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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Legal dispute over ownership of Maier work
Old 09-10-2014   #1
Art Vandalay
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Legal dispute over ownership of Maier work

not sure if the correct forum, but an interesting read: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/06/ar...work.html?_r=0
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Old 09-10-2014   #2
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Yep, it's been posted elsewhere, but I think it merits a separate discussion.

I don't know about you, but stories like this bring out the cynic in me.

Here you have Maloof and co, marketing and selling expensive prints that aren't his own. Granted, he found them and bought them, and I can't comment on the finances of the whole thing, maybe he's losing money who knows.
On the other hand, the timing of the other issue doesn't seem like a coincidence. The search for the heir and the legal dispute will effectively stop pretty much all of Maloof's efforts, and to what gain. The French cousin didn't even know Vivian according to that article.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think there will be a lot of people trying to cash in on this story while it's in the spotlight.
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Old 09-10-2014   #3
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One of the reasons I have always felt that copyrights, including my own, should only be good for the life of the creator. And, where does it stop, each and everyone of the people she photographed can sue because she did not have a model release from them. A legal nightmare, from the works someone that just took pictures as a hobby, not even thinking her work had any value.

In someways it was better when you actually had to register a copyright for it to be valid.
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Old 09-10-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
In someways it was better when you actually had to register a copyright for it to be valid.
Why is that ? I'm not sure I agree.
The very notion of copyright involves distribution rights and commerce, from the little we know about VM I think we can all agree that she never wanted the work to become public.

That's another thing I'm ambivalent about, does the promotion of the work somehow violate her lifelong wish for it to be private or is it ultimately better that we come to discover and (for those who do) appreciate the work ?
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Old 09-10-2014   #5
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I don't think mr. Deal wants to make sure the pictures of Vivian Maier stay out of the public...
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Old 09-10-2014   #6
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Ugh -- just Google the copyright law. When one registers a copyright it makes it much easier to defend and also provides for recovery of legal costs and extra punitive damages. You get more protection and benefits by copyrighting your work.

The prints are Maloof's "own." He paid for the prints. Of course there are interested parties who wish to make a case for him not having the reproduction rights to the negatives.

Nobody can state with authority what VM would or would not want. If it truly mattered to her she would have left a will. That's what people who care about the disposition of their belongings and legacy do.

The people in the photos would have a hard time suing -- they're out in public with no reasonable expectation of privacy. Now if their image was used to market a product like Coke, maybe then they would have a case. But remember these photos are 60 years old or so -- so lets get real.

The "search" for VM heirs has zero enforceability with regards to commerce. All the state (Chicago) can do is request various parties keep good records. They can call it a warning -- but that is verbiage.

Esq Deal -- he's a failed photographer And if a lawyer tells you he's not in it for the money...

Feelings, ill-defined ideas of fairness, unsupported arguments, are valueless in the eyes of the law.
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Old 09-10-2014   #7
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Originally Posted by NY_Dan View Post
The people in the photos would have a hard time suing -- they're out in public with no reasonable expectation of privacy. Now if their image was used to market a product like Coke, maybe then they would have a case. But remember these photos are 60 years old or so -- so lets get real.
This is American Law. In Europe (at least in The Netherlands and Germany) you've got something called Portretrecht in Dutch and Recht am eigenen Bild in German: the right to your own likeness. Using your picture in an advertisement without your consent will be most likely be a violation of that right.
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Old 09-10-2014   #8
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The prints are Maloof's "own." He paid for the prints. Of course there are interested parties who wish to make a case for him not having the reproduction rights to the negatives.
No you're right, it was poor wording on my part. The prints (correction) and the negatives are his own, he bought them, it's only fair. But it isn't his photography. Legally it might not matter, but do you not see a problem here ?

