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Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)

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  • leifehulbert
    Billy, I m not wanting to stir up a hornet s nest here (again), but I m not quite sure I exactly follow what you re saying. The way I follow the chain of
    Message 1 of 24 , Apr 24, 2009
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      Billy,

      I'm not wanting to stir up a hornet's nest here (again), but I'm not quite sure I exactly follow what you're saying.

      The way I follow the chain of events are:

      eBay seller "$cashforestates$" put a photo album up for auction. It had an inscription inside the front cover that it was from R Pasquale of the 737th Tank Battalion.

      "$cashforestates$" states that they sell estate sales and presumably this album is a genuine collection of a vet's photos from a deceased estate. The listing also explained that the vet's collection is mounted in a "captured" German photo album. My reading of the listing is that the photos themselves are not described as being "captured", just the album they are mounted in.

      Dan ("shoelessrunner") saw these photos for auction on eBay & posted the info in a group e-mail to a number of friends (myself included), one of whom (Ondra) noted that a few of the photo included the same sign and servicemen as some of your 777th photos here on g104. Ondra & Dan both came to the conclusion that some of these photos showed your father, Charles Ray.

      Realising the relevance of this find, Dan posted this info here on g104.

      Much discussion occurs! You contact the seller "$cashforestates$" and explain that the photos are actually not of 737th men, but of 777th men, including your father.

      My personal opinion is that these photos in the album were genuine and may have included photos that were BOTH taken by your father (and shared amongst other 777th men), as well as of your father (taken by other 777th men). Not uncommon, given the way that photos were shared by buddies after the war.

      It is also my personal opinion that it is possible the 737th inscription was put there by a well meaning relative (wife, 2nd wife, child) after the passing of R Pasquale. However, we may never know the real truth as to the origin of the 737th inscription.

      The album sold for $280 USD, which is less that what I personally expected. The sale is listed as "private".

      Approx a week later a new listing appears on eBay for an album of 777th photos burnt to CD with a buy-it-now price of $19.99 USD. This is being sold by a different eBay trader "redtrooper227".

      By cross-checking the feedback logs on eBay of the sale of the original album it appears that "$cashforestates$" sold the album to "redtrooper227" on Apr-20-09 14:48:28 PDT.

      The feedback from "$cashforestates$" for "redtrooper227" being:
      "Exellent(sic) buyer. Item Shipped 4/21/09. Thank You A+ Apr-20-09 17:19"

      As of the time that I write this, "redtrooper227" does not appear to have left any feedback for "$cashforestates$", but this is not uncommon.

      This suggest to me that the buyer ("redtrooper227") has purchased the album, scanned it, and is now attempting to recover some of their financial outlay by selling copies of the scanned photos on discs on eBay.

      Yet in your recent message you stated that:
      "A friend's friend bought the "War Spoils" album hoping to take it out of circulation but somehow, the photos were scanned and now are being sold once more on a CD."

      As well as:
      "I doubt my friends would do anything like this. Just pirates.........would."

      Now, I'm not wishing to make disparaging accusations here, but from your above statement this suggests to me that your friend's friend is actually "redtrooper227".

      It is "redtrooper227" who appears to have bought the original album and is the one now selling the CD of scanned photos, using your explanation that the photos are from the 777th and not the 737th. IMHO "$cashforestates$" appears to have made a perfectly legitimate eBay sale.

      Now, whilst I agree with the vast majority of what Ray states, I do have to disagree with his comments:
      "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."

      As well as:
      "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

      Yes, the "original" collection of photographs is legitimately theirs as they have paid for it. But the making of copies (on the CD) and the sale of these copies (on eBay) is a clear violation of copyright IF there is any valid copyright on these photos. Publishing these photo in a book MAY also be a violation of any legitimate copyright.

      Of course it is possible that there may NOT be any valid copyright protection on these images (public domain, copyright expired, yada, yada, yada). Again as I mentioned previously, international copyright is FAR beyond the scope of this forum.

      Of course as Ray very correctly points out, many of the images from private photo collections seen in books MAY also be violating copyright. Pragmatically, there is very little that can be done about this unless you want to open the chequebook and fund legal proceedings.

      I can appreciate that this may be a very emotive issue for you given that the images being sold are of your father. But if you were to see his image in a WWII history book, would that really be any different?

      Or perhaps if your father was more in to literature than photography, and he wrote a poem or short story which he shared amongst his 777th buddies and you happened to come across an extract of said poem or short story in a WWII history book, again this could potentially be a violation of his copyright, but would it really be any different?

      Is the selling of this eBay CD of 777th images really any different to the authoring and selling of a book, or the publishing of a website about the 777th which included the same 98 images?

      Should the author of any such a book or website on the 777th also be classified as a "pirate"?

      Of course you may disagree with me, but to my way of thinking, the sharing and promoting of WWII history is the only way we are going to help preserve the memory of the "greatest generation" for future generations. IMHO locking these images away in a private photo collection or a box in an attic is not helping to keep the memory of fine men like your father alive. Surely if more people see these images and start to ask questions and learn more about these men, this is a good thing, is it not?

      Best Wishes & Cheers from Down Under

      Leife
    • Ray Merriam
      Prior to 1976, nothing was automatically protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or
      Message 2 of 24 , Apr 24, 2009
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        Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams.

        Even today, while most literary works, photos, and such are given a certain level of copyright protection from the moment they are created, without having to file the forms and pay the fee, if you were to go to court over copyright infringement, you'd have a much better chance of succeeding if the material were fully copyrighted.

        My comment about a buyer "owning" the material and doing with it as they pleased was in reference to a collection of original material, i.e. an actual collection obtained from the original owner (or through a dealer, estate sale, etc). The photos that Billy's father gave to another veteran (assuming that is what happened), are in a gray area, as they are technically "originals", produced (most likely) from the original negative, although Billy could claim their use is restricted since his father created them and he now "owns" them.

        Several years ago I discovered a web site that had included much of the text from that same Soochow Creek booklet I mentioned previously. The person who created the web site stated where he got the material, and that he believed the publisher was no longer in business. The booklet had been published in 1980 when my company was International Graphics Corporation. In 1988, my two business partners (Peter Frandsen and Bill Auerbach--the latter might be a familiar name to some of you) decided to go their separate ways, and I created a sole proprietership again as Merriam Press. I still had the legal rights to all the IGC materials (it was my signature on all documents, including copyright forms). I contacted the web site and advised him of his violation of my still valid copyright. I wasn't interested in persuing legal action, and advised him he could leave the material on his web site as long as he noted that the booklet was still available from me. Never did find out if he did that, but some months later I discovered the web site had disappeared.

        More recently I discovered another web site operated by the University of San Diego that has three pages on the 4th Marines in Shanghai. The text is newly written. The notes make no mention of the 4th Marines booklet I published--but four of the photos have been scanned directly from the booklet and used on the web site with no credit. All four photos are from the collection of the main author of the booklet (there were three authors; the other two provided material on the Soochow Creek Medal).

        Ray





        ----- Original Message -----
        From: leifehulbert
        To: G104@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, 24 April 2009 6:53 PM
        Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)


        Billy,

        I'm not wanting to stir up a hornet's nest here (again), but I'm not quite sure I exactly follow what you're saying.

        The way I follow the chain of events are:

        eBay seller "$cashforestates$" put a photo album up for auction. It had an inscription inside the front cover that it was from R Pasquale of the 737th Tank Battalion.

        "$cashforestates$" states that they sell estate sales and presumably this album is a genuine collection of a vet's photos from a deceased estate. The listing also explained that the vet's collection is mounted in a "captured" German photo album. My reading of the listing is that the photos themselves are not described as being "captured", just the album they are mounted in.

        Dan ("shoelessrunner") saw these photos for auction on eBay & posted the info in a group e-mail to a number of friends (myself included), one of whom (Ondra) noted that a few of the photo included the same sign and servicemen as some of your 777th photos here on g104. Ondra & Dan both came to the conclusion that some of these photos showed your father, Charles Ray.

        Realising the relevance of this find, Dan posted this info here on g104.

        Much discussion occurs! You contact the seller "$cashforestates$" and explain that the photos are actually not of 737th men, but of 777th men, including your father.

        My personal opinion is that these photos in the album were genuine and may have included photos that were BOTH taken by your father (and shared amongst other 777th men), as well as of your father (taken by other 777th men). Not uncommon, given the way that photos were shared by buddies after the war.

        It is also my personal opinion that it is possible the 737th inscription was put there by a well meaning relative (wife, 2nd wife, child) after the passing of R Pasquale. However, we may never know the real truth as to the origin of the 737th inscription.

        The album sold for $280 USD, which is less that what I personally expected. The sale is listed as "private".

        Approx a week later a new listing appears on eBay for an album of 777th photos burnt to CD with a buy-it-now price of $19.99 USD. This is being sold by a different eBay trader "redtrooper227".

        By cross-checking the feedback logs on eBay of the sale of the original album it appears that "$cashforestates$" sold the album to "redtrooper227" on Apr-20-09 14:48:28 PDT.

        The feedback from "$cashforestates$" for "redtrooper227" being:
        "Exellent(sic) buyer. Item Shipped 4/21/09. Thank You A+ Apr-20-09 17:19"

        As of the time that I write this, "redtrooper227" does not appear to have left any feedback for "$cashforestates$", but this is not uncommon.

        This suggest to me that the buyer ("redtrooper227") has purchased the album, scanned it, and is now attempting to recover some of their financial outlay by selling copies of the scanned photos on discs on eBay.

        Yet in your recent message you stated that:
        "A friend's friend bought the "War Spoils" album hoping to take it out of circulation but somehow, the photos were scanned and now are being sold once more on a CD."

        As well as:
        "I doubt my friends would do anything like this. Just pirates.........would."

        Now, I'm not wishing to make disparaging accusations here, but from your above statement this suggests to me that your friend's friend is actually "redtrooper227".

        It is "redtrooper227" who appears to have bought the original album and is the one now selling the CD of scanned photos, using your explanation that the photos are from the 777th and not the 737th. IMHO "$cashforestates$" appears to have made a perfectly legitimate eBay sale.

        Now, whilst I agree with the vast majority of what Ray states, I do have to disagree with his comments:
        "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."

