tstamps 1:36am, 16 June 2006
Has anyone else run into this?

Several times I have heard of people attempting to get (family) photos copied at Wal-Mart and refused because they were "copyrighted" - because they were made by a photograph studio. Even if the person who OWNS the copyright were to ask a Wal-Mart photo manager to copy it, they would refuse. They misinterpret the word "copyright" to mean "copywrong," That is to say: Copy?..... wrong!

Naturally, we should *never* even think of going to Wal-Mart for photo service to begin with, but sometimes some people can't go anywhere else if they're under certain time constraints and Wal-Mart had already succeeded in bulldozing the neighborhood shutting out all local photograph studios.

What they fail to realize is that "copyright" means SOMEBODY has the right to copy!

Furthermore Wal-Mart has never heard of the phrase "public domain."

A cousin just informed me that a one-of-a-kind rare photo of my grandfather and grandparents was in his collection, and is over 100 years old. Unfortunately he only had time to stop at Wal-Mart and will be on vacation for the next two or three weeks.

He was informed by the Wal-Mart "genius" that since the photo was taken by a studio, it was "copyrighted" which "meant it was not allowed to be copied" by anyone, at any time, period. (Again, what the genius Wal-Mart manager is referring to is "copywrong" which has never been a law in this country.)

The photo is of our family. There is, of course, no way to obtain permission from the elusive copyright owner because anyone who could have been the owner (other than the actual living owner standing there at Wal-Mart) are all dead. All the people in the photo are dead. The photographer is dead. The studio is long out of business and all negatives lost or destroyed. The studio's management is dead, and could care less. So.........is a photo studio manager who died 50 years ago going to rise from the grave and harrass Wal-Mart for copying a photo that is the only surviving one in existence? [Well, I certainly *wish* a zombie would attack Wal-Mart management - although, of course, not for copying but for refusing to copy.]
FluidImage 12 years ago
Haha... more corporate b#llshit... Ooops I forgot to star the 'i'... Sorry! There is no use trying to convince them, they are the zombies "those are the rules"... Just get someone to scan it and you can do your own retouching!
Yolise 12 years ago
Unless the studio specifically signs the right to the sitter, they retain the "right to copy". Copyright persists for 70 years after the copyright holder's death. However, 95 years from the year of first publication of a work, or a period of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first, a person can presume that 70 years have passed. You do need to file your interest at the copyright office if you wish to (legally) copy the work.

You can't really expect a WalMart employee to decifer all this, so a blanket rule is probably best for them.

In the Netherlands, the right to copy a studio portrait (i.e., a work for hire) rests with the sitter, which is how I believe it should be, but there you go...

It's all here, byt the way: www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap3.html
mrwaterslide PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by mrwaterslide (member) 12 years ago
I was at a Wal-Mart last year and a big ole thunderstorm came along and knocked the power out (it was at night). The Wal-Mart employees got flashlights and started herding (though I'd guess cows are better treated) the customers to the front of the store. They had no concern for the safety and security of their customers, and utmost concern for the safety and security oftheir third-rate imported from China trashy merchandise. I had quite a bit of stuff in a cart, but left the cart in the aisle, walked out of the store (it had stopped raining), and left, vowing not to go back to Wal-Mart. At the top of the company are shallow-minded, environmentally-uncaring, value-spitting-on, almighty-dollar, money-grubbing, inhumane, scumbags.
In case you hadn't guessed, this was God's way of telling me not to shop at Wal-Mart.
paws22 PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by paws22 (member) 12 years ago
Some times we have no choice but to go to Wal-Mart. My Grandmother lives in far South West Nebraska and the closest photo "lab" is the Wal-Mart in McCook, an hour away from the family farm. When I wanted to copy a studio photo of my Great Grandfather standing with his favorite horse, I had no choice to go to Wal-Mart. But that Wal-Mart didn't have any zombies on duty that day, just a very helpful lady, so I now have both computer files and papers prints of my great grandfather and my grandmother has extra prints. I'm happy, Grandma is happy! I've posted the photo in question.
Antique Dog Photos PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Antique Dog Photos (member) 12 years ago
It would be hopeless to argue with Wal*Mart.

However, your 100 year old photo is old enough to be in the public domain. There is a great deal of information on public domain in the Wikipedia - here is the relevant bit.

