Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Copyright in New Zealand

This is a big subject for family historians. What can be used, how and when. If you are like me, you may not understand legal terms very well and engaging a solicitor to work it out is too expensive.

Thats why I was excited to come across this easily absorbed article on makeit.digital this morning. In particular, the subject of using old photographs is covered.
New Zealand photographs taken before 1945 are out of copyright, because until the start of the current Copyright Act in 1995, the terms of protection was only 50 years from creation.
For written works (published), the rule is '50 years after the death of the author except for the following;
An unpublished work made between 1 April 1963 and 1 January 1995 where the author died before 1 January 1995, will remain in copyright for up to 75 years beyond the author’s death.
Another obscure exception is:
 Any unpublished literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works (other than photographs) created by unknown authors before the start of the 1994 Copyright Act, remain in copyright until at least 2046..
Are you still confused?  My brain is tired too, I think I have a headache coming on. Be careful about material from unpublished manuscripts lodged in repositories by Joe Public. They are a wealth of information for us but use them only as reference material.

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