        As well as:
        "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

        Yes, the "original" collection of photographs is legitimately theirs as they have paid for it. But the making of copies (on the CD) and the sale of these copies (on eBay) is a clear violation of copyright IF there is any valid copyright on these photos. Publishing these photo in a book MAY also be a violation of any legitimate copyright.

        Of course it is possible that there may NOT be any valid copyright protection on these images (public domain, copyright expired, yada, yada, yada). Again as I mentioned previously, international copyright is FAR beyond the scope of this forum.

        Of course as Ray very correctly points out, many of the images from private photo collections seen in books MAY also be violating copyright. Pragmatically, there is very little that can be done about this unless you want to open the chequebook and fund legal proceedings.

        I can appreciate that this may be a very emotive issue for you given that the images being sold are of your father. But if you were to see his image in a WWII history book, would that really be any different?

        Or perhaps if your father was more in to literature than photography, and he wrote a poem or short story which he shared amongst his 777th buddies and you happened to come across an extract of said poem or short story in a WWII history book, again this could potentially be a violation of his copyright, but would it really be any different?

        Is the selling of this eBay CD of 777th images really any different to the authoring and selling of a book, or the publishing of a website about the 777th which included the same 98 images?

        Should the author of any such a book or website on the 777th also be classified as a "pirate"?

        Of course you may disagree with me, but to my way of thinking, the sharing and promoting of WWII history is the only way we are going to help preserve the memory of the "greatest generation" for future generations. IMHO locking these images away in a private photo collection or a box in an attic is not helping to keep the memory of fine men like your father alive. Surely if more people see these images and start to ask questions and learn more about these men, this is a good thing, is it not?

        Best Wishes & Cheers from Down Under

        Leife



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • leifehulbert
        Ray, Without getting into a long-winded argument over international copyright, which is not the purpose of this forum, and would most likely bore the pants off
        Message 3 of 24 , Apr 25, 2009
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          Ray,

          Without getting into a long-winded argument over international copyright, which is not the purpose of this forum, and would most likely bore the pants off many of the members here, your comment that:
          "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams."
          may hold true for US law, but (un)fortunately (depending on your POV) US copyright law does NOT apply internationally.

          Under Crown copyright legislation which is just only one of the many families of law that are in effect around the globe, works WERE granted automatic copyright protection prior to 1976. I live in Australia and many of the members of g104 live in other legislations. Inevitably their copyright laws will be different to both of ours, and I can assure you offer many very differing levels of copyright protection.

          Under copyright legislation, photography is defined as the act of exposing a film to light. It is generally accepted internationally that the owner of the film (not the person who owns the camera nor the person who presses the button) is deemed to be the copyright holder of the photograph.

          Hence when a government issues film to an offical war photographer, the government subsequently holds the copyright. In the case of the US government, this copyright automatically defaults to the public domain through an act of its own legislation.

          Many "original" photographs can then be developed from that one negative and owned by many individuals or bodies, but the copyright holder is still the original owner of the film. Even the sale of the negative does not necessarily automatically transfer "the right to copy" (copyright).

          Of course with the advent of digital photography and the "filmless photograph", this definition of "photograph" is being severely tested, but that is often the case, as the law usually lags behind technology.

          There is also the matter of jurisdictional issues that can be argued. Under most copyright legislation, the country under which a photograph is first developed from the negative is the nation whose copyright legislation is deemed to apply. Hence it could be argued that as these photos were (most likely) developed in Germany in the immediate post-war period, they could be deemed to fall under German copyright law. The counter argument is that Germany was under Military Occupation at the time and hence their laws do not apply. Which country's laws would apply is a matter of legal interpretation.

          We could get into many philosophical arguments about international copyright, jurisdictional issues, and the inadequacies of laws in keeping up with technology. Regardless, in the eyes of the law, the act of purchasing an "original" photograph is no different to that of any other work, be it an "original" book or a CD for example.

          If you buy a book or CD on eBay, you legally own that particular copy of that book or CD. That does NOT give you the right to make unauthorized copies of that work IF it is protected by copyright. If you now substitute the words "book or CD" with the word "photograph" in the same sentence, the law is exactly the same.

          This would also apply to your comments:
          "The photos that Billy's father gave to another veteran (assuming that is what happened), are in a gray area, as they are technically "originals", produced (most likely) from the original negative, although Billy could claim their use is restricted since his father created them and he now "owns" them."

          Yes, the individuals would legally own these "original" photographs, but that does not automatically give them the right to reproduce them (copyright) and hence any use would definitely be restricted under any "relevant & applicable" copyright legislation. Technically & legally, there is no "gray area" about it. IF these items are protected by copyright then they are violating said copyright. Again these are no different to these indivduals being given "original" copies of a book or CD.

          However, proving copyright ownership in the case of a 60 odd year old photograph, the violation of said copyright, jurisdiction and the legal case against any violation is a totally different subject, again FAR beyond the scope of this forum.

          Cheers from Down Under

          Leife


          --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "Ray Merriam" <merriampress@...> wrote:
          >
          > Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams.
          >
          > Even today, while most literary works, photos, and such are given a certain level of copyright protection from the moment they are created, without having to file the forms and pay the fee, if you were to go to court over copyright infringement, you'd have a much better chance of succeeding if the material were fully copyrighted.
          >
          > My comment about a buyer "owning" the material and doing with it as they pleased was in reference to a collection of original material, i.e. an actual collection obtained from the original owner (or through a dealer, estate sale, etc). The photos that Billy's father gave to another veteran (assuming that is what happened), are in a gray area, as they are technically "originals", produced (most likely) from the original negative, although Billy could claim their use is restricted since his father created them and he now "owns" them.
          >
          > Several years ago I discovered a web site that had included much of the text from that same Soochow Creek booklet I mentioned previously. The person who created the web site stated where he got the material, and that he believed the publisher was no longer in business. The booklet had been published in 1980 when my company was International Graphics Corporation. In 1988, my two business partners (Peter Frandsen and Bill Auerbach--the latter might be a familiar name to some of you) decided to go their separate ways, and I created a sole proprietership again as Merriam Press. I still had the legal rights to all the IGC materials (it was my signature on all documents, including copyright forms). I contacted the web site and advised him of his violation of my still valid copyright. I wasn't interested in persuing legal action, and advised him he could leave the material on his web site as long as he noted that the booklet was still available from me. Never did find out if he did that, but some months later I discovered the web site had disappeared.
          >
          > More recently I discovered another web site operated by the University of San Diego that has three pages on the 4th Marines in Shanghai. The text is newly written. The notes make no mention of the 4th Marines booklet I published--but four of the photos have been scanned directly from the booklet and used on the web site with no credit. All four photos are from the collection of the main author of the booklet (there were three authors; the other two provided material on the Soochow Creek Medal).
          >
          > Ray
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: leifehulbert
          > To: G104@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Friday, 24 April 2009 6:53 PM
          > Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)
          >
          >
          > Billy,
          >
          > I'm not wanting to stir up a hornet's nest here (again), but I'm not quite sure I exactly follow what you're saying.
          >
          > The way I follow the chain of events are:
          >
          > eBay seller "$cashforestates$" put a photo album up for auction. It had an inscription inside the front cover that it was from R Pasquale of the 737th Tank Battalion.
          >
          > "$cashforestates$" states that they sell estate sales and presumably this album is a genuine collection of a vet's photos from a deceased estate. The listing also explained that the vet's collection is mounted in a "captured" German photo album. My reading of the listing is that the photos themselves are not described as being "captured", just the album they are mounted in.
          >
          > Dan ("shoelessrunner") saw these photos for auction on eBay & posted the info in a group e-mail to a number of friends (myself included), one of whom (Ondra) noted that a few of the photo included the same sign and servicemen as some of your 777th photos here on g104. Ondra & Dan both came to the conclusion that some of these photos showed your father, Charles Ray.
          >
          > Realising the relevance of this find, Dan posted this info here on g104.
          >
          > Much discussion occurs! You contact the seller "$cashforestates$" and explain that the photos are actually not of 737th men, but of 777th men, including your father.
          >
          > My personal opinion is that these photos in the album were genuine and may have included photos that were BOTH taken by your father (and shared amongst other 777th men), as well as of your father (taken by other 777th men). Not uncommon, given the way that photos were shared by buddies after the war.
          >
          > It is also my personal opinion that it is possible the 737th inscription was put there by a well meaning relative (wife, 2nd wife, child) after the passing of R Pasquale. However, we may never know the real truth as to the origin of the 737th inscription.
          >
          > The album sold for $280 USD, which is less that what I personally expected. The sale is listed as "private".
          >
          > Approx a week later a new listing appears on eBay for an album of 777th photos burnt to CD with a buy-it-now price of $19.99 USD. This is being sold by a different eBay trader "redtrooper227".
          >
          > By cross-checking the feedback logs on eBay of the sale of the original album it appears that "$cashforestates$" sold the album to "redtrooper227" on Apr-20-09 14:48:28 PDT.
          >
          > The feedback from "$cashforestates$" for "redtrooper227" being:
          > "Exellent(sic) buyer. Item Shipped 4/21/09. Thank You A+ Apr-20-09 17:19"
          >
          > As of the time that I write this, "redtrooper227" does not appear to have left any feedback for "$cashforestates$", but this is not uncommon.
          >
          > This suggest to me that the buyer ("redtrooper227") has purchased the album, scanned it, and is now attempting to recover some of their financial outlay by selling copies of the scanned photos on discs on eBay.
          >
          > Yet in your recent message you stated that:
          > "A friend's friend bought the "War Spoils" album hoping to take it out of circulation but somehow, the photos were scanned and now are being sold once more on a CD."
          >
          > As well as:
          > "I doubt my friends would do anything like this. Just pirates.........would."
          >
          > Now, I'm not wishing to make disparaging accusations here, but from your above statement this suggests to me that your friend's friend is actually "redtrooper227".
          >
          > It is "redtrooper227" who appears to have bought the original album and is the one now selling the CD of scanned photos, using your explanation that the photos are from the 777th and not the 737th. IMHO "$cashforestates$" appears to have made a perfectly legitimate eBay sale.
          >
          > Now, whilst I agree with the vast majority of what Ray states, I do have to disagree with his comments:
          > "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."
          >
          > As well as:
          > "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."
          >
          > Yes, the "original" collection of photographs is legitimately theirs as they have paid for it. But the making of copies (on the CD) and the sale of these copies (on eBay) is a clear violation of copyright IF there is any valid copyright on these photos. Publishing these photo in a book MAY also be a violation of any legitimate copyright.
          >
          > Of course it is possible that there may NOT be any valid copyright protection on these images (public domain, copyright expired, yada, yada, yada). Again as I mentioned previously, international copyright is FAR beyond the scope of this forum.
          >
          > Of course as Ray very correctly points out, many of the images from private photo collections seen in books MAY also be violating copyright. Pragmatically, there is very little that can be done about this unless you want to open the chequebook and fund legal proceedings.
          >
          > I can appreciate that this may be a very emotive issue for you given that the images being sold are of your father. But if you were to see his image in a WWII history book, would that really be any different?
          >
          > Or perhaps if your father was more in to literature than photography, and he wrote a poem or short story which he shared amongst his 777th buddies and you happened to come across an extract of said poem or short story in a WWII history book, again this could potentially be a violation of his copyright, but would it really be any different?
          >
          > Is the selling of this eBay CD of 777th images really any different to the authoring and selling of a book, or the publishing of a website about the 777th which included the same 98 images?
          >
          > Should the author of any such a book or website on the 777th also be classified as a "pirate"?
          >
          > Of course you may disagree with me, but to my way of thinking, the sharing and promoting of WWII history is the only way we are going to help preserve the memory of the "greatest generation" for future generations. IMHO locking these images away in a private photo collection or a box in an attic is not helping to keep the memory of fine men like your father alive. Surely if more people see these images and start to ask questions and learn more about these men, this is a good thing, is it not?
          >
          > Best Wishes & Cheers from Down Under
          >
          > Leife
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Ray Merriam
          Leife, In the case of Billy s dad s photos, U.S. copyright laws DO apply, thus your comments about international copyright laws are immaterial. The following
          Message 4 of 24 , Apr 25, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Leife,