''In the U.S., any work published before January 1, 1923 anywhere in the world[1] is in the public domain. Other countries are not bound to that 1923 date, though. Complications arise when special cases are considered, such as trying to determine whether a work published later might be in the public domain in the U.S., or when dealing with unpublished works. When a work has not been published in the U.S. but in some other country, that other country's copyright laws also must be taken into account. Re-users of Wikipedia content also might find the explanations here useful." Go to Wikipedia to read the rest :-).

Additionally - there are also rules concerning Fair Use. Here is a pretty good summary.
paws22 PRO 12 years ago
Thanks for the information! Most of the people in this group have no problem understanding the information you pointed us to, we tend to use our noggins! The zombies aren't interested in understanding anything, they are what I like to call "willfully ignorant."
Antique Dog Photos PRO 12 years ago
Yes --- I'm a librarian. We do try to teach students how to use images and text properly, but even college students do what ever they like in some cases.
Yolise Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Yolise (member) 12 years ago
However, your 100 year old photo is old enough to be in the public domain.

Hmm, not if it was a work for hire - i.e., a portrait as I understand it. Or if it was unpublished, as presumably a portrait would be. The wikipedia article actually jives with the quote I provided: "If a work is a "work made for hire", it has corporate authorship and is protected to the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation. "

Reading on in the Copyright Law, the copyright can then pass on to the photographer's relations.

That said, I don't like any of it. I don't want my family portraits in the public domain any more than I want the photographer and who took them (and his family) to own them in perpetuity!
Alki1 PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Alki1 (member) 12 years ago
I solved the whole problem. I bought and learned to use an iMac and scanner with the appropriate software and I am 78. And if can do it, so can other old tech dummies. I scan my family photographs to my heart's content. As long as I've got electricity to heck with WallMart, the dullest show around! (First America, then the world must be their motto.) But what's happening to them now that gas prices have gone up? Too far to walk to, no buses, an old clunker car that gets 8 miles to the gallon because I'm in that economic bracket that WallMart caters to, so less business for them. I'll put my money on the dollar stores, serving the same nitch that the urban old Mom and Pop stores did. And you can always mail your work to a commercial studio. ANYTHING to sidestep WallMart!
PS As for the endless details of the copyright law? What if the photographer's relatives are dead? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Meanwhile, the photographs are slowly disintegrating and fading away.
Yolise Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Yolise (member) 12 years ago
Well, sounds like a happy side effect of high gas prices then! :-) Now all you need are the Mom and Pops to move back in to the neighbourhoods and life will be grand, don't you think?

I've moved from California to the UK and have swapped a car for a beat-up old bike. We still have Greengrocers, butchershops and milkmen who deliver to your door around here. I think it's lovely.
Alki1 PRO 12 years ago
Hi Yolise, that's great about milkmen delivering milk to your door! I'll bet they even deliver regular, un-homoginized milk, the old fashioned kind where you can siphon off the cream. My daughter lives in Germany (and rides a bike), and she and her husband feel the threat of WallMart moving in on their pharmacy business. I don't look for Mom and Pop stores coming back but I do see the rise of what we call the "dollar" stores. They don't have film processing yet, (or not usually) but they are springing up all over, especially in the more depressed urban neighborhoods.
Yolise 12 years ago
Yep - cream at the top! Goes off a bit quicker than supermarket milk, but it's awfully convenient.
Antique Dog Photos PRO 12 years ago
I have a rather liberal attitude towards the copyright mess actually. Saw an interesting article on this recently - will try to find. And yes, learn to scan. Anyone can walk in my library and use our scanners - although we only have one that works the way it should so you might have to wait in line :-).

