Someone posted a picture on a family tree years ago. I've tried in vain to contact the contributor but think he died. How can I get permission to use the picture?
just a volunteer throwing a hat into the ring ....
Does the picture have a copyright notice associated with it ? If not, then I would propose that you use the picture and add your own notice to give credit to the source.0
Is it a professional photograph or a snapshot? From what era? Just because someone uploaded a photo does not mean that person holds the copyright. Copyright belongs to the photographer, not the uploader.
If the photo was uploaded to the FamilySearch.org site, the Content Submission Agreement applies. https://www.familysearch.org/legal/familysearch-content-submission-agreement0
It's a picture taken in the 1860's. See the picture below and the permission on the bottom. The contributor has died as I found his obituary. I'd like to use this picture in a book. The lady was a member of the organization I belong to. This is the only image of her anywhere.0
@jill powell_1 Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer either but can read fine print and come to a layman's conclusions.
Was that "used by permission ..." on the original contributed image - or is that something you added? If that permission tag was from the tree contributor - it seems to indicate yet another person/institution as copyright holder/image owner (all of whom may be deceased). If there was no citation other than that "used by permission..." tag - it leaves you in a difficult position.
To point out the obvious (sorry to be a downer but this is my understanding): If you are not the one that obtained permission from the originator then your use here/above if strictly interpreted - is not valid permitted use (even if the copyright owner is deceased. You may want to remove the image from your post here if you are not the one with permission). At this point I know nothing more about the original image/owner than that someone obtained permission from the mentioned name - but I don't know who that name is nor where the original image is located and where the digitized version obtained permission from that original Source/copyright holder. I am all for sharing family images - but I can also understand that use may be limited if permission is not obtained/granted or if reference to original source copyright is not included.
The image being posted to FamilySearch by the copyright holder for example, grants full, unconditional use license to FamilySearch - not anyone else - if my reading/interpretation of FamilySearch submission agreement - mentioned above by Aine - lines #3, #4 - is correct. (What is unclear is what sublicensed use FamilySearch is extending to any/all other users. That they may have that option seems indicated - and their licensed distribution to all other users is obvious. What is clear - #3: "...remains the property of the creator or submitter. You should not reproduce it without permission of the owner.") You have just reproduced the image in your post above.
Now, whether a copyright holder would be available to claim a violation from the image post above is an entirely different matter. Some prefer to 'use now and ask forgiveness later' - if someone claims a subsequent violation - the post/image can be removed to comply. Others may prefer to obtain licensed/permitted use first. FamilySearch submission agreement requires that you obtain the necessary permission first. One thing in everyone's favor when using images from FamilySearch - it does allow you sublicensed - personal, noncommercial use (you can use it on your personal computer). If you are going to publish a book (including any digital use format) - especially if that book is going to be commercial - you need to obtain licensed/permitted use from the copyright holder/owner.1
Perhaps make a drawing in the likeness of the person in the photo, allowing for minor alterations in dress, hairstyle, coloration, that might elude copyright infringement, but I'm no lawyer.0
The photo has already been edited to colorize it. Color photography did not exist in the 1860s.1
Yes, it looks like the contributor was not the original contributor. Both appear to be deceased. So no permissions are available from them. No way to find out who has the original pictures at this point unless we do extensive research to find living relatives. Just me personally...I have posted quite a few pics of ancestors and have never been asked permission for others to use as I never thought they were just mine. I don't like to play the game of they are mine only and not yours even though you are a descendant too....That's just my opinion. This lady in the image for sure had no children so the living relatives would be collateral descendants as well. What a conundrum!0
@jill powell_1 Disclaimer: non-legal layman's opinion.
The original digitizer may have descendants/relations that could be contacted - but yes they may not be informed as to where they researched/located the original image. This means the tree contributors may not have cited their research carefully enough for subsequent researchers to follow-up. It sounds like the original tree contributor's site containing the profile is still operational though they are deceased. You might contact the site operators to ask about whether anyone has inherited the tree. That person may be able to arrange with the family members to communicate about whether anyone knows the source of the image. Images from 1860 will likely have either been in the hands of a descendant or may have passed to a historical/genealogical society/institution. All I can determine on this image is that you need to attempt locating the nearest relation of the "used by permission ..." referenced. Hopefully if you can track them down they can verify the source of the digitization and possibly grant you permission (as inheritor's of the estate).
Copyright of photos belongs with the photographer (mentioned in the thread above). If that photographer was a commercial enterprise - which I would guess photos from 1860 would be... I also don't know how to trace who may have inherited that copyright - nor whether such right needs to be registered/renewed to prevent such from lapsing into public domain. My guess would be that a majority of 1860 commercial photographer's estates no longer retain copyright - putting most images from early timeframes into public domain (requiring no permission. But I state that without knowledgeable statics - just assumption).
I do not know copyright well enough to comment further upon whether your use is likely to be public domain use due to timelapse or decease of those that apparently obtained permissioned use. For all I know - your relationship to the person in the image may/should entitle you to some use - what that claim may be I don't know. It really would be nice to more easily identify copyright states. I bet FamilySearch has a more knowledgeable response (from someone somewhere) - but what I have given is my layman's interpretation.0
Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, has written a number of articles regarding copyright. And Judy is a lawyer. This post regards family photos: https://www.legalgenealogist.com/2012/03/06/copyright-and-the-old-family-photo/1
Thank y'all so much for the responses! Very interesting article.....Sooooo confusing!0