            In the case of Billy's dad's photos, U.S. copyright laws DO apply, thus your comments about international copyright laws are immaterial.

            The following is the U.S. Copyright Office's official position on International Copyrights:

            There is no such thing as an "international copyright" that will automatically protect an author's writings throughout the world. [My emphasis added. --Ray] Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country. However, most countries offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions that have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions. There are two principal international copyright conventions, the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC).

            The United States became a member of the Berne Convention on March 1, 1989. It has been a member of the UCC since September 16, 1955. Generally, the works of an author who is a national or domiciliary of a country that is a member of these treaties or works first published in a member country or published within 30 days of first publication in a Berne Union country may claim protection under the treaties. There are no formal requirements in the Berne Convention. Under the UCC, any formality in a national law may be satisfied by the use of a notice of copyright in the form and position specified in the UCC. A UCC notice should consist of the symbol © (C in a circle) accompanied by the year of first publication and the name of the copyright proprietor (example: © 2006 John Doe). This notice must be placed in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim to copyright. Since the Berne Convention prohibits formal requirements that affect the "exercise and enjoyment" of the copyright, the United States changed its law on March 1, 1989, to make the use of a copyright notice optional. U.S. law however, still provides certain advantages for use of a copyright notice; for example, the use of a copyright notice can defeat a defense of "innocent infringement."

            Even if the work cannot be brought under an international convention, protection may be available in other countries by virtue of a bilateral agreement between the United States and other countries or under specific provision of a country's national laws. (See Circular 38a, International Copyright Relations of the United States.)

            An author who wishes copyright protection for his or her work in a particular country should first determine the extent of protection available to works of foreign authors in that country. If possible, this should be done before the work is published anywhere, because protection may depend on the facts existing at the time of first publication.

            There are some countries that offer little or no copyright protection to any foreign works. For current information on the requirements and protection provided by other countries, it may be advisable to consult an expert familiar with foreign copyright laws. The U.S. Copyright Office is not permitted to recommend agents or attorneys or to give legal advice on foreign laws.

            FL-100, Revised July 2006

            From: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl100.html

            Here's another bit of info from the same web site:

            Can I register a diary I found in my grandmother's attic?
            You can register copyright in the diary only if you own the rights to the work, for example, by will or by inheritance. Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author's heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Who Can Claim Copyright."

            From: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html

            This would probably apply to Billy's dad's photos. Would probably be beneficial to him to check the "Who Can Claim Copyright" link.

            And from the same page this little tidbit about photo copyrights (the example they used is a bit goofy, but the basic info should be helpful):

            How do I protect my sighting of Elvis?
            Copyright law does not protect sightings. However, copyright law will protect your photo (or other depiction) of your sighting of Elvis. File your claim to copyright online by means of the electronic Copyright Office (eCO). Pay the fee online and attach a copy of your photo. Or, go to the Copyright Office website, fill in Form CO, print it, and mail it together with your photo and fee. For more information on registration a copyright, see SL-35. No one can lawfully use your photo of your sighting, although someone else may file his own photo of his sighting. Copyright law protects the original photograph, not the subject of the photograph. [My emphasis added. --Ray]

            The following is from a web site and while the author of the text is not a lawyer he does provide a pretty good description of copyright law, especially as it applies to photographs:



            Introduction

            "Copyright" is "the right to copy." This right is a legal construct, designed for you -- the artist -- to support your artistic endeavors. Without copyright, people would be free to use your artistic work without payment, and there would be little financial compensation for the effort of creating art. With copyright, you have legal protection. If someone wants to use (copy) your work, they have to get your permission. You can negotiate a "license" to copy, and perhaps even get paid in real money. Hopefully this will give you more incentive to create art, and the world will be a better place.



            History

            Legal copyright dates from 1557. At this time, a British printers' guild prohibited members from printing books originated by other members. The publisher had protection but not the author. In 1710, Britain's "Statute of Anne" gave copyright protection to authors, limited the duration of the protection, and gave rights to purchasers. The U.S. Constitution of 1787 discussed "securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" and the original U.S. Copyright Act dates to 1790. Rights were further defined and globalized with the Berne Convention, which was written in 1886 and adopted in U.K. law in 1988 and the U.S. in 1989.



            What Is Copyright?

            Copyright applies to most artistic works, such as paintings, murals, statues, TV shows, music, and for us, photography. As a photographer, it gives you the exclusive right to make and sell copies of the photo; to create derivative works (other art based on the photo, such as a painting of the photo); to display the photo in public; and to license usage for money to other people. In a sense, copyright doesn't give you anything, it really just affects other people, saying what they can't do, thus it's known as a "negative right".



            What About That © Symbol?

            The © symbol, or any other marking, is not required. It was required in the U.S. before 1989, but adoption of the Berne Convention removed this requirement, as copyright is now automatic. However, it is still optionally used as means of identifying the copyright owner, along with the date of creation. You don't have to include the © with your photo, but the addition of "© 2006 Joe Bloggs" tells everyone that Joe Bloggs hereby declares copyright ownership of this photo since 2006.

            The © symbol is technically a lower-case letter "c" with a circle around it. On a computer keyboard, the symbol is typed by holding down the "option" key and the pressing the letter "g". On a web page, use the HTML tag "©".

            Similarly the phrase "All rights reserved" is not required. It was once required to assert international rights but was made redundant by the Berne Convention.



            Copyright Is Automatic?

            Yes, thanks to the Berne Convention. At the moment of creation, when the artwork is "fixed" in some tangible form, copyright applies automatically. For a photographer, when you press the shutter release you are making a photo and gaining copyright to that photo at the same time. You don't have to declare copyright or file any paperwork. It is yours to keep until you explicitly give it away or you die (copyright expires after you, the duration in the U.S. is the author's lifetime plus 70 years).

            That said, there is an advantage to filing for copyright. If a dispute arises, you can get punitive damages (in addition to compensatory damages) if a form was filed before infringement.



            What Is Not Covered By Copyright?

            It's important to note what is not covered by copyright.

            Copyright covers form but not idea. It applies to the tangible artistic result -- known as the "form of material expression" -- not the underlying concept. So your photograph has copyright, but not the idea or viewpoint behind it. For example, if you take a great photo of some natural thing, such as a beach or Yosemite Valley, you can't stop other people from taking the same photo.

            Some things are in the "public domain" and are free for the people to use. This includes artwork published before 1923; copyrights that have expired (complex); and public property such as written laws.

            Copyright does not apply to facts, since these are universal not individual. Factual dates and figures can't be copyrighted, but text expressing those facts may be.

            Copyright can expire. In the U.S., the duration is lifetime plus 70 years.

            Copyright does not prevent resale. In the U.S., after the "first sale", the owner can resell a work as-is (the work can't be copied or resold in an altered form).

            Copyright may be superceded when other laws apply, such as trademark or privacy.

            Fair use is permitted. This is complex, see below.



            Fair Use

            Fair Use (or Fair Dealing in some countries) permits copying for some purposes, but is a complex issue. Generally, copying is permitted for personal use, research, teaching, criticism, parody, news reporting and editorial use.

            Beyond that, the law is deliberately vague and is decided on a case-by-case basis. A lawyer can render an opinion, but there's no accurate answer until a case is adjudicated by a court. Questions include: how commercial was the use, has the market of the original work been affected, how different is the derivative work, has a significant amount of work been copied. Note that "fair use" is an "affirmative defense", where the infringer has the burden of proof to show that the use was indeed fair.











            Will People Steal My Work?

            Generally no, as publishers live by copyright law and usually have established rates which they gladly pay. A more likely problem is that publishers may not know that you are the copyright owner, which goes back to that "©" symbol and digital watermark.

            If you put your photos on the Internet, you may find them cropping up on other amateur websites, but not on professional websites or in printed media. Pictures on the Internet are too low in resolution to use in print. By the way, putting photos on the Internet may make them publicly available but does not (in the legal sense) put them in the public domain.

            What about overseas? Your copyright is valid in all countries that adhere to the Berne Convention.
            From: http://www.photosecrets.com/tips.copyright.html

            This looks like an interesting site for anyone dealing with photos. The author's copyright notice actually allows for my use of his text in this instance.

            To get back to Billy's dilemma, one thing he could do is request the person selling the CD with his father's photos provide an acknowledgment of the origina source, possibly including a notice that refers back to his web site (if he has one). He could ask for a fee, but my guess is he would not get it even if he took legal action (in any case, the lawyers will be the only ones to benefit from the case). Approach the individual in a friendly manner, even offering to help such as providing proper caption info. (This is what I did with the guy who used the Soochow Creek booklet material.) In the long run, it could benefit Billy when he gets around to publishing his book/photos, as a form of publicity.