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Nobody can state with authority what VM would or would not want. If it truly mattered to her she would have left a will. That's what people who care about the disposition of their belongings and legacy do.
She was poor and nearly mad towards the end of her life. She didn't have any recognition for the work during her lifetime, so why would she choose to protect it beyond her death ? You're right, we can't know for sure, but her behaviour suggests something, it's not as if it's still uncertain whether or not she was private.

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Originally Posted by NY_Dan View Post
The "search" for VM heirs has zero enforceability with regards to commerce. All the state (Chicago) can do is request various parties keep good records. They can call it a warning -- but that is verbiage.
I don't know law, even less US law. The article does say that the work can't be shown while the dispute is ongoing, that doesn't affect commerce ? What if the heir decides he doesn't want any of the publicity and sales ?


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Feelings, ill-defined ideas of fairness, unsupported arguments, are valueless in the eyes of the law.
Sure but this isn't a courtroom
I brought these ideas for discussion, I didn't say they were legally valid. So, in which way do you think my ideas of fairness are ill-defined ?
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Old 09-10-2014   #9
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I raised this issue in another thread and made a similar error in assuming the work was "frozen."

After further consideration I suspect that this is an attempt to get some "settlement" cash. Additionally, the media is typically very poor at providing accurate reporting relative to legal actions, so I doubt that they have suddenly become a lot better it in this case. Finally, this is the type of thing that will muddle along for years until something comes of it. This benefits the lawyer as their billable time builds over this time period. When a settlement is reached, if it is, the attorney's bills will consume the bulk of the settlement.

I sincerely hope that cataloging and presenting her work is not materially disrupted and, I hope that I have forgotten all about this sad episode by the time I read about the resolution.

I don't know as much as I probably should about copyright law but I doubt that changing it will be appropriate. I am pretty sure there are times when we do not want the heirs to lose the rights to their relative's copyrights.

I think the answer is to do it this way. A lawyer gets to try this once. If it fails then he must work as a janitor for 5 years. He can go back to law after that but he must work for the district attorney or as a public defender for 10 years. Once he has done this he can practices as he pleases.
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Old 09-10-2014   #10
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Lauffray -- your ideas of fairness are based on emotion, which is subjective and as such is not quantitative, thus ill-defined.

"Legally it might not matter, but do you not see a problem here?" No. Would you want your legal rights at the mercy of those who think their beliefs are more moral than yours? Do you think any part of your life would be safe then? Do you want your local police to go by written laws or make up ones that make them feel good as they go along?

Read the following quote closely: "The legal case to determine whether Mr. Baille is Maier’s closest relative has now set in motion a process that Chicago officials say could take years and could result in Maier’s works’ being pulled from gallery inventories and museum shows until a determination is made."

The operative word is could. -- it could take years, it could result in x. In other words the work can be shown. The case could be thrown out of court. Maloof who has the finances to fight, and who has possession of the negs, is in the driver's seat. Here's what will happen -- Maloof will cut a deal with Deal -- a similar deal he already has with the other cousin once removed, and that will be that. (a deal I'm sure is too generous and only made for PR) This is why I get so frustrated reading threads like this -- people don't read! And they don't research the law. VM's mental state may be what you state but it cannot be proven in a court of law. She signed a contract with the storage company. The storage company sold the lots to a wholesaler for $250 -- he divided it up into many lots and sold those sub lots at a modest profit. Maloof bought some of the lots, and he rescued some other stored items from the garbage -- literally. Say what you will about Maloof -- but he worked hard, developed the resource, and was in the end a very competent businessman -- if he had done as much selling hamburgers you would be singing his praises. Remember if not for Maloof's industry all VM's industry would have been for naught.

Lastly (Lord hear my prayer) -- Esq Deal will not have the funds for depositions, experts, court costs, etc etc etc And if Deal remains the cousin once removed lawyer, he will be obligated to take any offer Maloof makes to his client -- whom I imagine is not that young -- he will want to see some cash while he can still spend it -- really based on FACTS, LAW, and even self-interest, is there a more likely outcome? I think not. If Maloof gets annoyed and stonewalls Deal and co -- it will be to their detriment, not his.

