Postcard Question

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Postcard Question

Postby MalvernRailway on Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:40 pm

Hello all, I've just won this postcard on ebay and I'd like to check who the publisher was to get permission to use it on a blog. Does anyone know which series this image is from? There's no information on the back. All it says on the front is 'The Wyche, Malvern' and '9167'.

http://thumbs3.picclick.com/d/w1600/pict/391526188978_/Old-Postcard-The-Wyche-Malvern.jpg
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Re: Postcard Question

Postby Moonraker on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:47 pm

Postcard copyright questions such as yours crop up from time to time on a military website to which I belong, with pragmatism often being suggested. The chances of determining the copyright holder and being able to contact them are remote - as, indeed, are the chances of the holder coming across any reproduction of the image and minding that it has been used.

You could include a disclaimer on your blog, on the lines of "It has not [always] been possible to locate the owners of copyright material used on this blog. If you believe you own the copyright of any photograph [or written material], please contact me so that I may acknowledge this - always assuming you are happy for it to continue to be included here."

Or you could just use the second sentence.
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Re: Postcard Question

Postby MalvernRailway on Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:15 pm

Thanks Moonraker, that's what I'll probably do. I once told an archivist that I was going to put such a disclaimer on my blog, and she looked at me aghast, telling me it was a great risk to rely on such a statement and that a disclaimer offered no legal protection if I were to be sued. Since then I've been a little wary, but yes, I have no way of identifying the publisher from the original card so what else can I do?
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Re: Postcard Question

Postby Moonraker on Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:15 am

Your archivist may be technically correct, but thousands of postcards have been reproduced in books and on websites where it has been impossible or very difficult to determine who owns copyright, especially a century or more after the image first appeared. It would not be worthwhile anyone suing someone who may have made such a minor infringement.

Copying pages of someone else's text is a different matter. Back in 1999 a local author wrote me a stroppy letter saying that I had infringed her copyright when I published a précis of 168 words from one of her books. There was then - and there still may be - a tacit convention that one could reasonably print word-for-word up to 200, 400 or 800 words (depending on which "authority" you consulted) of someone else's work, with an acknowledgement. And in this day of cut & paste on websites ...
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Re: Postcard Question

Postby MalvernRailway on Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:17 pm

Thanks a lot Moonraker, you're probably right. The copyright isn't my only concern: I'd like to give credit where due, but if there is no copyright symbol on the picture (and it is an original postcard, not a copy), then what can I do? My blog is also non-profit so there's little reason to get annoyed about misuse of pictures.
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