Just to go off track a little bit here, as far as Baltimore’s Water Supply history goes, I was just wondering if I could get some clarification on Copyrights? I really don’t understand these laws. It is of my own opinion that everything that has to do with history should be free to the public. I know there are certain cost involved with printing and reproduction and even research, BUT, who the hell owns the photographs and the words associated with them??
Case in point: I am revising my water history book by adding more photographs and trying to make it more ‘reader friendly’, getting rid of repetitious comments and adding an index. All the photographs that I have used come from glass plate negatives, lantern slides or the actual photographs that are stored here. While reading through my book I found some areas that could use a couple of pics to liven up the paragraphs but found I lacked those photos. Some research pointed me in the direction of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and The Tribune. The Tribune is now the keeper of the Baltimore Sun photo collection. Both of these are charging me anywhere from $10 to $40 for reprints, although the Tribune sold me the ‘originals’ for $15. Each want upwards of $150 for permission to use the photos in a book, depending on the print run. I asked the guy at the library what ever happened to the ‘Free’ in Enoch Pratt Free Library??
The library had received, in earlier years, copies of all the City of Baltimore’s Annual Reports, which included photographs. These photos were taken by either a City photographer or one hired by the contractor doing the construction. They are called ‘Progress Photographs.’ As far as the SunPapers goes, well they would send reporters who would come out to the plant with a photographer to cover newsworthy events. Like the tunnel explosion of 1938 where ten miners were killed (Although the Sun really fell on that one. Most pics and stories were done by the Washington Post, to whom I had to pay $3 for a mimeographed copy of the stories) They came onto the property, took pictures of the property, naming city workers and saying what happened.
Who really owns all this and why do they charge for reproducing the photos in a book? As far as print run, I can not tell them how many will be printed. I print my books thru Publish on Demand. As far as making money off of it – No!
So as not to cause any legal BS, I found this pic of an 1848 Fountain in Baltimore. Here is the link: http://www.mdhs.org/digitalimage/marsh-market-fountain-baltimore-street-0