            As already noted above, U.S. copyright law was not automatic in the 1940s, and I do feel confident in stating that U.S. copyright law would have applied to photos taken by American servicemen in foreign countries. The U.S. government has alway operated on the basis that all Americans are subject to all U.S. laws above any foreign or international laws (which totally pisses off many foreign governments).

            Many of you are probably aware that many U.S. unit histories published during and just after the war have no copyright whatsoever. At that time, and up until the Berne Convention, you HAD to have a proper copyright notice on any copies made. This was clearly stated in the copyright regulations that I followed in the 1970s and 80s. And if you released a book or magazine without the proper notice, you were required to apply the proper notice on as many copies as possible, using any means available. I've seen such notices applied by rubber stamp, typed onto labels or plain paper and glued on, and once even handwritten. A few will have a copyright attributed to an individual. These are generally in the public domain because they were mostly written by members of the armed forces, on government time, using government records.

            Even those with copyright notices may not be legally protected by a copyright. For instance, the very first volume published in the Army's WWII history series, which was on Guadalcanal, carries a copyright notice to the author. It is not, however, valid. The author assumed because he was not a member of the armed forces nor a government employee that he could copyright the work. However, the Army had hired him to write the book, and thus because he was paid by the government for his work, it fell into the public domain category. But this was not realized until after the book was released and thus all copies of the book, even later reprints , still carry the copyright notice.

            If a collection of letters, photos, and other personal materials is sold by that person or his heirs, or legal representatives should he have no legal heirs, unless there is some sort of binding legal agreement made preventing the buyer from utilizing those materials, such as using them in a book, or selling copies of photos, etc., then all rights have passed to the the buyer who is then the legal owner of that material and can do with them as they desire.

            The buyer of the war spoils album probably had no clue as to the fact that the photos came from a variety of sources and might have been protected legally from using them as he did. Everyone acted in good faith and only by pure chance did Billy discover copies of his father's photos in another veteran's possession. No doubt this has happened thousands of times and will continue to happen. I have a few photos from my father's wartime service and I wouldn't be surprised if some were actually from other buddies of his. But I have no idea who they are, since as is so typical, there was virtually nothing identifying the people or even the location.

            Unless you're a hardass and have the bucks to go after them, you're better off just chalking it up to experience, learn from it, and move on. And see if you can get some positive results from the person selling the CD, helping each other out. He might be a very nice guy, who was doing what he thought was perfectly acceptable with materials he bought.

            Ray

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: leifehulbert
            To: G104@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, 25 April 2009 5:47 AM
            Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)


            Ray,

            Without getting into a long-winded argument over international copyright, which is not the purpose of this forum, and would most likely bore the pants off many of the members here, your comment that:
            "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams."
            may hold true for US law, but (un)fortunately (depending on your POV) US copyright law does NOT apply internationally.

            Under Crown copyright legislation which is just only one of the many families of law that are in effect around the globe, works WERE granted automatic copyright protection prior to 1976. I live in Australia and many of the members of g104 live in other legislations. Inevitably their copyright laws will be different to both of ours, and I can assure you offer many very differing levels of copyright protection.

            Under copyright legislation, photography is defined as the act of exposing a film to light. It is generally accepted internationally that the owner of the film (not the person who owns the camera nor the person who presses the button) is deemed to be the copyright holder of the photograph.

            Hence when a government issues film to an offical war photographer, the government subsequently holds the copyright. In the case of the US government, this copyright automatically defaults to the public domain through an act of its own legislation.

            Many "original" photographs can then be developed from that one negative and owned by many individuals or bodies, but the copyright holder is still the original owner of the film. Even the sale of the negative does not necessarily automatically transfer "the right to copy" (copyright).

            Of course with the advent of digital photography and the "filmless photograph", this definition of "photograph" is being severely tested, but that is often the case, as the law usually lags behind technology.

            There is also the matter of jurisdictional issues that can be argued. Under most copyright legislation, the country under which a photograph is first developed from the negative is the nation whose copyright legislation is deemed to apply. Hence it could be argued that as these photos were (most likely) developed in Germany in the immediate post-war period, they could be deemed to fall under German copyright law. The counter argument is that Germany was under Military Occupation at the time and hence their laws do not apply. Which country's laws would apply is a matter of legal interpretation.

            We could get into many philosophical arguments about international copyright, jurisdictional issues, and the inadequacies of laws in keeping up with technology. Regardless, in the eyes of the law, the act of purchasing an "original" photograph is no different to that of any other work, be it an "original" book or a CD for example.

            If you buy a book or CD on eBay, you legally own that particular copy of that book or CD. That does NOT give you the right to make unauthorized copies of that work IF it is protected by copyright. If you now substitute the words "book or CD" with the word "photograph" in the same sentence, the law is exactly the same.

            This would also apply to your comments:
            "The photos that Billy's father gave to another veteran (assuming that is what happened), are in a gray area, as they are technically "originals", produced (most likely) from the original negative, although Billy could claim their use is restricted since his father created them and he now "owns" them."

            Yes, the individuals would legally own these "original" photographs, but that does not automatically give them the right to reproduce them (copyright) and hence any use would definitely be restricted under any "relevant & applicable" copyright legislation. Technically & legally, there is no "gray area" about it. IF these items are protected by copyright then they are violating said copyright. Again these are no different to these indivduals being given "original" copies of a book or CD.

            However, proving copyright ownership in the case of a 60 odd year old photograph, the violation of said copyright, jurisdiction and the legal case against any violation is a totally different subject, again FAR beyond the scope of this forum.

            Cheers from Down Under

            Leife


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • leifehulbert
            Ray, Personally I have no quarrel with you and I very much appreciated your steadying influence and wise words in relation to the rather emotive issues that
            Message 5 of 24 , Apr 26, 2009
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              Ray,

              Personally I have no quarrel with you and I very much appreciated your steadying influence and wise words in relation to the rather emotive issues that originally permeated this thread. I did however, take exception to a number of very misleading broad blanket statements that you made in relation to copyright. This has apparently been taken up by you as some challenge, and you have since attempted to "educate" me on the virtues of US Copyright Legislation and International Copyright.

              Yes, I am very well aware that there is no overall International Copyright law, but I use the term for the blanket coverage of the myriad of national copyright laws and international conventions & agreements, in much the same manner that the broad terms Family law and Contract law are used. Obviously there are also no universal single laws which cover those blanket subjects either.

              I am also more than aware of the US Copyright Legislation, The Berne & Rome Conventions, UCC, WTO, GATT & TRIPS agreements.

              I sincerely hope that you did not go to all of that trouble of cutting & pasting on my behalf. Perhaps you may have read it, but you do not appear to have understood much of what it was saying.

              It is you Ray that insists on making broad blanket statements regarding International Copyright law. For the sake of clarity I will re-quote your own words. It was YOU who originally stated:

              "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."

              As well as:

              "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

              Now, if you care to read this extract from your own US Copyright Legislation cut & paste job:

              "Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author's heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Who Can Claim Copyright."

              Or this one:

              "Copyright does not prevent resale. In the U.S., after the "first sale", the owner can resell a work as-is (the work can't be copied or resold in an altered form)."

              So even under your own US Copyright Legislation that you are so keen to quote to me, legal ownership of a work does NOT entitle one to make unauthorized copies WHERE this work is protected under copyright.

              This should be pretty black & white to anyone who has taken the time to read the legislation, and is pretty much the whole cornerstone of what copyright is about.

              To refute my comments that your statements were misleading, you countered with another blanket statement that (and again for the sake of clarity I shall re-quote you):

              "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright."

              Again quite simply NOT TRUE. To make such a broad sweeping statement that "nothing" was automatically covered is blatantly INCORRECT.

              As I pointed out to you, that may be the case under your own US Copyright Legislation, but the REST OF THE WORLD does not fall under US jurisdiction, and hence US law does NOT apply elsewhere. In spite of your claims, many other nations DID automatically offer copyright protection to works prior to 1976. That is an irrefutable fact.

              As to your most recent assertion that:

              "In the case of Billy's dad's photos, U.S. copyright laws DO apply, thus your comments about international copyright laws are immaterial."

              Ray, this is quite frankly, WRONG. I again refer you to the following extract from YOUR own cut & paste job:

              "Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country."

              Or this extract:

              "An author who wishes copyright protection for his or her work in a particular country should first determine the extent of protection available to works of foreign authors in that country. If possible, this should be done before the work is published ANYWHERE (my emphasis), because protection may depend on the facts existing at the time of first publication."

              Note the phrase "may depend on the facts existing at the time of first publication." This is where the jurisdictional issues arise.

              Or this one:

              "There are some countries that offer little or no copyright protection to any foreign works."

              Yes, under certain circumstances and jurisdictions US Copyright Legislation do apply as will a number of International conventions & agreements. But under numerous other circumstances they DO NOT. The all encompassing "DO" (your emphasis) of your statement is quite obviously incorrect. My comments were (and still are) that it was a point of legal interpretation as to which nation's law could be applied.

              Your statement that:

              "As already noted above, U.S. copyright law was not automatic in the 1940s, and I do feel confident in stating that U.S. copyright law would have applied to photos taken by American servicemen in foreign countries. The U.S. government has alway (sic) operated on the basis that all Americans are subject to all U.S. laws above any foreign or international laws (which totally pisses off many foreign governments)."

              That is very much a case of your amateur legal opinion Ray, and a subject of legal conjecture. Yes, PERHAPS you MAY even be right IF the case was to be heard in a US court of law. I'm sure that I would not have too much trouble finding a US copyright lawyer that could convincingly argue otherwise. And regardless of your amateur legal advice Ray, under a foreign court of law US Legislation does NOT apply.

              In relation to Billy's specific case, there is no proof that Billy's father was actually the legal copyright holder of all of the photos. It is a known fact that it was common for war buddies to share photographs amongst themselves, thus potentially casting doubt upon any claims of copyright.

              Your statement:

              "If a collection of letters, photos, and other personal materials is sold by that person or his heirs, or legal representatives should he have no legal heirs, unless there is some sort of binding legal agreement made preventing the buyer from utilizing those materials, such as using them in a book, or selling copies of photos, etc., then all rights have passed to the the (sic) buyer who is then the legal owner of that material and can do with them as they desire."