As for the state of Chicago -- it will garner taxes -- income and sales from Maloof's industry.

I give thanks to VM and Maloof for raising so much public interest and appreciation for photographers and photography. Many people who have formed a "bond" of sorts with VM will buy her work and eventually the work of others -- they will become collectors -- and this will be good for galleries -- which in turn will be good for photographers. It is beyond my capacity to understand why any photographer would not value this dynamic -- let alone think ill of it. Are we all communists?

Want to make a good investment? The current news will scare off some buyer's and perhaps temporarily depress the price of VM prints. Wait for a dip to $1,500 and buy what you can. Then when the fog lifts you will have a nice print or two, and in the event you need the money you will have an asset that has appreciated -- hopefully.


(I have to mention -- I'm in way over my head on all of this. I'm just having fun ranting. What do I know. Seriously I'm just a photographer.)
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Old 09-10-2014   #11
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In the VM-thread that was deleted and reopened there were some interesting statements made by one of the less mentioned of the the three (I think, all in all, three?) "owners" of the estate. He is registered here at RFF, but I can't remember his name or nick right now.
He sounded quite sensible, and his position was (as stated by him) that he had the entire time felt this was all on shaky ground, which was one of the reasons why he had not made any commercial gains from her work (no print sales etc.).

Would be interesting if he chimed in again.
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Old 09-10-2014   #12
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Ljos - that was Ron Slattery. I can't decipher his motivations or intentions -- and I don't think anyone else can without him stating why he bought the items in the first place. My guess is he's letting the others drive the value up.

For Scrambler below -- VM did write a letter to her printer in France regarding marketing her photos as postcards. Perhaps it was just a case of circumstance.
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Old 09-10-2014   #13
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" if he had done as much selling hamburgers you would be singing his praises."

"Remember if not for Maloof's industry all VM's industry would have been for naught."

Dan - I highly value your photography and opinion.

I agree with "most all" you say however I disagree with these two points:

1) Photography is MUCH better for you than greasy hamburgers. Whatever the qualities of Mr Maloof are, I am glad he turned them toward imagery not fast food.

2) VM obviously didn't think that - or she would have sought publication in her lifetime. There was some other gain for her - and at this stage what that was would be pure speculation on our parts.
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Old 09-10-2014   #14
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Ljos - that was Ron Slattery. I can't decipher his motivations or intentions.
Ah, thanks! Exactly, that's who I meant. Can't say anything about his motivations and intentions either, but he contributed some interesting information about what pictures she had printed herself during her lifetime, the selections she made, notebooks etc.
I found it interesting because in the light of so much being said and speculated about her, it is good to know that there is more material to come further down the road which will present an insight into her view of things.
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Old 09-10-2014   #15
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Quote:
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Lauffray -- your ideas of fairness are based on emotion, which is subjective and as such is not quantitative, thus ill-defined.

"Legally it might not matter, but do you not see a problem here?" No. Would you want your legal rights at the mercy of those who think their beliefs are more moral than yours? Do you think any part of your life would be safe then? Do you want your local police to go by written laws or make up ones that make them feel good as they go along?
Just because the laws are written doesn't make them fair. Copyright extension laws have been written, to whose benefit ?
I do find it odd that someone is (possibly) profiting off of another's work, after their death and when it's unclear what the original creator intended to do with them.
Of course, this is only my opinion and it doesn't change anything. Meantime in the real world, people are buying and selling Van Gogh and Picasso paintings.


