I need 50 pictures from an old yearbook scanned to include in my book and on my blog. I am new at this book-writing business. Is there anything I need to know?
I’m not an attorney and this isn’t legal advice. Please consult with an attorney with your specific legal questions.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, unfortunately, you can’t use yearbook photos without the written permission of each person who took each photo. Even if the yearbook wasn’t copyrighted, the rights to the photos still belong to each photographer. Also, in some cases, you would need to obtain permission from the people in the photos.
Even if the yearbook was copyrighted, and if you obtained permission from the school district to use the yearbook, they only own the rights to the entire compilation of the book. They don’t own the rights to the individual photographs.
I know there are companies online now that are scanning and re-publishing entire yearbooks (both online and off) after receiving copies of old ones from former students. In all likelihood, they are violating numerous copyrights. Think about it. The yearbook staff had a photographer (or more than one). Absent a work-for-hire contract, those photographers own the rights to those photos. Even if the school provided a contract to the student, they couldn’t legally sign it if they were underage. The parents would have been required to do so. It’s doubtful if many, or any, schools went to such lengths years or even decades ago. Also, all the rights to photos not taken by yearbook staff
also belong to the photographers, including those professional photographers taking senior and other class photos.
Old yearbook photographers could seriously get into the litigation business with all of the copyright infringement occurring through republishing of yearbooks and yearbook photos now.
So, my answer is no. Definitely do not use yearbook photos in your book unless:
1. The yearbook is in the public domain. Don’t assume it is! You must research it first.
2. You have contacted each individual photographer, and have obtained written permission to use each and every photo.
Please see additional information on this topic HERE.
- 17-Year-Old Author Falls Victim to Green Ivy Publishing, Yet Another Defunct Publisher
- When Authors Don’t Understand Copyright Law, the Law Might Come After THEM!
- Can Your Publisher Get YOU Sued For Copyright Infringement? Yep!! By Angela Hoy
- Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights
- Do You Own the Copyrights to Your Published Interviews?
HowMaster: The Writer's Guide to Beautiful Word Crafting
HowMaster is a wise choice for the writer who wants to weave words around the reader’s heart.
Author Linda M. Gigliotti
shows how effective
Author Linda M. Gigliotti draws from years of practice as a private
writing tutor in the guidebook that teaches writers how to format visceral
writing that pulls readers into their book. She explains with instruction
and samples of published works how to craft writing that come to life in the reader's mind.
Read more here:
So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter - How To Make Money Writing Without a Byline
Many freelance writers find it difficult to break into the publishing world. What they don't know, however, is that there's a faster and easier way to see their words in print. It's called ghostwriting, and it's an extremely lucrative, fun, and challenging career.
But how do you get started as a ghostwriter? How do you find new clients who will pay you to write their material? How do you charge? And what kind of contracts do you need to succeed? All these questions and more are answered in So, You Wanna Be a Ghostwriter...How to Make Money Writing Without a Byline.
Read more here: