Ask Jean! Copyright in Photographs

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| September 4, 2007


You asked your legal, copyright and trademark questions, and Jean has answered! All questions are taken from comments posted on the original ‘Ask Jean’ post. We invite you to ask more questions.

Dear Jean,

I was asked to make some copies of Grandma’s old picture. It is a probably a 40-year old picture, but it has been copyrighted by a photographer. What is the best way to make copies?


Dear Hiromi,

The best way is to get permission from the photograph copyright owner if you can. It’s also possible that the photograph has entered the public domain. If the photograph was taken in 1967, the copyright term at that time was 28 years. But the copyright law was revised in 1976 and may have affected the copyright term of the photograph so it is difficult to determine its copyright status.


Ask Jean responses consist of general legal information and do not constitute specific legal advice or create an attorney client privilege. Please consult your own attorney about your specific legal issues.


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