              This again is simply NOT TRUE. The copyright does NOT automatically pass on with the purchase of the physical item.

              Again your own extract contradicts this:

              "Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author's heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Who Can Claim Copyright."

              Or this one:

              ""Copyright" is "the right to copy." This right is a legal construct, designed for you -- the artist -- to support your artistic endeavors."

              Your opinion on the specifics of the case of Billy's dad's photos are actually immaterial, as are my own, or even your lawyer's or my lawyer's. It will be at the discretion of the presiding judge and his interpretation of the very complex legal and jurisdictional issues of the legislation when & more specifically WHERE any case is held.

              I think it more appropriate to refer Billy to an actual copyright lawyer rather than make over simplistic broad legal generalisations and giving amateur legal advice.

              I am quite perplexed as to why you would have the temerity to state that my own comments are "immaterial", yet in the your very own cut & paste extract you actually present the evidence refuting your very own statements.

              It is you Ray that has insisted on making naive, broad blanket statements that trivialise and quite frankly illustrate your lack of appreciation of such an extremely complex subject as International Copyright law and its jurisdictional issues.

              I cannot speak for the rest of the international members on this forum, but personally I find it quite insulting that you continually insist on clinging to the dogmatic notion that your US Copyright Legislation somehow applies internationally, and that the only valid court of law is a US court of law.

              Furthermore, I really do feel that this forum is not the appropriate place for me further publicly dissect your arguments using your own extract, as I suspect that we may be wearing out the patience of Hanno & the members of this forum. However if you wish continue this discussion privately I am more than willing to do so and I can be contacted at the e-mail address at the top of this post.

              So for the sake of clarity I will reiterate (for the fourth or possibly fifth time) that the intricacies of International Copyright law "this subject is FAR beyond the scope of this forum".

              Leife Hulbert
            • CHARLES RAY
              Liefe, Ray, et al, I guess I let emotion run rampant on this topic of the 777th photos in the 737th album.  Not understanding that there could have been
              Message 6 of 24 , Apr 26, 2009
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                Liefe, Ray, et al,
                I guess I let emotion run rampant on this topic of the 777th photos in the 737th album.  Not understanding that there could have been numerous photos made from a single negative was my first mistake.  Mom and dad never made duplicates.  They may have made several pictures of the same subject but never doubles.  I have them all here in my collection from aunts and uncles and grandparent's passed down photos. 
                Also, I spent a lot of time working on the 777th history and was disappointed that some of the photos I plan to use in the book are already sold on e-bay.  I noticed, in another album on e-bay, that a famous Time Life WWII photo of a German Soldier is also included in another seller's group of photos.  I beleive it is in every WWII book that I've bought.
                So sorry to have made such a stink over some photos that I thought were copies of photos I have shared with friends and that friends shared with me.
                I have a better understanding now how this could have happened and hope any bad feelings I have caused will quickly be forgotten.
                I learned that my friend's friend who bought the album, is reselling the CDs to offset the cost of the album.  I am okay with it now that I understand what could have happened.  I believe it all happened just as the seller said.
                Thanks for the discussion and explainations...let's get back to Tank Talk.
                Sincerely,
                Billy Ray

                --- On Fri, 4/24/09, leifehulbert <leife_os@...> wrote:

                From: leifehulbert <leife_os@...>
                Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)
                To: G104@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Friday, April 24, 2009, 5:53 PM








                Billy,

                I'm not wanting to stir up a hornet's nest here (again), but I'm not quite sure I exactly follow what you're saying.

                The way I follow the chain of events are:

                eBay seller "$cashforestates$ " put a photo album up for auction. It had an inscription inside the front cover that it was from R Pasquale of the 737th Tank Battalion.

                "$cashforestates$ " states that they sell estate sales and presumably this album is a genuine collection of a vet's photos from a deceased estate. The listing also explained that the vet's collection is mounted in a "captured" German photo album. My reading of the listing is that the photos themselves are not described as being "captured", just the album they are mounted in.

                Dan ("shoelessrunner" ) saw these photos for auction on eBay & posted the info in a group e-mail to a number of friends (myself included), one of whom (Ondra) noted that a few of the photo included the same sign and servicemen as some of your 777th photos here on g104. Ondra & Dan both came to the conclusion that some of these photos showed your father, Charles Ray.

                Realising the relevance of this find, Dan posted this info here on g104.

                Much discussion occurs! You contact the seller "$cashforestates$ " and explain that the photos are actually not of 737th men, but of 777th men, including your father.

                My personal opinion is that these photos in the album were genuine and may have included photos that were BOTH taken by your father (and shared amongst other 777th men), as well as of your father (taken by other 777th men). Not uncommon, given the way that photos were shared by buddies after the war.

                It is also my personal opinion that it is possible the 737th inscription was put there by a well meaning relative (wife, 2nd wife, child) after the passing of R Pasquale. However, we may never know the real truth as to the origin of the 737th inscription.

                The album sold for $280 USD, which is less that what I personally expected. The sale is listed as "private".

                Approx a week later a new listing appears on eBay for an album of 777th photos burnt to CD with a buy-it-now price of $19.99 USD. This is being sold by a different eBay trader "redtrooper227" .

                By cross-checking the feedback logs on eBay of the sale of the original album it appears that "$cashforestates$ " sold the album to "redtrooper227" on Apr-20-09 14:48:28 PDT.

                The feedback from "$cashforestates$ " for "redtrooper227" being:
                "Exellent(sic) buyer. Item Shipped 4/21/09. Thank You A+ Apr-20-09 17:19"

                As of the time that I write this, "redtrooper227" does not appear to have left any feedback for "$cashforestates$ ", but this is not uncommon.

                This suggest to me that the buyer ("redtrooper227" ) has purchased the album, scanned it, and is now attempting to recover some of their financial outlay by selling copies of the scanned photos on discs on eBay.

                Yet in your recent message you stated that:
                "A friend's friend bought the "War Spoils" album hoping to take it out of circulation but somehow, the photos were scanned and now are being sold once more on a CD."

                As well as:
                "I doubt my friends would do anything like this. Just pirates..... ....would. "

                Now, I'm not wishing to make disparaging accusations here, but from your above statement this suggests to me that your friend's friend is actually "redtrooper227" .

                It is "redtrooper227" who appears to have bought the original album and is the one now selling the CD of scanned photos, using your explanation that the photos are from the 777th and not the 737th. IMHO "$cashforestates$ " appears to have made a perfectly legitimate eBay sale.

                Now, whilst I agree with the vast majority of what Ray states, I do have to disagree with his comments:
                "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."

                As well as:
                "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

                Yes, the "original" collection of photographs is legitimately theirs as they have paid for it. But the making of copies (on the CD) and the sale of these copies (on eBay) is a clear violation of copyright IF there is any valid copyright on these photos. Publishing these photo in a book MAY also be a violation of any legitimate copyright.

                Of course it is possible that there may NOT be any valid copyright protection on these images (public domain, copyright expired, yada, yada, yada). Again as I mentioned previously, international copyright is FAR beyond the scope of this forum.

                Of course as Ray very correctly points out, many of the images from private photo collections seen in books MAY also be violating copyright. Pragmatically, there is very little that can be done about this unless you want to open the chequebook and fund legal proceedings.

                I can appreciate that this may be a very emotive issue for you given that the images being sold are of your father. But if you were to see his image in a WWII history book, would that really be any different?

                Or perhaps if your father was more in to literature than photography, and he wrote a poem or short story which he shared amongst his 777th buddies and you happened to come across an extract of said poem or short story in a WWII history book, again this could potentially be a violation of his copyright, but would it really be any different?

                Is the selling of this eBay CD of 777th images really any different to the authoring and selling of a book, or the publishing of a website about the 777th which included the same 98 images?

                Should the author of any such a book or website on the 777th also be classified as a "pirate"?

                Of course you may disagree with me, but to my way of thinking, the sharing and promoting of WWII history is the only way we are going to help preserve the memory of the "greatest generation" for future generations. IMHO locking these images away in a private photo collection or a box in an attic is not helping to keep the memory of fine men like your father alive. Surely if more people see these images and start to ask questions and learn more about these men, this is a good thing, is it not?

                Best Wishes & Cheers from Down Under

                Leife
















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ray Merriam
                Leife, My apologies if you feel I was attacking you personally. Such was not my intnt. But anyone who has known me well will know that I am a passionate
                Message 7 of 24 , Apr 26, 2009
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                  Leife,

                  My apologies if you feel I was "attacking" you personally. Such was not my intnt. But anyone who has known me well will know that I am a passionate person when it comes to certain things, such as WWII history. I do tend to get into these sorts of "debates" with people. When I was publishing my magazines back in the 1970s, I was always responding to readers comments, and there were some, including my own business partners, who would tell me to try and restrain myself from responding to everything. But if someone says something that I feel needs a clarifying response, then I will respond.

                  In this case, having been a magazine and book publisher for over 40 years, I believe I have an insight into the issue that most do not have. I also am not a lawyer and I don't pretend to know every nuance of the U.S. copyright laws, let alone international copyright laws. But when this issue came up, there was clearly a lack of knowledge on the part of the people involved.

                  Actually, it wasn't so much the copyright laws that got me started, but the fact that no one really knew how the photos came to be in the seller's possession, and some were jumping to conclusions without knowing the full story (which we probably never will know).

                  When someone sells their personal property to another, it is understood that the new owner has been given all rights to that property, unless there was some sort of legal agreement made between the two parties as to what could and could not be done with said property.

                  Many veterans (or their heirs) will donate materials to a museum or archives or library. Sometimes the materials have certain restrictions set by the veteran or heirs that can range from no access (this may be applied for a certain length of time, such as a set number of years after the death of the person), or limited access. In those cases the rights to those materials are retained by the veteran/heirs and for anyone to use them, such as an author writing a book, permission would probably have to come from the veteran or his heirs. Some collections may be donated with full ownership going to the museum, etc.