I have mixed feelings about WalMart because they do have great shoes which have saved me a ton of money, but I agree that they could care less about anything other than making money.
arwriterphotog 12 years ago
I have mixed feelings about Walmart too - partly because I live in Arkansas - their origin. Kind of a love/hate relationship! :D We have one a VERY short distance from our home and it is convenient for a lot of things. But a Walgreens has just opened a few blocks away. My son, who is a "real" photographer (as opposed to ME) said that Walgreens developing is really pretty good and he is usually very critical. So I might try them for a couple of rolls of film that I have sitting on my desk. I too have a scanner and a mac and have been scanning my own old photos and borrowing from other relatives and doing the same. We are trying to make cds for each other. I usually don't have a problem w/anyone in the photography dept at Walmart simply because I don't ask for any assistance and I just slap my photo on the machine. (And I bought my scanner cheap at Walmart and works great) :D
Antique Dog Photos PRO Posted 12 years ago. Edited by Antique Dog Photos (member) 12 years ago
More on mixed feelings. Textile mills closed in Kannapolis NC (near where I live) a couple of years ago and 5,000 people lost their jobs. Almost at the same time a huge Wal*Mart opened in the same town. It is the biggest one I have visited. The workers are extremely friendly and helpful. Some of them no doubt previously worked at the mills. Kannapolis is a small town so the mill closure was a disaster for many people who had worked there for years, had no education, no job skills etc to help them find new work. I have not had such positive experiences at other Wal*Marts, can only guess that the people at this one were long time loyal workers - now glad to have employment.

Wal*Mart also donates to charity, and I have benefited from this - it also depends on the attitude of the local staff. An Atlanta facility gave a whole freight truck of dog food and supplies to our (NC) rescues - we paid for the transport, but it fed my dogs for three months (I have an animal shelter so this saved me a lot of money)

OT: Digital photography has freed me from using the services of film development, but I am aware of the tradeoffs.
Richard Trethewey 12 years ago
Hi... this isn't actually Richard replying, it's his brother. He showed me the article because he knew I'd be interested.

Anyway, copyright isn't about the right to copy, at least in U.S. law (sad that I should know this but not have a clue about Australian law). It's about the right to distribute copies. That's why software EULAs have rubbish about making backup copies - you're allowed to copy things as many times as you want legally, you just can't distibute those copies. They can't whinge that you might not be the original owner, either, because that doesn't matter. First sale doctrine says that a copy can be resold at will by the owner, & the new owner can make any copies they want too - though the original owner loses the right to have any copies they've made.

So, while I can't be sure about the expiry of copyright on the image without more info, you still legally have the right to have copies made.

One disclaimer: For all I know the U.S. might have photograph-specific laws like Germany, in which case this could all be wrong. I'm fairly sure they fall under generic copyright though.
Mary and her camera 12 years ago
The funny thing about your encounter is that if you were to go back on another day and talk to a different clerk, you might get a totally different response.

The one near our house has printed some very old photos for me - namely one of my great-great-great grandfather. They gave me no grief at all. On the other hand, they refused to print one that *I* had taken of my school's Presidential Fitness Award winners.

Go figure.
PhoebeJ PRO 12 years ago
My cousin is a professional photographer. He tells the sitters that they can make as many copies as they want as long as they don't publish them for profit. That way the bride's mother, mother-in-law, college roommate, stepbrother, third cousin twice removed, etc. can all have copies. Walmart apparently has other ideas.
Lori Elizabeth PRO 12 years ago
I have run into this! I did try to use walmart when I was in a jam and just thought I could use their kiosk to ink before a meeting. oooh no! The photopersons personally inspected everything I printed out from the camera (yes I had taken the card out of the camera right in front of them) and they wouldnt let me take ANY of it because they "looked studio". They tore up some really cute pics right in front of me and threw them into a trash can :~<
We had a kinkos on the same street and I went to using their fuji kiosk. Never encountered a problem there.
George D Thompson PRO 12 years ago
Copyright has gone bananas. Originally it was meant to protect the individual (photographer, writer, composer, etc) but today it is almost always invoked by large corporate organisations and THEY CONTINUE TO CLAIM COPYRIGHT FOR THEMSELVES LONG AFTER THE ORIGINAL COPYRIGHT HAS EXPIRED. They often get away with it by their sheer corporate weight. Can YOU afford to go to law with a body that doesn't mind how much it costs just so long as they always win? I certainly can't. Sometimes they claim an original work on something that is out of copyright by "individualising" it - cropping a bit off the edge, retouching something in the background of a picture that isn't likely to be noticed but identifies itself as theirs. Or they ignore the law as it stood when the photograph was taken (i.e. A photograph that came out of copyright 50 years after the photographer's death can't suddenly COME INTO COPYRIGHT AGAIN just because the law in this region has changed to (say) 70 years after the photographer died) and a copyright that originally belonged the the SUBJECT WHO COMMISSIONED THE PICTURE (say your great grand-father) can't become the copyright property of the estate of the photographer just because that would be the law today. Anyway, as a former professional photographer who has been ripped off by corporate enterprises I have no sympathy for other corporate enterprises ( ie WALLMART) who find it in their own interests to defend corporate rights.
yikes_scoobie Posted 12 years ago. Edited by yikes_scoobie (member) 12 years ago
Sorry all, I haven't read strictly through all the posts in this topic so if this has already been said then sorry, this addresses the original issue of wanting a copy of the photo ... why don't you take the original photo outdoors, preferably when there isn't much wind, and definitely in dry but preferably slightly overcast weather so as not to sunbleach the photo or cast harsh shadows and take a photograph of it in macro mode with your camera (if you got that function available, not absolutely necessary but you'll be able to frame in closer) doing it in natural light and it will copy fine, digital or film.
PS. Sorry if this is too far from the topic of conversation, but it would solve your problem
sixpounder 11 years ago
Aggressive enforcement of copyrights by commercial photo printers has become a real headache. I make faux engraved portraits and FTP the digital files to clients. In some cases it has been necessary to snail mail prints to people who were unable to find a company willing to print the files they commissioned me to do.

