Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting Photo Copyright Permission from the Church History Library

Several weeks ago I began selecting which photographs I would like to use in my book on the Cane Creek Massacre. I was fortunate in that I had been able to identify several photos which had not been previously published and described as being connected to the shooting.  While most of the photos I was able to take myself, or at least speak with the owner about using them in my book, several were in the possession of the Church History Library, at at the very least they owned the rights to the digital version I was using in my manuscript. I figured I should, at the least, get permission to use them. Herein I will describe the process which I found surprisingly easy, if not completely straight forward.

After figuring out which photos I wanted to use, and which ones I got from the Church History Library (CHL), I combed the CHL website until I found the copyright request form for manuscripts, which appeared to be the closest to what I wanted.

Legal Stuff
Copyright Request - Manuscript

The form can be filled out by typing directly into it, but it can't be saved, only printed, so you can't start it and finish later. I have Cute-PDF so I got around that issue, but even with that I had to type it all at once. Mildly annoying.

And with that the request was emailed off. I neglected to include my manuscript and so a few weeks later I got an email asking for it. The legal office wanted to make sure that the way I was going to use the material was appropriate.

A few days after sending in my manuscript, I got an email detailing which photos I could use and which ones the CHL believed were not owned by them. In one case I was even told who had the copyright, which was pretty cool.

The process was mostly painless, except the request form, and took about 6-7 weeks.

4 photos approved
1 photo approved, but noted that there might be another copyright holder (the photographer)
2 photos the CHL had no copyrights and they are not sure who does
1 photo the copyrights belonged to Deseret News.


Amy said...

Thanks for the description of the process. That's good to know. Do they charge a fee, like Daughters of Utah Pioneers?

BruceCrow said...

No, there was no fee. Just friendly service. :)