• There is no way to untangle the “rights” of descendants of people long past who occur in a photo. Even people not slaves in 1850 had no concept of a financial or other interest in their photo.

  • Certainly, ma’am. Let’s see, in 1863, a daguerreotype cost $2.50. That will be $2.50 plus 156 years of storage and interest.


  • Harvard faculty, students, and guest speakers have made some well-structured and dynamic arguments in favor of reparations. Now comes a case with specific allegations asking them to follow through.
    Given Harvard’s long role in molding the leadership of this nation, it is fitting that they have been asked to be the first to pay up.
    With their own money, of course.

  • I’m more interested in how Harvard is getting away with still charging a fee for reproduction of a photograph, the copyright of which expired over a century ago.

    • Because they have the original. Copyright prevents the reproduction of a photograph even if you’ve got the means to make perfect copies, but in the absence of copyright, you can only reproduce a photograph if you have the original to work from.

  • copyright only assigns to the person taking the photograph, presuming that photos were even covered at the time. If we start allowing/requiring persons being photographed or filmed will chill the public’s ability to record encounters with police and other civil servants in public areas.