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Say what you will about Maloof -- but he worked hard, developed the resource, and was in the end a very competent businessman -- if he had done as much selling hamburgers you would be singing his praises. Remember if not for Maloof's industry all VM's industry would have been for naught.
I'm not trying to paint Maloof as the bad guy, to me it's a grey area. I have your last point in mind as well, and it's part of the reason I'm ambivalent, because I do like her work and I'm grateful he did find those negatives.
This very well might clear in court (you seem to know the law better than I do) but what do *you* think about it ?
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Old 09-10-2014   #16
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We should be sophisticated consumers of photographic images here. There is a continuing misunderstanding of "commercial usage" as it understood under US law. If you us an image in an advertising campaign, that is commercial usage. If you exhibit an image in a gallery or publish a book, that is an artistic usage, and not commercial usage. It has nothing to so with whether money is made in the latter case.

In the VM case, I don't think the cousin has much to stand on, but I would not be surprised to see some modest settlement to put the matter to rest. The reason is that VM left no will, no desire as to how she wanted her negatives treated. In fact, she essentially discarded them. The current owner of the negatives certainly has the right to make prints. The question is, does he have the right to sell the prints, books, etc.

My guess, in the absence of any directive to the contrary by VM and no direct heirs, he will prevail.
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Old 09-10-2014   #17
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One of the reasons I have always felt that copyrights, including my own, should only be good for the life of the creator. And, where does it stop, each and everyone of the people she photographed can sue because she did not have a model release from them. A legal nightmare, from the works someone that just took pictures as a hobby, not even thinking her work had any value.

In someways it was better when you actually had to register a copyright for it to be valid.
1. There is a limit, life plus 70 years currently.

2. It is not even remotely true that each subject could sue. Individuals in public can be photographed without a release. Commercial use of the images is where you run into trouble-- not sale, but use in advertising, etc.

3. You NEVER had to register a copyright for it to be valid. It's your copyright the instant the image is "reduced to a tangible medium"-- registration provides more protection, more penalties for someone who infringes.

As a photographer and an intellectual property attorney, it distresses me how misinformed most of us photographers are with regards to the law.
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Old 09-10-2014   #18
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3. You NEVER had to register a copyright for it to be valid. It's your copyright the instant the image is "reduced to a tangible medium"-- registration provides more protection, more penalties for someone who infringes.
Let's say I have 200 rolls of film I want to register for copyright, do I submit one for the whole ? and then another a few months from now after I shoot another 50 rolls ?
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Old 09-10-2014   #19
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Let's say I have 200 rolls of film I want to register for copyright, do I submit one for the whole ? and then another a few months from now after I shoot another 50 rolls ?
Not sure I understand the question-- the way copyright in the US works, as soon as your idea is fixed in a medium-- the second you trip the shutter, the moment you transpose dance into written notation, the moment lyrics are written, etc. , copyright to the author is established.

To register with the copyright office, the work must be submitted to gain the added protection. Without registration, an infringer is essentially on the hook for lost profits to the author. With registration, there are statutory penalties added on.

For unpublished photos, you can register them individually or as a "collection", which carries with it a few minor requirements.
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Old 09-11-2014   #20
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1. There is a limit, life plus 70 years currently.

2. It is not even remotely true that each subject could sue. Individuals in public can be photographed without a release. Commercial use of the images is where you run into trouble-- not sale, but use in advertising, etc.

3. You NEVER had to register a copyright for it to be valid. It's your copyright the instant the image is "reduced to a tangible medium"-- registration provides more protection, more penalties for someone who infringes.

As a photographer and an intellectual property attorney, it distresses me how misinformed most of us photographers are with regards to the law.
Thanks for a beautifully succinct summary.

Have you any comment on Rolfe's assertion that a book is not commercial use? Especially if it's not your book, and you sell someone the image for use in it? Or a magazine? There's a French case about 10 years ago concerning metro (subway) riders where art and freedom of the press trumped a right to privacy (yes, I know, the French are rather different on this) but I wondered if you would be kind enough to cite any US cases on selling pics to others for use in books. As far as I recall, under English law, people in pictures can sue if they are held up to ridicule or contempt, or if the picture is defamatory (e.g. a picture captioned "A prostitute in Broad Street" when she isn't, or maybe even if she is).

