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Recently Expired Copyright?

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:26 am
by Lumberjack
For some time, there has been a very significant collection of images by Wilhelm Hester on the internet, here Wilhelm Hester died in 1947, so - does that mean that these images are now in the public domain, or might there still be some other restrictions on their use?

Re: Recently Expired Copyright?

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:50 am
by AndyJ
Hi Lumberjack,
Good to hear from you again.

Yes, I can see no reason why the works of Wilhelm Hester should not now be in the public domain (ie out of copyright) here in Europe. However the situation in the USA is more complicated and will depend on whether his photographs were registered with the Copyright Office (part of the Library of Congress) and whether any which were registered were also re-registered in the 27tth year of the first registration period. This could have been done after the watershed point of 1923, but if most of his photographs were taken before 1906, as the University of Washington website suggests, and were never registered, they will have been out of copyright in the USA since the coming into force of the US 1976 Copyright Act. Not that the situation in the USA should bother you here in the UK, in any case.

Re: Recently Expired Copyright?

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:09 pm
by Lumberjack
Thanks Andy,
I have already seen some on Wikimedia saying they are now public domain, I may well contact them, just to be sure.