To deal with this problem I now include in the margin of the image my copyright plus an unlimited license to the client, along with my contact information. Some store clerks have called to confirm that our mutual customer is legally entitled to make prints from the files. Some just say no.

The height of stupidity was reached by a Sam's Club clerk who refused to give me my own prints on the grounds that they look professional. I thanked her, and presented my business card (which helpfully includes a photo of myself). She still refused, saying I would have to come back when her manager is on duty.
vfm4 Posted 11 years ago. Edited by vfm4 (admin) 11 years ago
this is really idiotic... i never had that problem, but then i always take them to a real photograper...
thank heavens we don't have wal-mart..
thank heavens i live in europe... :-)
teladair 11 years ago
I retired from the National Park Service and then took a part time job in the Photo Lab at Walgreens. Like many large coporations they have deep pockets and they do not copy professional looking photos because of potential law suits. With that said I generally help people copy such photos because most people are doing it for their own use. I would feel stupid telling a person they have to contact Olan Mills and to obtain a release form to copy their grandfathers photo from 1940. The employees should ask a few questions first but most simply make a decision based upon the appearance of the photo. I agree that copying the picture is not the problem but rather the distribution or use afterward - but the company says if it looks profession do not copy.
luxuriant gold [deleted] 10 years ago
If you go to WalMart you have to expect running into an idiot employee. You have no right to complain, really. It's like running into a cornfield and finding corn- what did you expect?

You have to take these to a "real photographer" or to a smaller, independent store that offers scanning and other services. A smaller outfit wouldn't hire a moron like that one, and if they did accidentally hire a mutt they'd likely fire them or make them manager of the mop closet and keep them away from humans.

Good luck with your photos!
Jenny Lens Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Jenny Lens (member) 10 years ago
As a professional photographer who deals with copyright violations way too often (for the last 32 years), I need to make a few statements.

First, individuals and companies use my photos without my permission all the time. It's very hard to stop them, but that doesn't mean I don't try. I've taken many classes, dealt with lawyers on both sides (mine and thieves), other photographers, etc and as others have said, there's tons of info online.

Yolise and Lebron Photo: YOU ARE WRONG!!! More than likely, the family photos belong to the family, NOT the photographer!! Most studio photographers are work for hire: the family comes in and pays for portraits. That alone would allow anyone to copy/scan/publish shots of their family.

Plus the studio is long gone. The photographer did NOT take the photos to make money years later. That's not the way most studio photographers worked. In fact, many dumped negs to make room for more negs because few ever came back for reprints in those days.

If however, a photographer is free-lance, like myself, I own the photos. I am the copyright holder. I chose to take the photos, I paid for everything, it is all a result of my own independent thinking and actions.

However, because I shot celebrities, I am bound by laws which prevent me from capitalizing on my photos for merch. However, it does not stop others, large and small, from using my photos for merch, even though it is illegal. I simply don't have the time nor money to pursue everyone, and the amount of money I'd get quite often is minimal. That said, I have been able to recover a little bit of money when it's a larger company who violates my rights as the copyright holder.

Richard89: Secondly, copyright DOES NOT only relate to distribution vs copying the photo. It relates to ANY usage. I own my photos and I have final say about who has them, what they do with them, etc. At least in theory. Believe me, I know plenty of photographers who control the usage, distribution, copying of their photos to the best of their ability and they would argue with your statement.

