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Author Topic: Permission to use illustration from defunct publisher  (Read 2850 times)
dw2007
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Posts: 82


« on: April 06, 2012, 12:57:16 PM »

I would like to use a map from a book published in the 1950s, but the publisher no longer exists (or if it does, I can't figure out who bought them out). Any advice on how to go about getting permission? The author is dead, so that isn't an avenue to pursue.
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larryc
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Be excellent to each other.


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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 1:04:08 PM »

I am giving you permission.

That is probably the best you are going to get. Run with it.
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germaneriposte
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Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 2:41:44 PM »

Your library should have someone who can help you with this or, at least, point you to someone who can. If not, see Columbia Univeristy's Copyright Advisory Office (disclosure: I have no affiliation) as an example of this type of service.
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bibliothecula
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like Bunnicula, only with books


« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 4:54:10 PM »

I'm with larryc. However, the rule you rely should rely on is "best possible attempt," which means you've made the best possible attempt to contact the rights holders, and have either been unable to ID them, or they have not responded. Then you really do get to run with it. I dealt with this over photos from the 1920s in my first book.
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dw2007
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Posts: 82


« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 11:02:37 AM »

Thanks for the advice and the link.
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cranefly
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 4:43:34 PM »

The author's estate may maintain the rights.
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yellowtractor
Vice-Provost of the University of the South-East Corner of Donkeyshire (formerly Donkeyshire Polytechnic) (a Post-1992 University) and also a
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 6:53:19 PM »

I went through this years ago with a monograph.  I tracked the defunct publisher through various legal maneuvers, including a public auction of property, before the rights trail went cold.

I provided all of this information to Respected University Press, as per Bibliothecula's recommendation, assuming that a disclaimer along the lines of "All possible leads to identify the rightsholder(s) have been pursued and exhausted" would suffice...but Respected University Press would not budge.  It was a small disaster, in terms of the manuscript.

All of which is to say that it's ultimately your press that will make this call.  If your manuscript is under contract, you need to involve them at this point.  If your manuscript is not yet under contract, I would wait until it is (and then speak with the appropriate press employee to discuss your options).
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