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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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How do you find the owner of the copyright to an artwork done

Customer Question

How do you find the owner of the copyright to an artwork done by an artist who died less than 70 years ago ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We produce artwork for hotels world wide (mostly original work). We need to reproduce work by an artist who died less than 70 years ago and is therefore still under copyright. How can we find out who owns the copyright ?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I'm afraid that
unlike in the United States, there is no central record of copyright. It exists
simply because the person drew it wrote it, sang it or whatever.

There is
absolutely no other way of finding out other than spending lots of time and
effort making what will usually be fruitless enquiries.

If you start to
use the picture and it causes a problem, you need to be able to show that you
used all efforts possible to trace the copyright owner, in defence to any
action they may bring to you for damages.

The amount of
damages they would get would only be the same as they would be able to charge
you for using the picture in any event.

I wish I could
give you a more definite answer time sorry to say, there is not one.

Does that answer
the question. Can I assist any further?

I am happy to
follow up any individual point you make

I am online and
off-line each day and most weekends.

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