Joined: 21 May 2011
Location: The banks of the River Severn as it meanders through the sun dappled leafy glades of Worcestershire
|Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:18 am Post subject: Copyfraud
|I've been posting a lot of old photos in the Photographic Section. Mostly, they are photos I found on various Facebook groups, with a few from eBay postcard sales or local museum web sites and the like.
I've always credited the photos where I can, but most of them were uncredited on the sources where I found them.
I recently had one of the photos deleted by Flickr due to an alleged copyright infringement, although it looks to me more like a case of copyfraud (briefly, the fraudulent claiming of copyright to a work that is in the public domain. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyfraud for a fuller explanation).
Unfortunately, the law is very much biased in favour of copyfraud. While copyright theft is illegal and action could also be taken against a web host that permitted it, I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for aiding and abetting copyfraud, so naturally, photo hosting sites like Flickr will take the safe option and remove the photo, no matter how absurd the claim.
It appears that if someone emails them and says "I don't know who took the photo, I don't know when they took it, I don't know if they are still alive or not or when they died, I don't know where or when it was first published or who published it, but I own the copyright to it" then Flickr will remove the photo, even if it is over 70 years old and the photographer is unknown, which means the copyright has expired under UK law.
I'm waiting for Flickr to respond to my counter claim that the copyright has expired and the photo is now in the public domain. In the meantime, I have moved it to a different photo hosting site.
There are dozens of free photo hosting sites on the web, so I'll just keep moving it from one to another until he gets fed up with chasing it around getting it removed, or until he provides evidence that he owns the copyright, in which case, I'll remove it myself.
Meanwhile, here's a photo of Bewdley, believed to be taken in the 1920s, photographer unknown. Any further information, such as an accurate date or the name of the photographer would be welcome.
Acting deputy assistant junior under minion, Bewdley Wagon Department.