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Who owns your photos after you die? An interesting read.
Jul 18, 2021 18:36:43   #
via the lens Loc: Northern California, near Yosemite NP
 
This topic comes up here now and then and I ran across an article of interest on it, an excerpt from the article:

"In 1976, an overhaul of the Copyright Act enshrined stronger protections. Today, artists generally receive copyrights to their works by default; after they die, the protections pass to their heirs for seventy years. During that period, whether you’ve purchased a negative for pennies at an estate sale or a print for millions at Christie’s, simply owning a physical image does not entitle you to reproduce it in any form."

And the article itself: https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/who-owns-mike-disfarmers-photographs.

You own your images and your heirs own them after your death...maybe you will be leaving behind a larger estate than you thought! People so, however, seem to believe that a digital image is theirs and is free for the taking.

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Jul 18, 2021 18:46:26   #
Ysarex
 
Getty Images.

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Jul 18, 2021 18:46:33   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Man, my dear Wife constantly accuses me of being a worrier. I prefer to think of it as being a Strategist and Tactician. This issue doesn't even make the lowest end of my list. I have inherited and possess all the family photos, negatives, slides, movies, Betas, VHS, digital media (except what my grown Kids produce and have). Earliest to the start of photography, latest today. If it would go with me, and I speak from experience, there would be no burden for my Spouse or heirs.

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Jul 18, 2021 18:57:19   #
via the lens Loc: Northern California, near Yosemite NP
 
Ysarex wrote:
Getty Images.


You've willed them to Getty....

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Jul 18, 2021 19:57:37   #
BebuLamar
 
So 70 years after you die nobody can use your images? That's too bad though.

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Jul 18, 2021 20:27:30   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
This is MORBID!

Simple answer. You make a proper and notarized last will and testament and leave it all to someone you care about, trust, and will benefit from it.

I will make sure to keep every neat, clan and organized so I will no leave behind a hoard or a mess for everyone to clean up.

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Jul 18, 2021 20:27:55   #
krl48 Loc: South Cackalackee by way of NY & PA
 
BebuLamar wrote:
So 70 years after you die nobody can use your images? That's too bad though.


According to Wikipedia, everybody can use your images after 70 years....it goes into the public domain. The copyright on work for hire last 120 years.

"70 years
Copyright protection generally lasts for 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was a "work for hire", then copyright persists for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever is shorter.

Copyright law of the United States - Wikipedia"

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Jul 19, 2021 09:04:55   #
Picture Taker Loc: Michigan Thumb
 
You won't care?

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Jul 19, 2021 11:00:00   #
via the lens Loc: Northern California, near Yosemite NP
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
This is MORBID!

Simple answer. You make a proper and notarized last will and testament and leave it all to someone you care about, trust, and will benefit from it.

I will make sure to keep every neat, clan and organized so I will no leave behind a hoard or a mess for everyone to clean up.


Your first statement, "This is MORBID," is sort of odd. The article is simply about who has the rights to a photographer's work after their death, nothing morbid about that, we do die unfortunately. Digital photography can be more easily taken so I'm sure there will be future issues with digital images to be settled in some way. There is nothing morbid about ensuring that our images and any rights to them end up where we might want them.

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Jul 19, 2021 12:41:03   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
via the lens wrote:
Your first statement, "This is MORBID," is sort of odd. The article is simply about who has the rights to a photographer's work after their death, nothing morbid about that, we do die, unfortunately. Digital photography can be more easily taken so I'm sure there will be future issues with digital images to be settled in some way. There is nothing morbid about ensuring that our images and any rights to them end up where we might want them.


Just my feelings on the matter- not foisting on anyone else. Believe me, I have experienced many losses in my lifetime and I know all about death. I have also seen families fight over inheritances and such. So, my advice is simple. Get your stuff in order, do not leave a hoard or a mess for others to be burdened with, and take care of the legalities while you are still alive and healthy and as they say in the legal community "of sound mind..."

So many folks are concerned about what other folks think or feel and get upset if it doesn't conform to their feelings or opinions.

Besides, most of my work is "commercial" and after a while, it has no particular artistic or monetary value. I am not a famous photographer with a "big name" in the art community so my personal work may just be a souvienere for my family.

Photographers persist in asking other photograher about legal complexities like copyright issues they should really seek out professional advice from their lawyer. Speaking of death, so may Google their medical advice and end up very sick or dead. DIY legal matters do not end well!

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Jul 19, 2021 13:02:57   #
DWU2 Loc: Phoenix area
 
Aside from the stated question related to copyright, considering that topic also causes me to consider, what do you want to happen to your photos when you die? Is there anyone who knows where and how they're stored, how they're filed, and how to find things among them? Do you want more than one person to have copies? Have you done anything about that? Have you thought about documenting these things for your heirs? Have you thought about cleaning up the photo collection and discarding the low-quality or duplicative photos?

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Jul 20, 2021 02:51:40   #
RodeoMan Loc: St Joseph, Missouri
 
via the lens wrote:
This topic comes up here now and then and I ran across an article of interest on it, an excerpt from the article:

"In 1976, an overhaul of the Copyright Act enshrined stronger protections. Today, artists generally receive copyrights to their works by default; after they die, the protections pass to their heirs for seventy years. During that period, whether you’ve purchased a negative for pennies at an estate sale or a print for millions at Christie’s, simply owning a physical image does not entitle you to reproduce it in any form."

And the article itself: https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/who-owns-mike-disfarmers-photographs.

You own your images and your heirs own them after your death...maybe you will be leaving behind a larger estate than you thought! People so, however, seem to believe that a digital image is theirs and is free for the taking.
This topic comes up here now and then and I ran ac... (show quote)


Thank you. This was fascinating and imformative. I have admired Disfarmer's work for a long time.

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