Photo by George
About the Rights Statement
Participating institutions may have various reasons for determining that "no known copyright restrictions" exist, such as:
- The copyright is in the public domain because it has expired;
- The copyright was injected into the public domain for other reasons, such as failure to adhere to required formalities or conditions;
- The institution owns the copyright but is not interested in exercising control; or
- The institution has legal rights sufficient to authorize others to use the work without restrictions.
Copyrights on Photographs
Under "The Commons," cultural institutions that have reasonably concluded that a photograph is free of copyright restrictions are invited to share such photograph under their new usage guideline called "no known copyright restrictions."
Photographs can be difficult to analyze under copyright law, not only because laws around the world differ with respect to scope and duration of protection, but because the photographs themselves often lack credit lines, dates and other identifying information. Libraries, museums and other cultural institutions have a great deal of experience with photographs because they frequently collect, preserve, document and study them in accordance with their nonprofit missions. However, in many instances, a cultural institution will not be the rights holder under copyright law. Therefore, it can neither grant permission to others who wish to use a photograph nor provide a guarantee that the photograph is in the public domain.
BY ASSERTING "NO KNOWN COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS," PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS ARE SHARING THE BENEFIT OF THEIR RESEARCH WITHOUT PROVIDING AN EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTY TO OTHERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO USE OR REPRODUCE THE PHOTOGRAPH. IF YOU MAKE USE OF A PHOTO FROM THE COMMONS, YOU ARE REMINDED TO CONDUCT AN INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS OF APPLICABLE LAW BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH A PARTICULAR NEW USE.
TO REVIEW THE EXPLICIT RIGHTS STATEMENT FOR ANY IMAGE, PLEASE CLICK ON THE RELEVANT LINK UNDER "PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS," OR ON THE "NO KNOWN COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS" LINK ASSOCIATED WITH THE IMAGE IN THE COMMONS.