Postcard Copyrights...
March 6, 2006 6:01 PM   Subscribe

How would I find out if a postcard was under copyright?
posted by digital-dragonfly to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Well, the first clue would be the date it was created, and what country we are talking about.

Here's the definitive chart of when items pass into the public domain in the US.

The default is that it IS copyrighted. There's no need to register since 1978 in the US.
posted by griffey at 6:17 PM on March 6, 2006

griffey is correct. Just to elaborate:

A "creative work" receives protection when it has been "fixated" in a "tanbigle medium of expression".

(I use quotes because those are each legal terms of art with specific meanings)
posted by falconred at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2006

tangible! not tanbigle! Dammit.

Oh, and the bar for finding a work "creative" is incredibly low, mostly because courts don't want to be in the business of telling artists their work isn't creative.
posted by falconred at 6:30 PM on March 6, 2006

If it was made before 1963, doesn't have a copyright notice on it, and wasn't renewed, it's in the public domain.

Otherwise, well, here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:54 PM on March 6, 2006

If it's from 1923 or earlier, you can safely scan it and do anything you want with it, because it's in the public domain.
posted by mathowie at 10:55 PM on March 6, 2006

ok.. wonderful answers & info. The question has now become more precise: Postcard published between 1930 and 1940 does have a copyright mark. Where do I look to find out if it was renewed?
posted by digital-dragonfly at 7:22 AM on March 22, 2006

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