Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of 'Worlds Within Worlds', a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
Looks like multiple collections of images from a bunch of sources which includes some Library of Congress material. In any case, the Library of Congress will not be selling our copyrighted images and this entity won't either unless they start pirating work which I doubt will happen
Science Photo Library (SPL) is the leading source of science images and footage. Sourced from scientific and medical experts, acclaimed photographers and renowned institutions SPL's content is unrivaled worldwide. Outstanding quality, accuracy and commitment to excellence are deeply embedded in the company's DNA. Science Photo Library inspires creative professionals and delivers engaging content of the highest quality for a wide range of clients in a variety of sectors. Visit sciencephoto.com for more information and stay connected on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
If it's someone else that has the Library of Congress identified as the artist then it someone else is most likely posting public domain material from the Library of Congress.
the LOC is a place you get copyrights, but its also a place that stores a million or so black and white and some color images. they are donated, copyright free, where allowed. so they can be up here. i have a batch myself. the images you send there, won't be listed at all. its a different department. though if you say this is a donation, copyright free then anyone can use it.
they don't sell the images at all as far as i know. the things your seeing are posted up by stock companies for the most part. most of my colorized things come from that one. and because they are the copyright people, they would know best if its copyright free or not.
the loc doesn't even let you download it if its still protected. and not all can be downloaded there.
The LOC is huge, and yes, they do sell some images.
Reproductions of Prints & Photographs Division Images
Quality reproductions of images in the Prints & Photographs Division can be purchased from Library of Congress Duplication Services. -from the LOC
A lot of the historic images and documents are sold through other government agencies like the Smithsonian. They have a contract with two printers/publishers that I know of that do a lot of their printing for them. I am sure there are a lot more than two. One of them is one of my major suppliers for whom I am a wholesale distributor for. They have kiosks in several government galleries and museums where visitors can buy LOC images. The money they make by selling images goes to help to fund the agencies.
Not all images are public domain and some are still under copyright protection.
The Library does not grant or deny permission concerning the use of images. While many images are unrestricted, it is not true that all images in the Prints & Photographs Division are in the public domain. Patrons need to be aware of the several kinds of rights which might apply: copyright, donor restrictions, privacy rights, publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. -from the LOC
They have huge collections that have not even been cataloged yet. People donate collections to them all the time, probably on a daily basis.
Getty Images has gotten themselves in hot water over selling licenses/prints of public domain material many times. And in one case they were sending copyright infringement demands for public domain images:
Apparently the courts seem to agree they are allowed to do this (sell public images), but personally I have a problem with these libraries changing money for something that is supposed to be free and then basically giving away their contributors work for pennies.
As I understand it, the Copyright Office is a separate federal department within the Library of Congress.
The photos that you mention are in the public domain, in the Library of Congress' image collection, which is different from currently copyrighted images.
Again, these two collections are totally separate -- the Copyright Office is NOT going to sell images that are still in active copyright status. The Copyright Office practically has no connection to these images on sale. The department selling these images is separate from the department that registers copyrights, I would assume.
Getty has not gotten in trouble for simply selling fully released into the public domain images. If they got in trouble it was because they had their own interpretation of conditions that were attached which basically are not public domain images.
They have gotten in trouble for trying to claim copyright on public domain images.
They have also been sued by people that placed their images in the public domain and they tried to sue Getty for selling them the way they were selling them. Getty won that suite because once you give your images to the public domain with no restrictions, you can not go back and attach restrictions.
They were sued for $1Billion dollars and the case was thrown out of court.
Agree the Getty case was thrown out of court because public domain is public domain as I noted above, but it just strikes me as questionable be to selling public domain images for a profit, when there is no transformativeness to them at all. Legal yes, ethical maybe not so much.
Where they really got themselves into trouble with the $1B case is trying to enforce copyright on public domain images. We'll probably never know how much they had to settle that portion of the claim for. Or how many people actually paid them to settle an infringement claim on a public domain image.
getty and the rest not only sell it, but they slap their copyright on it as well. and for people that don't know better or don't know how to find the original, buy it from them.
what got getty in trouble was going after art made by the artist herself. she couldn't fight back because she gave away the copyright, but they couldn't get her because it wasn't theirs to begin with. i'm sure there are other stories like that.
its legal and its ethical. same with the people that sell nasa art, or stuff from the hubble or govt photos etc. those are up for the taking as well. people get mug shots, maps and so on. you can't call yourself much of an artist if all you do is take the images and sell them. but if you modify them you can. and if you clean them up you can as well. in fact you can copyright the image again if you clean it up or modify it. only the original stays open source, anything you change is yours now.
Yeah, but Getty wasn't doing any of that. They were just slapping the photo back up for sale on the site. It's unfortunate that the people who got caught in their copyright enforcement efforts over public domain images probably have no way to get their settlement money back.
By all means, I have no problems if you want to modify a public domain image to make it your own creation and then sell it... But I do question the ethics of doing nothing more than taking something and slapping your name on it to sell it.
The restoration, preservation and general costs of owning the original works of art are extremely expensive.
A whole lot of the money that is made from selling public domain images finds its way back to the museums and galleries that own the originals. That money is not insignificant to the overall budget of these facilities.
There are brokers and publishes that have paid a lot of money to museums and galleries to shoot the originals in their charge. The museums or galleries are not charging royalties or claiming copyright. They are charging for access and the cost of that access which includes the shoot being overseen by one of their own curators that control access, conditions such as time of day, lighting, etc. etc.
The production, distribution, and resale of Public Domain images is a huge industry creating jobs and revenues for a lot of individuals and organizations. All of them 100% legitimate.
No one is suggesting that anyone should be putting their name on any art that is not their own but this is not a problem that is unique to public domain images.
In fact, it is less damaging, imho, that someone should put their name on a Van Gogh than to steal a Tom Schwabel or Mike Savad original and sell it as their own. Van Gogh is not still trying to make a living from his work. I am not trying to justify people that are doing it. I am trying to put it in perspective.
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