Thirdly, MOST work before 1976 requires actual copyright registration. Photos are NOT automatically copyrighted prior to 1976. Most photographers, unless they shot celebrities or something of lasting value, would not spend the time and money to do that.

Fourth, even with the relative easy of registration because we now can send files on DVDs (although that means scanning tons of negs, slides, prints, etc), most photos are not "officially" copyrighted. That means that if a photographer needs to pursue legal remedy in case of copyright infringement, they are on their own.

Damages and legal costs are ONLY covered if the images are registered in Washington DC. Most copyright violations, say if published in a mag or book, are only worth a few hundred dollars (if that, depends upon the image). Who is going to hire an attorney to recover less money than the attny will charge?

Teladair: Wal-Mart is wrong. They are not liable for damages if someone copies a family photo or questionable photo. The ONLY thing we are not allowed to copy are things like money potentially for criminal usage (we've all seen the signage at copy places like Kinko's). Kinko's and other large corporations don't stop people from making copies or prints or scans, etc!!

It's easier to prevent copying photos than risk a lawsuit that is groundless. They are NOT paying attention to the copyright laws per se. They merely are expedient because they don't want the hassle of being sued or even contacted by anyone. But MANY "large corporations" frequently violate copyright laws. I could tell you stories.

And remember, Wal-Mart has forced the closure of other, smaller, friendlier, better staffed stores, whether photo labs or copy places. Therefore, they have limited OUR freedoms to do what the law allows

Isn't there something wrong about that? They are breaking the law, but have taken away our other choices. Not everyone has the time, money or technical knowledge to go out and buy equipment merely to scan and print the family photo album or other memorabilia passed down. Our private heritages are being destroyed or lost by not being able to save and share them.

How can you possibly defend Wal-Mart? Get a grip!!

I could go on and on, but it's all online. WAL-MART policy/employee behavior is WRONG WRONG WRONG! It's as simple as that.

Copyright laws were created so that people who invest THEIR time, money, and energy, often without pay, can make money from their creations. It wasn't meant to last for future generations, it wasn't meant to protect companies.

It was designed to encourage creatives, who often gave up financial security while making something, with the hope of making it at the back end. Otherwise, people would stop making things and make money all the time instead.

AND YES COPYRIGHT LAWS ONLY helps major companies who on one hand won't let you use their photos or take photos and on the other hand steal from as many photographers, painters, creatives as they can. I'm in the entertainment and publishing worlds, and it's having a major effect on photographers and artists.

FINAL STATEMENT: will people please SHUT UP if you don't know the laws!!! One of the reasons people like myself have to constantly battle copyright thieves is people go online and make up all kinds of stories about copyright laws. Others read your trash and then try to justify their actions to me. Companies are always very aware they are wrong. It's the individuals who use my work who sound like some of you.

Before you yap about it, how about doing some research or verifying, through experience, what you are saying??? You are making life as difficult for photographers as the Wal-Mart employee.

I'm sure some have had different experiences than I because reality is not the same for all of us. But this subject is near and dear to my heart and I am fed up with people spreading stupid interpretations of the laws.

If you think I'm harsh, walk in my shoes. You people could be helping the situation, but no, you add fuel to the flame. If we really care about creatives, let's learn and enforce the laws meant to encourage and protect creative endeavors and the people who make them. And protect the laws which allow us to preserve and share our personal histories. Like copying family photos.

Peace be with you all.
matt_bruensteiner 10 years ago
Here's a very useful link:

When works pass into the public domain

As someone pointed out above, the laws on the duration of copyright have changed over time. Anything published before 1923 is now in the public domain under US law. Almost anything published before 1963 is in public domain if didn't have an attached copyright notice.
caffeineandpixels 10 years ago
Two words...Steamboat Willie:

