1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 29, 2020 3:01 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Trying to determine what company holds copyright of photographs


      I have several booklets and a book relating to my father's army unit in WW II (Eighth Infantry Division) that were published by the Army & Navy Publishing Company of Baton Rouge, Louisiana during the early 1940s. I would like to use several photographs from these publications to help illustrate my father's memoir, which I plan to publish for mass market sale. The company apparently went out-of-business around 1965, and I do not know how to handle copyright for the photos, if any is still in force. Does anyone know anything about this company and how to deal with copyright in order to use photos from its publications?


      The company is not governmental, but rather is a private company. It published many similar booklets and books about a large number of US military outfits in WWII, which I have found for sale on second-hand bookstore websites and eBay. I have also seen photos from their publications on a variety of websites online, but I haven't seen attribution information that includes copyright information or permissions. I wonder if copyright even pertains now, given that the company is long since defunct. I have not found any information to help trace who the current copyright holder is, if one even exists. Thanks!

        • Re: Trying to determine what company holds copyright of photographs
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Scheider,


          Thank you for your posting your request on History Hub!

          Please review the website of the United States Copyright Office for questions about copyright law and copyright status of works. If your questions are not answered by their website, please contact their staff.

          Also, photographs of various U.S. Army activities dating from 1940 to 2007 are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Still Picture (RDSS). You may wish to contact RDSS via email at stillpix@nara.gov to request a search for photographs of the 8th Infantry Division and its subordinate units. Most photographs of US Army activities during World War II in National Archives custody were taken by Army photographers and are in the public domain.


          However, please be aware that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDSS. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

          We hope this information is helpful.