after the death of the photographer. It was extended to 70, retrospectively, in 1995.

It's quite possible that a photographer working in 1913 could have survived until 1950- his copyright would expire at the end of 2021.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
22 hours ago, Avpics said:

Maybe place a guitar such that the head stock appears in frame, add a few picks. That'd give enough for context wouldn't it?

 

Sorry, Avpics, was just trying to write another message and it put your quote in again.

 

Anyway, thanks for the above comments. You have convinced me further to avoid magazines all together. I think I was mistaken in thinking that if something is used editorially and not commercially, that this would make it not a breach of copyright. I am still confused about the vast number of branded images on Alamy and elsewhere, and thought my photos of vegetable seed packets would be ok if editorial (e.g. could be used for an article on home gardening), and there are many of these on Alamy as well. But if there is any risk of breaching copyright, then I'm not going there. My knowledge in this area is limited, so thanks for the various input.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 minutes ago, noelbennett said:

On Alamy Measures-All of Alamy,  there are over 8000 images of vintage magazines!

So there are but that doesn't mean they don't potentially infringe copyright. As I said, that others do it doesn't change that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Just in case it is of help to anyone wondering about the same things, I have had a helpful response from Alamy about the questions I had above.

 

With regard to magazine covers, both the layout and images could be subject to copyright protection. A direct copy of a cover, if subject to protection, is likely to be more problematic than an image with context such as someone reading it. However, as the rules are not definitive about what constitutes enough context, the issue would come down to what the copyright holder is arguing in a particular case. If I did upload such magazine covers, it is advised I provide as much context as possible and mark them as editorial only.

 

On the basis of this, I've decided I won't upload the magazine covers, as there is some potential that I may be breaching copyright, which I don't want to do. In many cases it might actually be ok, especially if there is plenty of context, but I'd prefer to play it safe.

 

The other query I had was about branded items. To be licensed for commercial use or marked as RF an image with branding requires a property release. However, such images can be licensed editorially, and if I want to I can further demarcate that they are not for commercial use.

 

On the basis of this, I am happy to upload my images of packets of vegetable seeds.

 

I just thought I would share that info in case it helps clarify things for others.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.