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Copies of Postcards

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:38 pm
by oldpostcarder
There are a number of sellers online who appear to be doing rather well selling scanned copies of postcards, I wonder who buys these?

As a collector, I much prefer the real thing... woudln't you?


Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:43 pm
by Moonraker
Very odd. I'm sure that we already had a thread about this, to which I contributed. It referred to a discussion in Picture Postcard Monthly and recently I noted the very high positive feedback for one particular person who enjoys large sales on eBay. Some purchasers, having bought particular cards, noticed that copies, blemishes and all, were being listed on eBay. I also observed that it was annoying to search for cards of a particular village with strong railway links and find that half the listings were for copies.

But I can't find the thread. Certainly it was not complimentary of the copiers but I can recall nothing that was potentially libellous and so meriting its removal.

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:33 pm
by eastlondonpostcard
Yes, there was another thread which was moved out of the public eye while the wording is analyzed for possible libel.

Apologies to the contributors concerned.

It appears post card 'copyright' has once again become a very contentious & sensitive issue.

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:23 pm
by johnh
I have now reported the seller to Ebay he has scanned at least 40 0000 cards, 72 of them cards are mine i cant mention his name on here as my last post about this fraudulent seller was removed as he threatened legal action to protect his £ 1000 a month dishonest business ,I urge all buyers and sellers to do the same ,if you have brought or sold he will have copied them

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:41 pm
by eastlondonpostcard
Thanks for the update on this contentious issue. Would be interested to hear how the reporting goes and whether any action is taken by ebay...

A lesson for sellers to put a watermark on their images before listing online too.

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:16 pm
by Moonraker
I contributed to the original thread, now deleted. The practice annoys me, as some my localised searches on eBay lead to results dominated by modern prints of old postcards. The person that JohnH may have in mind is not as annoying as his Australian counterpart who many times uses the phrases "OLD LARGE HISTORIC PHOTO " to describe his copies. Negative comments by people who have been misled or disappointed with the quality of the copies mean he has only 98.6% positive feedback - quite low by eBay standards. But 10,400 customers were happy with their transactions...

I fear that eBay will be unsympathetic to JohnH's complaint - and I suspect that our Moderator would not relish us getting into a debate about the ethics.

It would appear that eBay may be the person's main harvesting area; even if he were to be banned there, he could easily trawl other websites for similar images.

(To go off topic, my other eBay dislike are people who offer "Old antique prints" that are pages torn from old magazines - which hopefully were very tatty to start with, rather than in good condition - at prices up to £60 a page.)

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:44 am
by PeteRollo
Firstly for point of clarity, I do not sell any scanned images of postcards and I have never even resold any of my humble collection. However, along with other normal photos I do remastering of them for various uses. Some remasters I do sell (but not on eBay etc) - and they are very clearly labelled as such. Basically I enjoy getting what detail I can out of the images. Using specialist software (some of which is my own programming) I can get, on many occasions, details that could not be seen by the eye or magnifying glass. To achieve this I have to use various techniques to restore the image completely. Small example, if its faded on one side (or top to bottom) I have to blend in by smoothly contrasting from left to right or vice versa. Once that's done, I de-blur, sharpen, etc the image as necessary. Next is localised contrasting and detail enhancing. How many times have you wondered what was going on in that darkened or shaded area? On average I get about 70-80% success. Some are just that - too black or too white (or same with colours) that nothing can be done. I can also recover lost text too!
Especially if the originals are so poor that not much can be done with them, then I create my own artwork to bring some life into what would be a discarded image. Again, I sometimes sell these, as they are very popular (but again, not on eBay or other sites) - they are also clearly noted that they came from an original.
I do not use artificial touching up such as Photoshop! . I only use organic techniques.

In summary, what I am trying to say is -
1) Original postcards are what they are, and copies should not be mis-sold as being original, even though they may have been "reconstructed" from the original negative. I stupidly fell for this once at a show - however the image was real photo and so it was not too bad. Laser printed are easy to spot and should never be used as an original repro tool - shame on them that do.
2) I strongly believe that there are 3 untapped markets out there - that could help and revitalise the Postcard market.
i) Image investigation - to find out what's on that real image.
ii) Using that new image (watermarked etc etc to make sure the image cannot be usefully be used other than to show what the "eye can't see") and providing it as a means to enhance the sale of that "original" card.
iii) Creating alternative artwork from cards that you would otherwise throw away - I have just placed over 300 of these on my local history fb groups and I have loads of people going crazy for them.

I have no intention whatsoever to damage the market of the real postcard market - I just think there are opportunities to revitalise and enhance it, in a good way. I do not subscribe to the darker side of selling what I would class as fakes, so much mentioned in this subject.

If anyone wants to use my services, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do for you

I have attached a small scale image of my artwork derived from a damaged card.

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:40 pm
by Moonraker
All credit to you, Peter, and you make some good comments. I wonder how many collectors buy a card, stick it in their album and don't bother to look at the detail? I have pored over some of mine with a magnifying glass or scanned them into a simple photo program to look for detail, not least lettering.

eBay can be very useful, as it's so simple to enlarge the image of a card that's for sale. Years ago, I bought a card of a newly-built army camp; recently a duplicate was listed on eBay and looking at its enlarged image I spotted details that had previously escaped me.

On the sensitive matter of eBay vendors making multiple listings of copies of postcards, I'm increasingly finding that my precise topographical searches are producing more listings of copies than of the real thing. There is one benefit to me, in that I become aware of cards that I've never seen and which may enhance my researches.

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:19 pm
by oldpostcarder
It's a great thing that you do there Peter; certainly an asset for a collector to be able to see more and also get a better looking image, especially so with a damaged postcard as many are.

Enhancements and improvements are one thing, but to copy images without permission and to sell these on is another... that is the burning issue here.

Q: who actually has the copyright over an old image like a postcard?

Debatable, yes, but if someone uses your image (that you may have paid good money to acquire) for self-gain, is that right and proper? :?:

Re: Copies of Postcards

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:53 pm
by Moonraker
Copyright has been discussed before