Rockville Centre, NY asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York

Q: I purchased an original Kodachrome slide at auction. Do I now have the right to reproduce the image for commercial gain?

The image on the transparency/slide appears to be one that was NOT selected for publishing by the original photographer. The slide that I own (Slide A) depicts the first picture in a sequence of at least two images taken a few seconds apart. Slide B (the second image in the sequence) was published and is currently available for prints and/or licensing through a well known photo licensing house. This licensing house appears to have the lion share of the original (now deceased) photographer’s life-long work/collection for prints/licensing. Additionally, there is a website run by the original photographer’s estate where a small selection of images are available for sale as prints.

What are my rights, as the owner of an original transparency by the photographer, to reproduce the image for commercial use/gain?

1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: Very interesting situation you have here

You will definitely need an attorney to navigate these waters

Many questions come up.

Is it the only original?

where other copies made?

under what agreement do the owners of copies of the material got it?

what was the title you got to the item?

did you get a general warranty title? or just a quit claim?

Under one case you get an assurance that you have superior rights

Under the other case you don't get any assurance and the best you get is the right to the physical possession of the item

what kind of auction was it?

1 user found this answer helpful

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