Legality of making prints from antique copper engraved plates
August 24, 2014 3:28 PM Subscribe
I have acquired two engraved copper printing plates which were produced in the 1850s by an artist who is internationally renowned. What is the legal situation regarding issuing my own edition from these plates?
posted by mani to Law & Government (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I know this is quite a niche subject but I'm looking only for legal advice not practical advice on printing, etc. The artist died at the end of the 19th century and very limited editions were taken from these plates in the 1850s. What is the copyright situation? Who owns the rights to what is engraved on these plates? I have come across sites online selling prints taken from old plates but these are mainly generic illustrations done for encyclopedias and the like by anonymous or little known artists - the artist in question here is a household name and a reissue of these prints would likely be a news event in the world of collecting. I realise the law is the same regardless of the standing of the artist but I don't wish to invite heat. Artist is British and I'm in the UK. Many thanks.