A New Wiki Resource: Our Photostream

I just wanted to post a quick mention that camera-wiki.org now has its own Flickr stream, here.  We intend this to be a resource for any wiki author or editor who is looking for useful images.

Occasionally, the only available photo of a rare camera was taken by someone who is not on Flickr. An example would be auction photos from eBay, or images from a specialist collector website. If those photographers are willing to donate their special camera images to Camera-wiki.org, but don’t want to expend their own bandwidth hosting them, our Flickr stream can be a convenient central repository.

1940 Ad: Kodak Super Six-20

1940 Ad: The pioneering autoexposure Super Kodak Six-20

We’ve also been adding lots of scans of vintage advertising. Currently, there is a good selection of material from Popular Photography (the long-running US photo magazine), dating from the years 1940 to 1946. This includes ads introducing the Stereo Realist (see the camera-wiki.org article), the rare Vokar I rangefinder (wiki article here), and many others.

As a side note, some may be wondering whether there are any copyright issues when using vintage advertising images. It’s good to be cautious on this topic, and it’s one that the wiki editors have given some thought to.

So far, all the scanned material has come from American publications. The US Copyright Office offers a summary PDF of the laws here; over time, these have generally been revised to expand and lengthen copyright protection.

We are not lawyers; but a simple summary would be to say that in most normal circumstances, copyright has lapsed on any publication from before 1922. In contrast, Anything from 1978 and later is almost certainly under copyright still.

For the years 1922 through 1977, our understanding of the law is that copyright protection only applies to items published with a copyright notice, such as © [date]. We believe copyright to advertising images would be held by the advertiser, not the magazine publishing it. Thus pre-1978 advertising published without the © ought to be safe to use. (There also may be a fair use argument; but as this is more contentious, we’d prefer not to rely on that.)

Our Flickr stream is not yet a Pro account, so there are a few images that have disappeared behind the 200-photo limit. (We’re happy to take a donation if you’d like to help us fix that.) However every image has been well tagged, and so all the uploaded items should appear if you search for a particular keyword. Enjoy!

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