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Old 04-24-2021, 02:01 PM   #21
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 578

Originally Posted by Moffat Road View Post
In reference to your first question, as far as I know, as long as a photographer gives permission for someone to post a photo online, it is okay. Obviously, a photo credit is much appreciated.

I don’t know all of the copyright laws, but a quick search online revealed a little more information:

Answering your second question is this sentence from the article, “The photographer who pushed the button owns the copyright. A photographer will own that copyright throughout their life and 70 years afterwards.”

This is where these postings of other photographer’s photos from people’s collections on RailPics is not right. I believe the original photographer still owns the copyright.

If anyone has any other information, maybe they can share it here too.


Mike Danneman

Thanks for clarifying this. I always thought that copyright ownership was transferred with the original piece of film (slide or negative). Your link and many others seemed to focus more on written works and digital images. I wanted to specifically clarify this, so I drilled a little more and found this discussion of Getty's attempt to copyright works obtained from the Smithsonian.

A specific excerpt:

"We must remember that copyright is an intangible intellectual property. Negatives and chromes are tangible."


"It is important to note “acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.” US Copyright Office"

That article specifically deals with "fair use", which boils down to stating that the use of copyrighted material for non-profit educational purposes is not copyright infringement, and probably addresses Greg's concern for historical societies.
Doug Lilly

My RP Pics are HERE.

I've now got a Flickr. account, too.

Last edited by Decapod401; 04-24-2021 at 02:04 PM.
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