                  Back in 1995 when I was working on a book by a 9th Inf Div veteran, he contacted me one day to ask my opinion about a request that had been made of him. He had sent a copy of his original manuscript to Stephen Ambrose, who at the time was collecting WWII veteran's accounts. This was just before the National D-Day Museum got started. He had sent the author a form that requested the author donate the material. But the catch was that once they donated the material, it became the exclusive property of the Museum and not even the author could use it without THEIR permission. Had he signed that as is, that would hve meant he could not have had me or anyone else publish his book without getting their permission (and they had the right to publish any or all of his material with no compensation to him). I advised him not to sign it, but he wanted his manuscript in the collection so he did sign it, but with a note added by him stating that he retained all rights.

                  We published his book, the author sent Ambrose a copy, and a few years later Ambrose wrote "Citizen Soldiers" and (properly) referenced the author's book a few times.

                  My main point about people selling collections of original letters, photos, documents, etc., is that no one is buying those materials just to have them sit in their house. They plan to utilize those materials in some way, and to (hopefully) make money from them. I certainly would not pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a collection that I could not use freely.

                  If I were interested in buying such a collection, I would first make certain I was able to use all the materials freely. If not, then I would need to know exactly what restrictions are being put on their use and if too restrictive, I would not buy it.

                  I'd be willing to bet that no one buying such collections (or individual items) whether on ebay, at an auction, an estate sale, from a dealer, or from the veteran or their heirs, has ever thought that they would not have full ownership of those items once the sale was completed.

                  When I stated that nothing was automatically copyrighted prior to 1976 I WAS referring solely to U.S. copyrights. Indeed, this whole discussion is only about U.S. copyright because we are talking about Billy' dad's photos and only U.S. copyright laws apply. So you completely misunderstood my point.

                  Again, you also misunderstood my point about Billy's dad's photos. I was referring specifically to his father's photos, not all the photos in that war spoils album (which if what we now know, would indicate that some of the other photos probably also came from other veterans).

                  You keep trying to claim I am trying to apply U.S. copyright law internationally. But again you keep misinterpreting my statements. You keep making a point that copyright laws vary from country to coutnry, yet you keep trying to make this an international issue when it is not.

                  You have publicly insulted my intelligence while at the same time I have tried to be diplomatic and helpful. You insult me in your last message and then want me to defend myself privately only to you. Not gonna happen.

                  Several years ago I was a member of a forum (not on Yahoo) on WWII history. One member got a bug up his ass about original documents. Don't recall how it got started--probably another member said something and I made the mistake of commenting on it. Then this other member chimed in and commented that he would not utilize any original documentation that had been altered in any way. He was British and the specific example he gave was that he had viewed the original flight log of the test pilot (his name escapes me at the moment) of the Spitfire. He saw that someone had made some notations in the margins at a later date in ink (the original notations were in pencil), which corrected some of the original notations. He stated that because of those added notations, the entire flight log could not be trusted as a source document. This was so incredibly illogical to me that he and I got into a debate about it. We went round and round for some days. I was tiring of it, because he just would not let it go (and he was starting to get a bit nasty in his responses; I probably got a little nasty myself as he was trying my patience). Finally the moderator stepped in and told us to knock it off. I was ready to just drop it, but the guy continued on. I responded, the guy sent another reply and that's when the moderator kicked us both off. He got the last word, but several of the other members had contacted me personally to say they thought I was right and that I handled myself better than he did.

                  So, I'm not adverse to a little debate and if I get kicked off because of it, so be it. That's the way I am. As noted at the beginning of this missive, I am a passionate person and sometimes that can get me into hot water.

                  At this point, I will shut my mouth on this subject. Everyone can make up their own mind as to what is right. I do agree with Leife on one thing--neither of us has the final answer, so this was just a major waste of everyone's time.

                  My final comment to Billy is as I stated previously: Contact the guy selling the photo CD and try to come to some mutually beneficial agreement. Going the legal route will not benefit anyone except the lawyers.

                  Fini.

                  Ray




                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: leifehulbert
                  To: G104@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, 26 April 2009 8:25 AM
                  Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)


                  Ray,

                  Personally I have no quarrel with you and I very much appreciated your steadying influence and wise words in relation to the rather emotive issues that originally permeated this thread. I did however, take exception to a number of very misleading broad blanket statements that you made in relation to copyright. This has apparently been taken up by you as some challenge, and you have since attempted to "educate" me on the virtues of US Copyright Legislation and International Copyright.

                  Yes, I am very well aware that there is no overall International Copyright law, but I use the term for the blanket coverage of the myriad of national copyright laws and international conventions & agreements, in much the same manner that the broad terms Family law and Contract law are used. Obviously there are also no universal single laws which cover those blanket subjects either.

                  I am also more than aware of the US Copyright Legislation, The Berne & Rome Conventions, UCC, WTO, GATT & TRIPS agreements.

                  I sincerely hope that you did not go to all of that trouble of cutting & pasting on my behalf. Perhaps you may have read it, but you do not appear to have understood much of what it was saying.

                  It is you Ray that insists on making broad blanket statements regarding International Copyright law. For the sake of clarity I will re-quote your own words. It was YOU who originally stated:

                  "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."

                  As well as:

                  "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

                  Now, if you care to read this extract from your own US Copyright Legislation cut & paste job:

                  "Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author's heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Who Can Claim Copyright."

                  Or this one:

                  "Copyright does not prevent resale. In the U.S., after the "first sale", the owner can resell a work as-is (the work can't be copied or resold in an altered form)."

                  So even under your own US Copyright Legislation that you are so keen to quote to me, legal ownership of a work does NOT entitle one to make unauthorized copies WHERE this work is protected under copyright.

                  This should be pretty black & white to anyone who has taken the time to read the legislation, and is pretty much the whole cornerstone of what copyright is about.

                  To refute my comments that your statements were misleading, you countered with another blanket statement that (and again for the sake of clarity I shall re-quote you):

                  "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright."

                  Again quite simply NOT TRUE. To make such a broad sweeping statement that "nothing" was automatically covered is blatantly INCORRECT.

                  As I pointed out to you, that may be the case under your own US Copyright Legislation, but the REST OF THE WORLD does not fall under US jurisdiction, and hence US law does NOT apply elsewhere. In spite of your claims, many other nations DID automatically offer copyright protection to works prior to 1976. That is an irrefutable fact.

                  As to your most recent assertion that:

                  "In the case of Billy's dad's photos, U.S. copyright laws DO apply, thus your comments about international copyright laws are immaterial."

                  Ray, this is quite frankly, WRONG. I again refer you to the following extract from YOUR own cut & paste job:

                  "Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country."

                  Or this extract:

                  "An author who wishes copyright protection for his or her work in a particular country should first determine the extent of protection available to works of foreign authors in that country. If possible, this should be done before the work is published ANYWHERE (my emphasis), because protection may depend on the facts existing at the time of first publication."

                  Note the phrase "may depend on the facts existing at the time of first publication." This is where the jurisdictional issues arise.

                  Or this one:

                  "There are some countries that offer little or no copyright protection to any foreign works."

                  Yes, under certain circumstances and jurisdictions US Copyright Legislation do apply as will a number of International conventions & agreements. But under numerous other circumstances they DO NOT. The all encompassing "DO" (your emphasis) of your statement is quite obviously incorrect. My comments were (and still are) that it was a point of legal interpretation as to which nation's law could be applied.

                  Your statement that:

                  "As already noted above, U.S. copyright law was not automatic in the 1940s, and I do feel confident in stating that U.S. copyright law would have applied to photos taken by American servicemen in foreign countries. The U.S. government has alway (sic) operated on the basis that all Americans are subject to all U.S. laws above any foreign or international laws (which totally pisses off many foreign governments)."

                  That is very much a case of your amateur legal opinion Ray, and a subject of legal conjecture. Yes, PERHAPS you MAY even be right IF the case was to be heard in a US court of law. I'm sure that I would not have too much trouble finding a US copyright lawyer that could convincingly argue otherwise. And regardless of your amateur legal advice Ray, under a foreign court of law US Legislation does NOT apply.

                  In relation to Billy's specific case, there is no proof that Billy's father was actually the legal copyright holder of all of the photos. It is a known fact that it was common for war buddies to share photographs amongst themselves, thus potentially casting doubt upon any claims of copyright.

                  Your statement:

                  "If a collection of letters, photos, and other personal materials is sold by that person or his heirs, or legal representatives should he have no legal heirs, unless there is some sort of binding legal agreement made preventing the buyer from utilizing those materials, such as using them in a book, or selling copies of photos, etc., then all rights have passed to the the (sic) buyer who is then the legal owner of that material and can do with them as they desire."

                  This again is simply NOT TRUE. The copyright does NOT automatically pass on with the purchase of the physical item.

                  Again your own extract contradicts this:

                  "Copyright is the right of the author of the work or the author's heirs or assignees, not of the one who only owns or possesses the physical work itself. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "Who Can Claim Copyright."

                  Or this one:

                  ""Copyright" is "the right to copy." This right is a legal construct, designed for you -- the artist -- to support your artistic endeavors."

                  Your opinion on the specifics of the case of Billy's dad's photos are actually immaterial, as are my own, or even your lawyer's or my lawyer's. It will be at the discretion of the presiding judge and his interpretation of the very complex legal and jurisdictional issues of the legislation when & more specifically WHERE any case is held.

                  I think it more appropriate to refer Billy to an actual copyright lawyer rather than make over simplistic broad legal generalisations and giving amateur legal advice.

                  I am quite perplexed as to why you would have the temerity to state that my own comments are "immaterial", yet in the your very own cut & paste extract you actually present the evidence refuting your very own statements.

                  It is you Ray that has insisted on making naive, broad blanket statements that trivialise and quite frankly illustrate your lack of appreciation of such an extremely complex subject as International Copyright law and its jurisdictional issues.

                  I cannot speak for the rest of the international members on this forum, but personally I find it quite insulting that you continually insist on clinging to the dogmatic notion that your US Copyright Legislation somehow applies internationally, and that the only valid court of law is a US court of law.

                  Furthermore, I really do feel that this forum is not the appropriate place for me further publicly dissect your arguments using your own extract, as I suspect that we may be wearing out the patience of Hanno & the members of this forum. However if you wish continue this discussion privately I am more than willing to do so and I can be contacted at the e-mail address at the top of this post.

                  So for the sake of clarity I will reiterate (for the fourth or possibly fifth time) that the intricacies of International Copyright law "this subject is FAR beyond the scope of this forum".