urbanfalcon 10 years ago
Everything you ever wanted to know about copyright in a handy "purse-sized" guide, including source citations: www.copyright.cornell.edu/public_domain/ If an employee challenges you, hand them their own copy. If they don't feel like their job is at risk (by enabling a perceived lawbreaker), maybe they'll be more helpful.
Selene135 10 years ago
I'm confused--Am I missing the part that shows that this a corporate thing and not one employee's misunderstanding of copyright law? I've come across plenty of people who aren't clear on the law and will say silly things like that (my dad, for one) --and it's so SIMPLE, too. Really. Sure.
vfm4 10 years ago
i wonder what happens if you have your photos printed with an online firm?
goldcurls5 10 years ago
ha ha ha, i live only 15 miles from this walmart, and yes, they are holierthanthou jerks! dude, go to cvs they are much more understanding of the term "fair use".
j3net PRO 10 years ago
Ok, hell must have frozen over because I am about to defend Walmart (sort of). With all of the conflicting information/misinformation flying around this thread you can see how complicated the whole idea of copyright expiration dates, work for hire versus not work for hire, fair use, etc is.

So, is Walmart going to institute an advanced copyright training course for its thousands of photo lab employees or are they just going to have a policy that says "don't copy professional photos, period?" The second choice is easier and cheaper so that's what they do.

If you don't like their policy, as I don't, shop somewhere else.
j3net PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by j3net (member) 10 years ago
Also, the information given by Jenny Lens on work for hire and studio portraits above is wrong I think.

If I'm reading this copyright office circular www.copyright.gov/circs/circ9.html correctly, a work is only "made for hire" if the person who made it for you was your employee (meaning you had control of their work and how they performed it). A photo studio is not your employee (you don't tell them how to take the photo or what equipment to use) and therefore the photo studio retains the copyright.

Also the circular I linked to only applies to works created after 1976. I'm not sure what the law about works for hire was before that.

No wonder Walmart employees are confused.
pixiesticks23♥ 10 years ago
I didnt read all the comments but I do know that if it's over so many years, you can copy it. Especially it's 100 years old. Sounds like they are just giving you a hard time and being butts! Get you a photo copier and photo paper and do it yourself.
Suzee Que 10 years ago
I had Wal-Mart refuse to print pictures I took of my Daughter at her wedding!!! They watched me take the film out of my camera!! They said they looked like a Pro took them!!
Clio CJS 10 years ago
Stop paying corporations to do something you can learn yourself. Putting our lives in the hands of corporations only means you will get oppressed -- this is one of thousands of examples. It is important that the populace know how to use technology to assert their freedoms. This includes everything from handguns, automobiles, and computers -- to cameras and scanners.
hytam2 PRO 10 years ago
But doesn't all this technology come from the very corporations that are oppressing us?
colgd Posted 10 years ago. Edited by colgd (member) 10 years ago
Jenny Lens This statement that you made is not correct "Wal-Mart is wrong. They are not liable for damages if someone copies a family photo or questionable photo."

Wal-Mart has already been successfully sued by the PPA for copyright infringement, as have many of these other corporations. My guess is that they are gun shy and don't want to be sued again. I agree that it's ridiculous that they won't copy a photograph that is 100+ years old, but then again I would never trust a part time employee with a photograph that I could never replace. Also, just because I am paid to photograph someone's family that does not give them the right to copy the work. However, there is little I can do to prevent that from happening when they do it in their own home. At least I know that they can't go to a place like Wal-Mart and get it copied.
♥ Kegan PRO 10 years ago
My sister has gotten this at Kinkos when she needed to copy her art work. She had to actually fill out a sheet giving herself permission to copy her art work.
Jen Savage PRO 10 years ago
I just joined the group and have a story I wanted to share. A good 10 or more years ago my friend and I had gotten photos done in one of those photobooth things. You know, you put in a dollar or something and it takes something like 6 photos in a strip. Anyway, we went somewhere like Kinkos (but we don't have Kinkos here) and wanted to make a colour copy so we could each have a copy of all the shots. It's not possible to get doubles out of those things (or it wasn't then for sure) and there's no studio or even person.

Anyway, we go and ask and the lady says it's illegal and the photos are copyright protected. She will not make a copy for us and then she walks over to a middle aged woman and takes a calendar (a nature one that you'd buy in a store) and proceeds to colour copy the photos in the calendar.