Alas, I cannot find the French reference; I have no easy access to a UK law library (I am in France); and I will fully understand if digging out American citations is more trouble than you wish to go to.

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Old 09-11-2014   #21
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Thanks for a beautifully succinct summary.

Have you any comment on Rolfe's assertion that a book is not commercial use?
Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia is relevant but by no means definitive because the judge's decision to find in favour of DiCorcia didn't hang on the question of what constitutes commercial usage (the complainant argued that his privacy rights under a New York statute that a person's likeness couldn't be used without permission for advertising or trade had been violated).
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Old 09-11-2014   #22
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Ultimately, it boils down a to a rich guy getting a little richer off of the works of a poor dead woman.

Maybe that effort is admirable to some. But it does seem a little odd to myself.
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Old 09-11-2014   #23
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The lawyer sounds like the lawyers who run ads on daytime TV and late night TV about the lung cancer caused by asbestos. They are looking for a big fat settlement-of which they get 40% or more. I really doubt this lawyer is doing this out of the goodness of his heart.

And a cousin once removed that never even knew or met her ? Give me a break. Hell, I have a cousin I've seen twice in my life-the last time being 1976 ! Should he be entitled to some of my estate if I die ?

The lawyer's game plan is simple...he wants to force Maloof to settle. And Malloof's lawyer's would most likely recommend that he settle out of court.
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Old 09-11-2014   #24
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Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia is relevant but by no means definitive because the judge's decision to find in favour of DiCorcia didn't hang on the question of what constitutes commercial usage (the complainant argued that his privacy rights under a New York statute that a person's likeness couldn't be used without permission for advertising or trade had been violated).
Dear Ian,

Thanks very much. I shall seek it out forthwith.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-11-2014   #25
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Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia is relevant but by no means definitive because the judge's decision to find in favour of DiCorcia didn't hang on the question of what constitutes commercial usage (the complainant argued that his privacy rights under a New York statute that a person's likeness couldn't be used without permission for advertising or trade had been violated).
I was going to mention the DiCorcia case. The photographs at issue in that case were offered for sale at $20,000+. I like the judge's comment that first amendment protection of art is not limited to only starving artists.
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Old 09-11-2014   #26
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Ultimately, it boils down a to a rich guy getting a little richer off of the works of a poor dead woman.
Who's the rich guy?

Quote:
Maybe that effort is admirable to some. But it does seem a little odd to myself.
Well, if you are fan of photography, you like to see good work. Sometimes, good work is put out into the public in less than desirable ways.
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Old 09-11-2014   #27
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The prints are Maloof's "own." He paid for the prints. Of course there are interested parties who wish to make a case for him not having the reproduction rights to the negatives.
Huh?

Owning negatives has absolutely nothing to do with owning the copyright.

You could argue that possession is nine tenths of the law, but if you're selling copies of prints or negatives then you're doing it in the hope that the copyright holder won't come after you.

This is a live issue, as Getty and others are trying to limit their exposure when they sell images that don't belong to them. But the copyright stands with the photographer, not the owner of the print or neg.
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Old 09-11-2014   #28
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1. There is a limit, life plus 70 years currently.

2. It is not even remotely true that each subject could sue. Individuals in public can be photographed without a release. Commercial use of the images is where you run into trouble-- not sale, but use in advertising, etc.

3. You NEVER had to register a copyright for it to be valid. It's your copyright the instant the image is "reduced to a tangible medium"-- registration provides more protection, more penalties for someone who infringes.

As a photographer and an intellectual property attorney, it distresses me how misinformed most of us photographers are with regards to the law.
I posted my opinions, not "LAW".

However, I will argue law on your point 3. At one time if you published a photo or book or whatever with out registration and the copyright notice, you wound up placing that work into the public domain.

Copyright laws have been changed many times in my lifetime (70 years). Back in the 1960's`1970's I was fairly knowledgable about them, these days I haven't much of a clue. I have noticed. however, that nothing seems to prevent folks from placing copyright notices on works that are clearly in the public domain.
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Old 09-11-2014   #29
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Huh?