                  Leife Hulbert





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                • leifehulbert
                  Ray, I politely asked you to respond to me in private, but you have somehow taken this as a direct challenge and instead insisted on responding here. So I
                  Message 8 of 24 , Apr 27, 2009
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                    Ray,

                    I politely asked you to respond to me in private, but you have somehow taken this as a direct challenge and instead insisted on responding here. So I consequently wish to withdraw my offer to private discussions, and instead will respond to your comments here.

                    You have repeatedly made statements of legal opinion regarding copyright that fly directly in the face of the basic concept of copyright itself.

                    I took exception to 2 very general blanket statements that you originally made regarding copyright. These were:
                    "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."
                    As well as:
                    "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

                    To use an "Americanism", you were "called" on these statements. Anybody that has an understanding of even the most basic principles of copyright can see that these two statements are an absolute load of rubbish.

                    Did you go back and check your facts? Did you take the time to clarify your comments, to retract them or to even concede that you may have actually been incorrect or misleading? No, instead you very conveniently sidestepped the issue, and made another different grandiose blanket legal claim regarding copyright.

                    When you were challenged on this subsequent claim, you then took it upon yourself to post a response addressing me directly, and then proceeded to lecture me by filling it with cuttings & pastings of large volumes of very basic legal information about US Copyright Legislation from a number of websites.

                    You displayed a contemptuous attitude towards me (and indeed the other members of this forum), for even though you don't have the slightest idea of my (or any of the other member's) background or legal knowledge, you assumed that you were eminently more qualified to express your very amateur legal opinions given the fact that you have no actual legal qualifications, but instead over 40 years of experience in of all things publishing. Did you even stop to consider the remote possibility that another member of this forum may actually know as much as, or perhaps even more about this particular subject than you? Evidently not.

                    The extracts you posted only served to display your complete lack of understanding or regard for to the extremely complex nature of US Copyright Legislation let alone International Copyright law, as they quite clearly contradicted your own ill-informed legal opinions.

                    And on one of the websites you quoted, you even conceded that the person giving the advice was not a lawyer, and I quote:
                    "The following is from a web site and while the author of the text is not a lawyer he does provide a pretty good description of copyright law, especially as it applies to photographs:"

                    For all you know he also works the graveyard shift at the Quick-E-Mart in Earache, Wyoming. But hey, it's on the internet, therefore it must be true!

                    So what was I supposed to do Ray? Quake in my boots at the huge volume of legal knowledge that you managed to cut & paste together? Be flummoxed at your rather unimpressive display of style over substance? I instead chose to use many of your own cut & paste extracts to yet again show that your claims are quite frankly a load of tripe.

                    You have had ample opportunity to either retract or to clarify your original comments. Instead you now try to muddy the waters with the inference that you are being misunderstood, misinterpreted or misrepresented. Considering that I have only used direct quotes from your own posts I find this is somewhat disingenuous on your behalf.

                    By your actions, I can only assume that you must still stand by your original statements, even though they have been shown to be totally false and in fact fly against the basic tenet of copyright.

                    Further to this, you make the following statement:
                    "When I stated that nothing was automatically copyrighted prior to 1976 I WAS (your emphasis) referring solely to U.S. copyrights. Indeed, this whole discussion is only about U.S. copyright because we are talking about Billy' dad's photos and only U.S. copyright laws apply. So you completely misunderstood my point."

                    Yet in your original statement:
                    "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams."

                    Note that there is no mention of US Copyright law at all in your original very broad sweeping statement. I did not write the words in your posts, you did Ray. And for someone who professes over 40 years of experience in publishing, your inability to unambiguously or eloquently express yourself using the English language leaves me quite perplexed.

                    You state:
                    "…..yet you keep trying to make this an international issue when it is not.

                    And this binding legal statement is based on what exactly Ray? Your qualified legal opinion? I am not making it anything at all. There is a very real possibility that International copyright law MAY apply to some of the items this case, something you seem to be totally unwilling to even consider. Your rather arrogant insistence that YOU have determined that the case of Billy Ray's father's photos is indeed subject to (and apparently solely subject to) the legal jurisdiction of US Copyright Law, based on your lack of any legal qualifications leaves me less than persuaded. It just further illustrates your complete lack of appreciation for the intricacies of Copyright law.

                    Hypothetically, if we were to walk into a room of 1000 lawyers and ask the first one that we saw what they thought about Billy's case, I have no doubt that they would respond that they "don't know as they are not a Copyright lawyer, and that is not their area of expertise". Yes, lawyers specialise too. And I'm quite sure that we would receive similar responses from all of the other lawyers we questioned until we did come across a Copyright lawyer. And I have no doubt that they would respond that they "cannot comment as they don't know the facts of the case".

                    The facts of the matter in Billy's father's photos case, are that we don't know the facts. Not you. Not me. And evidently (with all due respect to Billy) not Billy either.

                    I concede that you now readily admit to not knowing the facts of this case yet you still feel yourself eminently qualified to make the ridiculous legal assertion that it IS a US Copyright case. And your learned legal opinion is based on what exactly? By you own admission, and I quote:
                    "I also am not a lawyer and I don't pretend to know every nuance of the U.S. copyright laws, let alone international copyright laws."

                    Hmmmm, quite frankly I never had any doubt about this fact from the moment you decide to peddle your amateur legal opinions. You have seemingly instead based your legal opinion on forty years on experience in publishing and the reading of few cut & pastes from some internet sites, one of which was not even written by a lawyer.

                    In your last two posts you have made the following incorrect claims:
                    "If a collection of letters, photos, and other personal materials is sold by that person or his heirs, or legal representatives should he have no legal heirs, unless there is some sort of binding legal agreement made preventing the buyer from utilizing those materials, such as using them in a book, or selling copies of photos, etc., then all rights have passed to the the (sic) buyer who is then the legal owner of that material and can do with them as they desire."

                    And:
                    When someone sells their personal property to another, it is understood that the new owner has been given all rights to that property, unless there was some sort of legal agreement made between the two parties as to what could and could not be done with said property.

                    Have you not heard of the legal phrase "caveat emptor"? Perhaps "silence is not acquiescence"?

                    You continue to cloud this discussion by refusing to acknowledge that the original statements that YOU made and were subsequently challenged about are a load of rubbish. Namely:
                    "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."
                    And:
                    "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."

                    Instead you now claim that I publicly insulted your intelligence while at the same time you have tried to be diplomatic and helpful.

                    Did you not even consider the possibility that it may be an insult to my intelligence to ignore any challenge to your evidently unqualified legal expertise, even when you have no idea of any legal background I may or may not have? Was it not an insult to my intelligence to then try to conveniently gloss over facts and continue to throw distractions into the debate?

                    What exactly was it Ray that you found so insulting? Was it that I used sarcasm? Or was it the fact that I used your own cut & paste extract to counter all of your ludicrous claims about copyright?

                    So I will now "call" you again and directly challenge you Ray. Do you or do you not stand by your original comments?

                    Your little jibe regarding lawyers at the end of your post (…"will not benefit anyone except the lawyers"), didn't go unnoticed by me either and suggests an underlying contempt for the legal profession in general.

                    Lawyers are your advocate in law when you find yourself in "hot water". They also help you protect YOUR rights when these rights have been violated by others. They do not GET you into trouble, they help get you out of it. And they act on the instructions of YOU, their client.

                    In fact one of the most common complaints made by lawyers is that obstinate pig-headed clients seek their professional legal advice and then promptly proceed to ignore it. Then upon ignoring said advice they often instruct the lawyer to take legal action which the lawyer quite often advises against doing. And when it all goes pear shaped they then blame the lawyer.

                    For the record I am not a lawyer, but my wife of 18 years is. She is an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer at an Australian university and specialises in international research contracts. We also know plenty of other lawyers, and we even socialize with other lawyers.

                    I feel my wife is infinitely more qualified to give legal advice than any publisher or indeed any internet "non-lawyer". And whilst your ill-informed comments have given her many chuckles over the past few nights, her professional opinion on the case of Billy's father's photographs is rather unsurprisingly that she "cannot comment as she doesn't know the facts of the case".

                    Which has been my point all along Ray. It has been YOU that has insisted on making general broad ranging legal statements and giving unqualified legal advice. You work in an industry that specialises in the use of the English language, yet you claim that you are misunderstood. This is more through your own inadequacies in expressing yourself than anything else. No one has misrepresented you Ray. No one has put words in your mouth except you. I have only quoted your own words. You have had ample chances to clarify your statements. And you now admit that you are not qualified in law yet still feel obliged to share your uninformed legal opinions with myself and the other members of this forum.

                    Contrary to you Ray I do not view these exchanges as a waste of time. Hopefully those members of this forum that have managed to stay awake through all of this, will appreciate that if you have a toothache you see a dentist, not a proctologist. And if you seek legal advice, you see a lawyer and not a publisher.

                    Fini or not, I hand it over to you Ray. But as the old saying goes, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Don't ask for a bigger shovel.

                    Leife Hulbert
                  • David Christensen
                    My 2 cents - I have read comments from Ray for years and found nothing different - Ray is just being Ray. He will make note that his opinion is just that - an
                    Message 9 of 24 , Apr 30, 2009
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                      My 2 cents -

                      I have read comments from Ray for years and found nothing different - Ray is just being Ray. He will make note that his opinion is just that - an opinion. In this venue, opinions were solicited, and as usual, Ray delivered. I also notice much attempt at tact as it progressed.....

                      Leife Hulbert on the other hand, seems to have difficulty presenting his case without flaming and trashing the other party. The result is his argument's credibility is lost in the sarcasm.

                      I don't think either party has cornered the market on accuracey -

                      THEY ARE OPINIONS - NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS!

                      Can we go back to tanks, please?

