For information on this forthcoming publication contact:
Peter Alsop: email@example.com
Gary Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org
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For any queries regarding image rights and copyright pertaining to the book, please read the following background information. Please also note that, as purists who have celebrated the artwork in historical context, we are not in the business of providing or selling images for other commercial purposes (other than assisting book reviews and media commentary).
Honesty is always the best policy: we’ve taken some punts regarding potential copyright of some imagery in this book. It would be impossible (without exaggeration) to publish a book like this and feel sure about rights for every single image. Given the complexity of copyright law for heritage works (including the relevance of the 1913 Act given our period of focus), we favoured common sense over additional legal fees and contacted a number of organisations that may hold copyright (or think they may!). This was also a requirement for release of some images held by institutions. We are very grateful for the permissions and support received – both related to image rights and copyright (different things though often, in our experience, confused).
In practice, the copyright status of material in this book is far from clear, such as whether advertisements are typographical arrangements or literary or artistic works (each with different provisions) – or, more likely, some murky hybrid. What’s clear is that copyright law wasn’t written with advertisements in mind! The relevance (or not) of the ‘commissioning rule’ (i.e. the commissioner gets the rights) is also important. In the 1913 Act, MED (now MBIE) advise that the commissioning rule was limited to engravings, photographs and portraits (not our core content), making it more likely that copyright initially vested to advertising studios and not the advertisers themselves. And have design studios actually heard of archives? But ‘authorship’ (not just who someone worked for, or produced work for) is also important – and a large portion of early commercial work was unsigned (significant in terms of any copyright duration). And to get a bit more philosophical about the topic, is a book like this, curating a collection mostly for love, some form of fair dealing for criticism or review?
We’ve tried hard in this complex and uncertain (and even ambiguous) area but, to the extent we’ve erred, we welcome contact to understand others views and, as needed, to explore resolution of any rights infringement (while recognising there may also be different views). By faithfully displaying material in context (i.e. within an historic advertising and social context (and not printing tea towels)), we also hope our core motivations of collating, recording, researching and celebrating the material can be recognised.