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VIC Intellectual Property Law - Copyright of Mail Order Book from Hardware Chain?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Nathan-3211, 24 January 2016.

  1. Nathan-3211

    Nathan-3211 Member

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    Hi

    I have recently come into possession of an old Mail Order book from a hardware chain that is no longer around. It doesn't have a listed publication date but, I am certain it is from either the World War 1 or World War 2 era as there is a notice printed on the inside of the front cover stating that "due to war conditions, costs of goods may fluctuate in prices".

    My idea is to scan pages from the book to be printed out on quality fine art paper and frame it to be sold. My question is, would it still be possible under copyright with the original company not being around anymore?

    I'm also aware that copyright lasts for 75 years after the publication date but I am unsure whether this is the case with product catalogues and mail order books, etc.

    Any help under Intellectual Property Law would be much appreciated.

    Regards
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nathan,

    Do you know if the owner of the catalogue is a business or a company? To find information about what happened to the assets of an Australian company which has gone out of business, you can make enquiries with ASIC.

    If you are unable to identify or find the copyright owner, you will need to decide whether you are willing to proceed with the proposed use, and risk infringing copyright. One option is to proceed, but with a statement inviting copyright owners to come forward if they believe their material has been reproduced. If you decide to follow this course, it may be wise to keep detailed records of your attempts to clear rights, and to speak with a lawyer about your exposure to risk. The fact that you have made good faith attempts to identify and contact the copyright owner, while being the morally correct thing to do, still does not protect you from legal action under the Copyright Act.
     
  3. Nathan-3211

    Nathan-3211 Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply Sophea.

    I'll have a look into ASIC and see what they say. The catalogue is for McEwans Hardware, which according to Wikipedia was bought out by Bunnings in 1993. Naturally Wikipedia isn't really the most reliable of sources, but I have found this info on other sites as well.

    I'm wondering if the copyright for catalogues and the like, ends after the publication date or from when the company goes out of business?
     

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