Stephen Percy Larcombe
I had legal advise on something similar to that over 20 years ago. I wanted to small text book/catalogue from the 1950s, the solicitor made attempts to find the original company that published the book, with a company search, and found the company that purchased the assets from the liquidator, and then the company who purchased the assets from the next liquidator, etc.... I wrote a letter to the last company, who replied that they do not own any copyrights. So perhaps the copyrights were sold else where, or no one owns them any more. The end advise was, that I made reasonable efforts to find the owner, and that if some one does eventually come out of the wood work and claims to own the copyright, and can provide reasonable evidence they own it, then a reasonable royalty payment should be reached if needed.
I have noticed that places like the state museum, or the national film and sound archive charge a large fee for the use of materials they own in their archives, even if the material was/is owned by some one else. An example is some film about 10 minutes of Australian built McDonald tractors being driven from Richmond to Spencer street railway station and being loaded on to a train bound to WA by a steam crane, they wanted about $3500 for me to purchase that film, if I were to try and sell it.
The film was donated to them by the son of the founder of the company, the film was a promotional film for McDonald, and technically would be owned be the company who purchased the assets of McDonald. The national film and sound archive justification for the fee was "the cost of maintaining the archive"
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 23:45:35 +1100
Subject: [LRRSA] Re: : Copyright Photo Dilemmas
I have seen that copyright exists until 70 years after death of author.
I'm wanting to self publish a children's title that will include an image
of a Victorian Railways poster published sometime between 1928 and 1934.
Information I'm getting states that copyright still exists to a UK artist
- problem is how to contact those who hold the copyright and seek
permission for publication.