Owning negatives has absolutely nothing to do with owning the copyright.

You could argue that possession is nine tenths of the law, but if you're selling copies of prints or negatives then you're doing it in the hope that the copyright holder won't come after you.

This is a live issue, as Getty and others are trying to limit their exposure when they sell images that don't belong to them. But the copyright stands with the photographer, not the owner of the print or neg.
Absolutely-- the copyright stands with the author of the work, or the holder, if the original author has assigned the rights.

You can OWN the original of any work, and sell it. It's the reproduction, distribution, or in some cases public display (like motion pictures) that violates the copyright.

It is, at its core, the right to copy-- to create copies or derivative works.

Maloof and the others are not the copyright holders, unless they have acquired the rights from Maier's heirs.
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Old 09-11-2014   #30
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I'm glad the work was published and think it has been a major contribution, establishment shaker, and positive attention getter.

Still, I have to agree with the above post, and am surprised this issue didn't come up sooner. I hope something is worked out.
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Old 09-11-2014   #31
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Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Well, if you are fan of photography, you like to see good work. Sometimes, good work is put out into the public in less than desirable ways.
I do like to see good work. But only if the artist who made it wants me to see it.

There are plenty of excellent photographers out there, who are currently producing work, or at least currently living and worthy of commendation or monetary support.

It's really rather perverse to be paying a guy money for exploiting work he didn't make, when there are plenty of creators who could benefit from such attention while they're still alive. That's not even bringing into the equation who has the copyright, or whether or not V.M. even would be ok with people seeing the photos that she kept private while she was alive.

Some of her photos are great, sure, but the rest of the business around them smells pretty bad at this point.
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Old 09-12-2014   #32
Roger Hicks
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I posted my opinions, not "LAW".

However, I will argue law on your point 3. At one time if you published a photo or book or whatever with out registration and the copyright notice, you wound up placing that work into the public domain.

Copyright laws have been changed many times in my lifetime (70 years). Back in the 1960's`1970's I was fairly knowledgable about them, these days I haven't much of a clue. I have noticed. however, that nothing seems to prevent folks from placing copyright notices on works that are clearly in the public domain.
Possibly, prior to the Buenos Aires Convention in 1910 -- but before that there was the Berne Convention of 1886 which has been the law in the United States (a late adopter) since 1989. Either way, even in the 60s, my understanding is that there was no need for registration in the USA, though registration did (and does) give additional remedies against copyright infringement.

US publishers were notorious for ripping off foreign copyrights in the 19th century -- Dickens was quite acerbic about it -- and respect for intellectual property is (or should be) more important than ever today.

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R.
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Old 09-12-2014   #33
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Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Possibly, prior to the Buenos Aires Convention in 1910 -- but before that there was the Berne Convention of 1886 which has been the law in the United States (a late adopter) since 1989. Either way, even in the 60s, my understanding is that there was no need for registration in the USA, though registration did (and does) give additional remedies against copyright infringement.

US publishers were notorious for ripping off foreign copyrights in the 19th century -- Dickens was quite acerbic about it -- and respect for intellectual property is (or should be) more important than ever today.

Cheers,

R.
In the U.S. work was only protected from the time it was published, not created. Which lead to all sorts of problems in enforcing copyrights internationally. It's why Gilbert and Sullivan had to arrange to debut Pirates of Penzance in New York instead of England - to secure copyright in the U.S. before the work could be "pirated" by imitators.

For full information about U.S. copyright terms, here's some official documentation: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ15a.pdf

When V.M. took many of her photos, they would have needed to have been registered to be protected. But so far as I know (and I may be wrong) none of her photos were ever published anywhere during that era. The changes in U.S. copyright law in the 1970s offered some retroactive protection to unregistered works. And the current law is all works are protected from the date of their creation, up until 70 years after the author's death.