I was younger and just left without argument but I couldn't believe it. I am curious though, is there any validity to those machine photos being copyright protected and therefor you can't make a copy? It seems ridiculous since it's impossible to get copies from the machine.
geneologyeng 10 years ago
I am a scanner and editor of many era photographs. The gray, the orange hue, etc. I understand gives some challenges. I have to decide to enhance the milk out or not to enhance at all and leave that shine that’s present for some reason. (Some are milk and some are shine). I certainly don't profit from historical photos. I'd sure like to know who does. Shrugs…not many. The interest of turn of the century and eighteen hundreds has decreased steadily. The photos will shrivel up/ fall apart if someone doesn't purchase an under two hundred dollar scanner and scan those pieces. Self scanning/ handling is definitely as gentle as half the so-called services out there now. All service places are subject to the things left on beds such as greases, dirt, or chemicals the rare machine malfunction or something to chip some edge. There are many responsible professionals out there and if something’s over two hundred years of age and you have got the money then I would go to one. Wal-Mart does not qualify as having a place on the list of reputable century photography analysis. However if a photo is under one hundred and fifty years of age then that age photo I think has still has enough of the light captured/brightness to assist contrast and outcome; so that any one can train themselves on how to choose a type of auto enhance. But thanks to the built-in software that comes with a scanner that auto enhancing has been made easy. I don’t get scanner/ printer bundles that lack the software. I use thin scanner that has plenty of software that encourage scanning successes. I also trust Cano-scan. (Now I sound like a commercial). Trust yourself, re-scan a few times. Name things properly the first time so don't have to scour for the misplaced and you all can do these wonders for yourselves.
vfm4 10 years ago
the creators of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the Little Mermaid died long before Disney made those movies.
RobandSheila PRO 10 years ago
scanned at home, uploaded to flickr, sent to a different big-box store than the evil one afore mentioned, and picked up today for the funeral next weekend.

haven't stepped foot in the big-box in question for just over a year. life is well and good without 'em. local grocers have good deals well enough. shops like Marshalls or Ross or TJMaxx have plenty of deals on good clothes. found plenty of other means to obtain auto services at good deals advertised low prices besides these other peoples' "everyday low price."

by the way, we're not radically anti-capitalism or anti-corporate. we're a relatively conservative family annoyed Sam Walton's dream has been so bastardized by the following generation and ruining American communities via China and back again.

- more than happy to get prints by lots of other means and maybe even paying a penny or two extra for those ideals. (no figure of speech. usually a couple pennies different)
THE Holy Hand Grenade! PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by THE Holy Hand Grenade! (member) 9 years ago
Copyright law has changed over the years - any photograph more than 100 years old, so that it fits the group category, is no longer in copyright unless: the original copyright holder or his/her legal heir or "literary executor" (or equivalent...) has renewed the copyright BEFORE the expiration of the original copyright, and that renewal came under the changed laws. Originally, copyright only ran (IIRC) 23 years, with one renewal period of the same. This was later extended, but that didn't happen until the 1950's...

Only very specially copyrighted photos of 100 years old or more would still remain under copyright... one I know of that does is the photo of Theodore Roosevelt by the stairs of the White House, taken in 1906. It's copyright has been repeatedly renewed by the holder, one of the big news outfits, whose name escapes me right now...
Tiggywinkle 9 years ago
With a nod to Jenny Lens--because I agree that professional photographers currently have a tough row to hoe--but that's not really what this discussion is about. This discussion is about old photographs, mostly old family photographs, which is a different subject than current professional photographers being ripped off by anybody who thinks they can get away with it.

Computer (which I assume you already have if you are reading this), scanner, photo printer. If you are willing to shop sales and wait for what you need, you can get the scanner and the printer relatively inexpensively. I probably paid less than $50 each for my original scanner and photo-printer. Now I've got an all-in-one that I picked up at the after-Thanksgiving sale at Wal-Mart (hate them, but they have their uses) for under $30. Yeah, you still have to spring for paper and ink and electronic storage space--I buy the paper and ink at Staples and get a kick-back through their Rewards system, and I bought a 250 gigabyte external hard drive and a crap load of CDs and now I scan and print and copy and share and post and e-mail great-grandma and all the rest of the family all over the world, with every cousin I can find.

Yeah, it's a little bit of a hassle learning to use the new equipment at first, but not as much of a hassle as arguing with the drones at Wal-Mart.
rubinow 9 years ago
Jenny Lens is only partially right about work for hire. Yes, most commissioned work is work for hire. However, in the copyright realm, one can only claim work for hire if the parties expressly agree in writing that it is a work for hire:

Works Made for Hire. -- (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. (17 U.S.C. sec 101)

THUS, without such a written agreement, it's not a work for hire. If you don't show the agreement to the person handling your photos, how would they know?
animeangel215 8 years ago
Actually, I have not read most of the comments, but I work in a photo lab in a Wal-mart. The reason we do not do copyrighted photos is because there is a chance the store could be sued even if the photographer is dead. There is no copywrong. Only the photographer and the studio that created the art work actually has the right to copy the photo.

