Answered By: Bonnie Brzozowski
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2016     Views: 15


It looks like this is going to be a tricky question and I cannot give a definitive answer (as that would be the equivalent of my giving legal advice, which I am in no way qualified to do!), but let me tell you about the information I've found.

It looks like works published before 1923 should be in the public domain at this point; however, the Corvallis magazine was published in the 60s.  It's possible this is in the public domain too, though I just cannot say for sure (I noticed many of the pictures in the magazine date back to 1923 or earlier, for example).  But read this page on public domain.  Basically, anything published without a copyright notice between 1923-1978 should be in the public domain.  I am not finding a copyright notice on these magazines (you may want to double-check them), so my assumption would be that these are in the public domain.  But, again, I am no expert, so please do not construe this as legal advice on how to proceed.

I am nearly 99.9% certain the Gazette Times and local papers would put copyright notices on things and they may even register and renew their copyright.  Because the GT is still around, fortunately, you could just call them to ask about what you can use from their papers.

Your use of photos could potentially be considered "fair use" depending on how many and how they are used.  This page we pulled up together when you were at the library has succinct, straightforward answers to the question of fair use and how to identify a copyright-holder (not always an easy task, it appears).

I think this is some good info to get you started, but please do get in touch if you have further questions about this or anything else.  You may also consider contacting the Benton County Law Library.  They have reduced hours, but they have a legal reference librarian that might be able to help further (she cannot provide a definitive answer either - again, the whole legal advice thing - but, because she gets many legal questions, she may know of some good resources to help you figure this out).

I hope this information is helpful!  Thanks for contacting us with your question.

Bonnie/Reference Librarian

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