                      Dave





                      --- In G104@yahoogroups.com, "leifehulbert" <leife_os@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Ray,
                      >
                      > I politely asked you to respond to me in private, but you have somehow taken this as a direct challenge and instead insisted on responding here. So I consequently wish to withdraw my offer to private discussions, and instead will respond to your comments here.
                      >
                      > You have repeatedly made statements of legal opinion regarding copyright that fly directly in the face of the basic concept of copyright itself.
                      >
                      > I took exception to 2 very general blanket statements that you originally made regarding copyright. These were:
                      > "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."
                      > As well as:
                      > "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."
                      >
                      > To use an "Americanism", you were "called" on these statements. Anybody that has an understanding of even the most basic principles of copyright can see that these two statements are an absolute load of rubbish.
                      >
                      > Did you go back and check your facts? Did you take the time to clarify your comments, to retract them or to even concede that you may have actually been incorrect or misleading? No, instead you very conveniently sidestepped the issue, and made another different grandiose blanket legal claim regarding copyright.
                      >
                      > When you were challenged on this subsequent claim, you then took it upon yourself to post a response addressing me directly, and then proceeded to lecture me by filling it with cuttings & pastings of large volumes of very basic legal information about US Copyright Legislation from a number of websites.
                      >
                      > You displayed a contemptuous attitude towards me (and indeed the other members of this forum), for even though you don't have the slightest idea of my (or any of the other member's) background or legal knowledge, you assumed that you were eminently more qualified to express your very amateur legal opinions given the fact that you have no actual legal qualifications, but instead over 40 years of experience in of all things publishing. Did you even stop to consider the remote possibility that another member of this forum may actually know as much as, or perhaps even more about this particular subject than you? Evidently not.
                      >
                      > The extracts you posted only served to display your complete lack of understanding or regard for to the extremely complex nature of US Copyright Legislation let alone International Copyright law, as they quite clearly contradicted your own ill-informed legal opinions.
                      >
                      > And on one of the websites you quoted, you even conceded that the person giving the advice was not a lawyer, and I quote:
                      > "The following is from a web site and while the author of the text is not a lawyer he does provide a pretty good description of copyright law, especially as it applies to photographs:"
                      >
                      > For all you know he also works the graveyard shift at the Quick-E-Mart in Earache, Wyoming. But hey, it's on the internet, therefore it must be true!
                      >
                      > So what was I supposed to do Ray? Quake in my boots at the huge volume of legal knowledge that you managed to cut & paste together? Be flummoxed at your rather unimpressive display of style over substance? I instead chose to use many of your own cut & paste extracts to yet again show that your claims are quite frankly a load of tripe.
                      >
                      > You have had ample opportunity to either retract or to clarify your original comments. Instead you now try to muddy the waters with the inference that you are being misunderstood, misinterpreted or misrepresented. Considering that I have only used direct quotes from your own posts I find this is somewhat disingenuous on your behalf.
                      >
                      > By your actions, I can only assume that you must still stand by your original statements, even though they have been shown to be totally false and in fact fly against the basic tenet of copyright.
                      >
                      > Further to this, you make the following statement:
                      > "When I stated that nothing was automatically copyrighted prior to 1976 I WAS (your emphasis) referring solely to U.S. copyrights. Indeed, this whole discussion is only about U.S. copyright because we are talking about Billy' dad's photos and only U.S. copyright laws apply. So you completely misunderstood my point."
                      >
                      > Yet in your original statement:
                      > "Prior to 1976, nothing was "automatically" protected by copyright. You had to actually file the proper form and pay the fee--for each single photograph or other work. Not something most people did in the 1940s, unless you were an Ansel Adams."
                      >
                      > Note that there is no mention of US Copyright law at all in your original very broad sweeping statement. I did not write the words in your posts, you did Ray. And for someone who professes over 40 years of experience in publishing, your inability to unambiguously or eloquently express yourself using the English language leaves me quite perplexed.
                      >
                      > You state:
                      > "…..yet you keep trying to make this an international issue when it is not.
                      >
                      > And this binding legal statement is based on what exactly Ray? Your qualified legal opinion? I am not making it anything at all. There is a very real possibility that International copyright law MAY apply to some of the items this case, something you seem to be totally unwilling to even consider. Your rather arrogant insistence that YOU have determined that the case of Billy Ray's father's photos is indeed subject to (and apparently solely subject to) the legal jurisdiction of US Copyright Law, based on your lack of any legal qualifications leaves me less than persuaded. It just further illustrates your complete lack of appreciation for the intricacies of Copyright law.
                      >
                      > Hypothetically, if we were to walk into a room of 1000 lawyers and ask the first one that we saw what they thought about Billy's case, I have no doubt that they would respond that they "don't know as they are not a Copyright lawyer, and that is not their area of expertise". Yes, lawyers specialise too. And I'm quite sure that we would receive similar responses from all of the other lawyers we questioned until we did come across a Copyright lawyer. And I have no doubt that they would respond that they "cannot comment as they don't know the facts of the case".
                      >
                      > The facts of the matter in Billy's father's photos case, are that we don't know the facts. Not you. Not me. And evidently (with all due respect to Billy) not Billy either.
                      >
                      > I concede that you now readily admit to not knowing the facts of this case yet you still feel yourself eminently qualified to make the ridiculous legal assertion that it IS a US Copyright case. And your learned legal opinion is based on what exactly? By you own admission, and I quote:
                      > "I also am not a lawyer and I don't pretend to know every nuance of the U.S. copyright laws, let alone international copyright laws."
                      >
                      > Hmmmm, quite frankly I never had any doubt about this fact from the moment you decide to peddle your amateur legal opinions. You have seemingly instead based your legal opinion on forty years on experience in publishing and the reading of few cut & pastes from some internet sites, one of which was not even written by a lawyer.
                      >
                      > In your last two posts you have made the following incorrect claims:
                      > "If a collection of letters, photos, and other personal materials is sold by that person or his heirs, or legal representatives should he have no legal heirs, unless there is some sort of binding legal agreement made preventing the buyer from utilizing those materials, such as using them in a book, or selling copies of photos, etc., then all rights have passed to the the (sic) buyer who is then the legal owner of that material and can do with them as they desire."
                      >
                      > And:
                      > When someone sells their personal property to another, it is understood that the new owner has been given all rights to that property, unless there was some sort of legal agreement made between the two parties as to what could and could not be done with said property.
                      >
                      > Have you not heard of the legal phrase "caveat emptor"? Perhaps "silence is not acquiescence"?
                      >
                      > You continue to cloud this discussion by refusing to acknowledge that the original statements that YOU made and were subsequently challenged about are a load of rubbish. Namely:
                      > "Once those items are sold, the buyer can do whatever they want with them. It is now their property."
                      > And:
                      > "Having purchased the albums, through an auction, he became the legitimate owner of the photos and could do with them as he pleased."
                      >
                      > Instead you now claim that I publicly insulted your intelligence while at the same time you have tried to be diplomatic and helpful.
                      >
                      > Did you not even consider the possibility that it may be an insult to my intelligence to ignore any challenge to your evidently unqualified legal expertise, even when you have no idea of any legal background I may or may not have? Was it not an insult to my intelligence to then try to conveniently gloss over facts and continue to throw distractions into the debate?
                      >
                      > What exactly was it Ray that you found so insulting? Was it that I used sarcasm? Or was it the fact that I used your own cut & paste extract to counter all of your ludicrous claims about copyright?
                      >
                      > So I will now "call" you again and directly challenge you Ray. Do you or do you not stand by your original comments?
                      >
                      > Your little jibe regarding lawyers at the end of your post (…"will not benefit anyone except the lawyers"), didn't go unnoticed by me either and suggests an underlying contempt for the legal profession in general.
                      >
                      > Lawyers are your advocate in law when you find yourself in "hot water". They also help you protect YOUR rights when these rights have been violated by others. They do not GET you into trouble, they help get you out of it. And they act on the instructions of YOU, their client.
                      >
                      > In fact one of the most common complaints made by lawyers is that obstinate pig-headed clients seek their professional legal advice and then promptly proceed to ignore it. Then upon ignoring said advice they often instruct the lawyer to take legal action which the lawyer quite often advises against doing. And when it all goes pear shaped they then blame the lawyer.
                      >
                      > For the record I am not a lawyer, but my wife of 18 years is. She is an IP (Intellectual Property) lawyer at an Australian university and specialises in international research contracts. We also know plenty of other lawyers, and we even socialize with other lawyers.
                      >
                      > I feel my wife is infinitely more qualified to give legal advice than any publisher or indeed any internet "non-lawyer". And whilst your ill-informed comments have given her many chuckles over the past few nights, her professional opinion on the case of Billy's father's photographs is rather unsurprisingly that she "cannot comment as she doesn't know the facts of the case".
                      >
                      > Which has been my point all along Ray. It has been YOU that has insisted on making general broad ranging legal statements and giving unqualified legal advice. You work in an industry that specialises in the use of the English language, yet you claim that you are misunderstood. This is more through your own inadequacies in expressing yourself than anything else. No one has misrepresented you Ray. No one has put words in your mouth except you. I have only quoted your own words. You have had ample chances to clarify your statements. And you now admit that you are not qualified in law yet still feel obliged to share your uninformed legal opinions with myself and the other members of this forum.
                      >
                      > Contrary to you Ray I do not view these exchanges as a waste of time. Hopefully those members of this forum that have managed to stay awake through all of this, will appreciate that if you have a toothache you see a dentist, not a proctologist. And if you seek legal advice, you see a lawyer and not a publisher.
                      >
                      > Fini or not, I hand it over to you Ray. But as the old saying goes, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Don't ask for a bigger shovel.
                      >
                      > Leife Hulbert
                      >
                    • Ray Merriam
                      Thanks, Dave. Finally, somebody gets me! ;-) Yes, they were my opinions--FWIW--and probably not much to some. And no doubt Leife was just being Leife. Ray
                      Message 10 of 24 , Apr 30, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Thanks, Dave. Finally, somebody "gets" me! ;-)

                        Yes, they were my opinions--FWIW--and probably not much to some.
                        And no doubt Leife was just being Leife.

                        Ray

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: David Christensen
                        To: G104@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Thursday, 30 April 2009 11:53 AM
                        Subject: [G104] Re: Possible 777th TB pics on eBay (UNCLASSIFIED)


                        My 2 cents -

                        I have read comments from Ray for years and found nothing different - Ray is just being Ray. He will make note that his opinion is just that - an opinion. In this venue, opinions were solicited, and as usual, Ray delivered. I also notice much attempt at tact as it progressed.....

                        Leife Hulbert on the other hand, seems to have difficulty presenting his case without flaming and trashing the other party. The result is his argument's credibility is lost in the sarcasm.

                        I don't think either party has cornered the market on accuracey -

                        THEY ARE OPINIONS - NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS!

                        Can we go back to tanks, please?

                        Dave



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