Are old-school victory garden posters out in the public domain?
January 23, 2013 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I love these older pics of victory garden posters (e.g.). I was wondering if anyone knew if they were out in the public domain? I'd like to use them for a Tumblr/blog post, but don't want to start ripping folks off willy nilly.
posted by Peemster to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The page you linked to has licensing information below. Just scroll down.
posted by Jehan at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2013

Google around--there's lots of places with images. If the poster was made by the government, it's in the public domain.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:17 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

From what I understand, assuming we are talking about US copyright here (which, is a switch from where my thinking started because I original read "victorian era posters")...

You can assume that anything published in the US before Jan 1 1923 is in the public domain, because copyright terms just didn't last that long back then.

For things published between 1923 and 1947 or so, it depends on whether or not the original 28 year copyright term was renewed. If so, you're screwed, as those copyrights are good for a good long time now. I'm pretty sure you'd have to somehow ask the Library of Congress for details of the copyright renewal of any particular work. I personally am cheeky however, and would probably post the posters with a note asking anyone who owned the copyright in the works to please contact me so that I could take them down.

All that being said, under US law, works authored by the federal government are _not_ protected by copyright at all, and are all in the public domain. If the posters were created as works for hire (i.e. the artist was a government employee) then the posters are in the public domain.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:22 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Er, sorry, I probably could have been clearer. I was hoping there was perhaps an archive around somewhere -- it looks like the Wiki image leads back to a university site with a few of them, but I have to imagine there were tons of these things created in WWI and WWII.

(Basically, can someone else do all my work for me and also possible type this out for me as well, it's sooooo haaaaaaaaard. I am the worst.)
posted by Peemster at 8:22 AM on January 23, 2013

The Library of Congress has a ton of WPA posters which are all public domain. Though I don't see that many of victory gardens. There are a lot of posters of food.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:29 AM on January 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Just noticed they also have WWI posters. Many of gardens
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:31 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

Perfect! Thanks much interplanetjanet!
posted by Peemster at 8:32 AM on January 23, 2013

I found an archive of French magazines La Baïonnette from WWI. Some of the artwork is crudely and offensively racist. But there are wonderful covers and illustrations about food production and farming.

I have dozens of these Q'd up in my Tumblr to post on the same day as the cover illustrates.
posted by ohshenandoah at 1:46 PM on January 23, 2013

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