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Using retro images (locked)

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1672 posts

Can any please help me with regard to the legality of using images from old magazines and books….I’m talking about material published more than 50 years ago….What is the story? Can someone point my in the right direction regarding this?

I have used magazine cut outs in collages and didn’t really think about it, but what about scanning in an old image and using it just as is?

Paul McClintock Paul McClintock 2738 posts

It’s differs by country… here

I’m not sure the exact time it take for something to fall into public domain… yet to find exact information.

Paul McClintock Paul McClintock 2738 posts

I think it’s the date of publication plus 70 years.

Jo O'Brien Jo O'Brien 4616 posts

death of the artists (even if they drew it when they were 9 and went on to live another 90 years) plus 70 years is the normal marker, but it does differ a bit country to country

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1672 posts

Thanks guys, I have been doing some reading…I’m still unclear….

One of the books I’m looking at, an old recipe book, is over 70 years old and of course there is no mention of who did the illustrations, so you really wouldn’t know (is the copyright held by the company whose cookbook it is?)….I know with music if you have arranged it and changed it to a certain degree it’s ok…does anyone know if this applies to images too?

Certainly people are using retro images in works. What if you aren’t making a profit from them does that mean it’s ok? any discussion and opinions welcome!
There are brand names on the cooking books…has anyone had any experience with contacting such companies and asking about using their old material? What if it is used as a prop in a photograph?

I know it’s a tricky area and I wouldn’t want to do artists out of their due, but it seems a shame not to use this great old stuff.

Jo O'Brien Jo O'Brien 4616 posts

Hey Soxy,

This link should help to answer pretty much all of your questions.


Paul McClintock Paul McClintock 2738 posts

I think with a major publication like a cook book, it wouldn’t be reliant on the death of the artist, because a company would most likely have bought the copyright in order to publish it in the first place (or something like that)… in which case, it would be back to the date of publication.

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1672 posts

Thanks JO! Thanks Paul!
Looks like I can do what I wanted to Hurray!

Soxy Fleming Soxy Fleming 1672 posts

Thanks Jo and Paul…I did my retro cooking calendar…but people seem to comment as though I did the paintings even though I have tried to make it clear that they are scanned from an old book….any ideas on what I should be saying in the description to make it absolutely clear…do I need to give some credits regarding the original source?

Kathleen Stephens Kathleen Stephens 7237 posts

You could put the source below each photo even though they may be the same. I little history tends to lend value to old images.

Often you will find old images that are out of copyright in something that is recently copyrighted. What the newer copyright covers is the new material not the old image.