Ramblings of Silver Blue

11 Sep

Ok, Legal Ideas here…

I have a photograph of myself taken in 1973. The store where it was taken (J.M. Fields) declared bankruptcy (Chapter 11) in 1978. Since the photo was done by an inhouse photo lab (I’ve checked the photo for any possibly ownership marks, front and back — of which there are none), and not Olan Mills or Sears Portrait Studio, etc., I have no way of knowning who to contact to get a release for the photo to be included in my book. (Mind you, I’m expecting less than 10 copies of my book to ever be printed, but I’m trying to do things legally all the way around.)

How do I go about trying to get a copyright release of a photo of myself, taken by a defunct photo studio in a defunct department store that went bankrupt and was not purchased by another chain? Especially when said photograph is 33 years old, there are no studio marks or copyright marks on the front or back?

Interesting to note:

Also adding to the confusion is the change to copyright law Jan. 1, 1978. Photos taken before that date are subject to different
copyright rules from photos taken afterward.

The law allows customers to copy professional photos commissioned before 1978, unless the photographer and the customer had an agreement to the contrary, Moilanen said.

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