Dustjacket author photo guidance

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Dustjacket author photo guidance

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Déc 9, 2015, 5:14pm

Might I ask some counsel please? The situation briefly stated is this. Very obscure author, who published four novels in the 1930s, died in military service shortly after and is unrepresented here or, as far as I can ascertain, anywhere else online by any photograph whatsoever. One copy I own of one of his books, published by Grayson and Grayson who I don't think themselves outlasted the 1930s, has a dustjacket whose back carries rather a fine photo of him, by, of course, an unnamed photographer. Probably there are other examples of the dustjacket somewhere in the world, but I can't be sure of that. I'd rather like to upload a scan of the photograph, which doesn't seem to meet our usual guidelines for observing copyright regarding pictures of authors: then again, we upload, as far as I know, scans of the front covers of books without hesitating over such matters. Would LT be happy to host the image or should I keep it to myself?

Déc 9, 2015, 5:31pm

The position is a bit contradictory.

On the one hand, LT does say that copyright is taken seriously and that permission should be obtained. On the other hand, failure to do so is not a basis for flagging the image. ("Rather than using member moderation of image copyright, LibraryThing now relies on the instruments and protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). ")

I think you are safe in uploading the author image, just indicate in the "credit" line where you found it. When I use an image the photographer of which is not listed, I say "Uncredited photo found at . . .")

But that's just my opinion!

Déc 9, 2015, 5:59pm

>2 lilithcat:

Thank you. I wouldn't have a clue as to where to begin seeking permission in this instance, but I was becoming disposed to be emboldened by the freedom we assume to upload front cover images which are equally someone's work and I presume equally subject to copyright. Anyone who wishes to know what Seton Peacey looked like can now do so: somebody may, one day.

Modifié : Déc 9, 2015, 6:02pm

I would also add the date of the book. It's probably out of copyright.

Seton Peacey

Déc 9, 2015, 6:09pm

>4 MarthaJeanne:

Thanks. I'd done so in the Copyright section but have now added to the publicly visible description.

Déc 10, 2015, 9:51am

If this is a U.S. publication, the publisher going out of business is likely an indication that they did not renew the copyright for the photo (work for hire). In any event, there is probably a very low chance that anyone will come after you for its use.

Plus, I think a strong case could be made that this usage falls under the "fair use" provisions of U.S. copyright law. If it was published elsewhere, different rules may apply, of course.


Déc 10, 2015, 11:01am

The publishers were British, and the book doesn't seem to have been published anywhere else: or ever again after the first edition, though one of my copies (the one with the d-j) is in a secondary binding. UK copyright on photographs persists for 70 years after the death of the photographer, which is likely enough to have been after 1945. Still, realistically, the chance of anyone coming forward to claim ownership of a photograph of an author fallen into such obscurity that nobody else on LT admits to owning a copy of any of his books does seem infinitesimal.