Some photo labs run by wal-mart do bend the regulations set to the associates by corp. For instance, a woman had a copyrighted photo of her class back in 1949. Technically, the copyright does not expire and if it did with in the supposed 70 years, her photo still could not have been print. My lab agreed to print it. We also have agreed to print older family shots.

Yes, our policy does state we cannot print them. It is not the fault of the associate or the store. It is in the policy which all policies are set by corp. Have a problem and then I would call 1-800-Walmart
Kccat5 8 years ago
GOt Scanner? I ran into this problem back in the 90's when copyright was starting to be a problem in copying pics etc. I learned to scan my photos ( got a good one for pics). Problem solved. I for one can't be bothered arguing with corporate zombies. Like what do you do when the original photographer AND studio are gone? Who has rights? How can you get it copied?

* I Personally Hate Wally World!*
roberthuffstutter 7 years ago
These stories and narratives would make a great EDGAR ALLEN POE short story collection, but wait, can I even print his name or is there a copyright surrounding his name?

~sikma~ 7 years ago
Edgar Allen Poe has been dead for over 50 years and his work is now public domain. So knock yourself out

As for going to Wal-Mart, well... what do you expect? Go to your local pro lab and get it done right.
Howard33 7 years ago
It's fortunate that Wal-Mart is not a part of the judicial system. I think they are afraid that they will get a few lawsuits. They are a big chain, and if one picture out of a million is illegal for them to copy, they could be in a heap of trouble. Personally, I don't lose any sleep about it.
MrsButtons 5 years ago
I ran into this Problem just yesterday 2/13/2013 I took photographs of my Great Grandmother taken in 1869 so it's 144 years old~ My Grandmother taken in 1901 its 112 yearsold and my Mum and Dad taken in 1932 which makes 81 years old they refused the girl showed me the machine so that I could do it myself, not having done this before I aksed if she could guide me answer still NO!!! if fact she said I needed the photographers permission I said quote~ holding my Great Grandmothers photo he's DEAD!!! for over 100 years, if you can pull that off by all means try!!! she looked like a deer in the headlights while I know we have to follow the law but there is a time to use Common Sense!! these pictures were done before copyright laws were enacted and they were produced in England where I am from I wanted Copies for my Children thats all Common sense gone amuck!!!!!
m_luvs_cats Posted 5 years ago. Edited by m_luvs_cats (member) 5 years ago
I use Wal-Mart for copying photos all the time. I scan them and save them onto a USB drive and use their instant photo prints kiosk and a receipt pops out that says Come pick up your pictures in 8 minutes or however long, and then I go back to the kiosk when the time is up and I scan my receipt into the printer and the pictures print right there at the printer beside the kiosk and I get them straight from a printer. I got an 8x11 of my great-grandparents with no problem by scanning the picture and saving it onto the USB drive and printing the picture out from the instant prints kiosk. And the picture actually looks really nice. I've also gotten pictures online by scanning them and printing them out for cheap at Walmart. I've never had a person at the photo print center look at my photos; in fact I'm lucky if a person is even at the photo counter. I get my photos myself out of the printer; an employee doesn't need to get them out. Then I keep the photos in my cart and to pay for the photos I just hand the employee the receipt that prints out from the machine and they hand me envelopes to put the photos in without looking at my photos. They have no right to look through your personal photos. Those photos you take there are your personal property.
diyait 3 years ago
i agreed with Howard , from million of photos if only one photo fond illegal they may be face court. can any guy tell me these kind of software are legal to use or not everycrack.com/photo-studio-v1-8-0-1-serial-key/ i download it and apply serial key. its working for me but i am afraid to use it. please help me . Thank You
gary.zenker 1 year ago
Good comments animeangerl. Great how people don;t truly understand the law and wabnnt to hoist all of the b;lame on Wal-Mart. If they cannot determine whether the item is copyright-free, they have the obligation to deny copying it. And the average Wal-Mart employee can't be responsible nor does he or she have the expertise in copyright law to determine that.
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