From: Jim Carlile (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Feb 18 2008 - 15:42:02 PST
I'm not an attorney, but as I remember back then, the blanket copyright of
the entire issue would apply to everything in it. So the dispute-- if any--
would be between the publisher and the individual artist, to hash out who had
copyright. The artist would have had to file first, I think, if they'd wanted
to claim ownership-- but don't quote me on that. This may not apply to
An interesting thing about the Berkeley Barb, and I wonder if Lipton knows
this. Apparently, the LC has only one or two copies of the paper, with an
uncataloged microfilm somewhere of others. What this indicates to me is that the
'Barb never sent in their issues to the Copyright Office, which means that
most of them (all?) are in the Public Domain, per the pre-78 mandatory deposit
So unless somebody actually formally registered them later on-- which after
1978 was allowed for some years-- they are indeed in the PD. But for that
time until they were registered--if so-- they were in PD, because they never
deposited copies in the 60's.
The fact that there's some LC microfilm of the 'Barb only indicates to me
that whoever copied it also copyrighted their film and deposited it-- that's why
the LC has it (University Microfilms?) But that's only the film, not the
More speculation-- I suspect Lipton, being a smart guy, personally
copyrighted all of his stuff at the time. He probably also owns his own Super 8
But Kunkin definitely did right-- it looks like all of his Freep issues are
in the LC.
When it comes to those 60's posters-- somebody, anybody, could have filed
their own copyrights on it, to claim legal ownership if nobody else had. This is
a big problem with old materials that most people were too cool to care
about, except the shady businessmen later on. In my experience tracing things,
this happens all the time.
It's kind of like these sharks that claim domain names for profit-- it's
amazing who ends up falsely owning things you never thought anyone wanted.
In a message dated 2/18/2008 6:41:26 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
email suppressed writes:
Jim, this is fantastic. Thanks so much. This list is a truly invaluable
asset because of the generosity of the people who constitute it.
A final question: if Kunkin and/or New Way Enterprises does hold the
copyright, what does that mean? I intend to get releases for film stills and certain
ads, but what about graphics (illustrations or ads) that are not signed by
anyone and have no copyright C on them? For example, I want to put the logo
for my columns -- a kind of surrealist eyeball -- on the front page of the
book. It was not copyrighted by the designer and his name was never attached to
it. Does that mean Kunkin can grant me permission to reprint it?
Another case would be full-page rock concert ads like John VanHammersveld's
famous Jimi Hendrix poster that was printed as an ad for the concert.
Everyone knows he drew it, but the ad itself is not copyrighted by him in the Free
Press, unlike Ron Cobb who copyrighted each of his cartoons.
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