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On Fri, 28 Jul 1995 08:52:08 ES Joe Swift said:
>A colleague of mine wants to know who controls the rights to Muybridge's Animal
>Locomotion sequence of photographs (those funky pictures of people and animals
>from the late 1800s, as he calls it).  I assume it is public domain by now.
>Does anyone know?  Thanks for the assistance.
>
>jswift @ discovery.com
>
 
This is a tricky question.  The original Muybridge plates and prints are
clearly in public domain.  The operative U.S. copyright and associated
Bern conventions stipulate a 75 year term or a term of 50 years after
the creator's death; Muybridge died in 1904.
 
However, most readily available published sources (e.g., Dover edition)
are likely covered by a copyright since the organization of the material
*is* covered by copyright under the relevant terms.
 
More: the institution or individual holding original (public domain) prints
or negative have some rights of ownership that are not strictly speaking
matters of copyright.
 
BUT:  Publications copyrighted prior to 1920 (i.e., seventy five years
ago) *are* in public domain according to the terms of current U.S.
copyright statute.
 
More about copyright with files on film related topics and a hypertext
file of the 1976 United States Copyright statute can be found at:
 
http://astro.ocis.temple.edu/~pryluck/coyright.html
 
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