But works which were published but not registered in the era when registration was necessary can fall into the public domain, as is the case of movies like the original Night of the Living Dead or the American release of Atoll K.
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Old 09-12-2014   #34
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Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Ultimately, it boils down a to a rich guy getting a little richer off of the works of a poor dead woman.

Maybe that effort is admirable to some. But it does seem a little odd to myself.
The "poor dead woman" had no desire to market her works. Others find that her work has merit and value it.

Because others value her images, they are willing to pay for private copies to keep and admire.

Texsport

PS- as for the work being frozen, I just received my DVD copy of Maloof's movie, in payment, as agreed, for supporting the restoration of the work through Kickstarter. I anxiously anticipate my first viewing.
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Old 09-12-2014   #35
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Because others value her images, they are willing to pay for private copies to keep and admire.
So I can choose not to pay to see her work if I don't agree with it, correct ? That doesn't answer the question though. Maloof bought the stock and is selling it in all legality, but does it sit right with you that he's doing well off of a work that isn't his ?
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Old 09-12-2014   #36
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My initial comment was sarcastic, but it's also still basically true. One can say what they want about "free enterprise" but the truth is Vivian died poor, did not sell her negatives (even if she forfeited ownership of them involuntarily) and definitely did not sell or transfer any copyrights to those who collected her negatives and are now selling prints made from them. So who owns the copyright, if there even is any valid claim to one? Well that's the issue.
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Old 09-12-2014   #37
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It sounds like Mr Deal is the real "heir apparent" in this situation. After he collects his fees (which will include a lot of airfare to France) his client may not receive very much. Mr Maloof's lawyer/s will of course charge quite a lot in the way of fees as well.

Funny, but in the end Maier's work may be liquidated, with the greater part going to the lawyers on both sides.
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Old 09-12-2014   #38
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From the start this has been a fascinating story and I think full of lots of important lessons and opportunities to learn – you don't come across this often.

Some thoughts:
Copyright has become ridiculous. The length of protection is insane, is no longer in the spirit of what was originally intended by the founding fathers of the US. Only in the US could Walt Disney build an empire on public domain and then spend the following decades lobbying to prevent others from doing the same.

But that's the way it is and has little bearing on the VM case as she is recently deceased. Unless, of course, you believe copyright should end with the creator's death.

Like patent trolls, Mr. Deal (the name is still unbelievable to me) is a tiresome residue of the system. Someone who produces nothing but profits from the work of others at the expense of many.
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Old 09-12-2014   #39
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Originally Posted by Paddy C View Post
From the start this has been a fascinating story and I think full of lots of important lessons and opportunities to learn – you don't come across this often.

Some thoughts:
Copyright has become ridiculous. The length of protection is insane, is no longer in the spirit of what was originally intended by the founding fathers of the US. Only in the US could Walt Disney build an empire on public domain and then spend the following decades lobbying to prevent others from doing the same.

But that's the way it is and has little bearing on the VM case as she is recently deceased. Unless, of course, you believe copyright should end with the creator's death.

Like patent trolls, Mr. Deal (the name is still unbelievable to me) is a tiresome residue of the system. Someone who produces nothing but profits from the work of others at the expense of many.
With all due respect, who gives a *** about "what was originally intended by the founding fathers of the US?

Copyright law has moved on since then, and is the (sometimes shaky) consensus of signatories to international conventions -- not (North American) state-by-state interpretations of vague declarations of intent. The first copyright law (as far as I am aware) was in 1710 -- http://www.copyrighthistory.com/anne.html

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-12-2014   #40
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Originally Posted by Lauffray View Post
So I can choose not to pay to see her work if I don't agree with it, correct ? That doesn't answer the question though. Maloof bought the stock and is selling it in all legality, but does it sit right with you that he's doing well off of a work that isn't his ?
That's what the dispute is about: whether he is in fact acting legally or not.

Cheers,

R.
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