[Foundation-l] Fwd: Copyright problems of images from India

Tomasz Ganicz polimerek at gmail.com
Tue May 10 12:09:16 UTC 2011

2011/5/10 Strainu <strainu10 at gmail.com>:
> 2011/5/10 Sreejith K. <sreejithk2000 at gmail.com>:
>> I wonder how the citizenship of the author helps. The only thing that is of
>> importance in a PD claim is the date of first publishing.
> Not really. For instance, in Europe the copyright protection runs for
> 70 years from the DEATH of the author, not the first publish date. So
> if the author is European (or American, for that matter), the picture
> might not yet be PD. I don't know the rules in India, but perhaps
> there the protection period runs from the publication date, in which
> case the citizenship of the author is important.

I guess that in case of India is not that simple. . Great Britain was
gradually taking control over Inda from XVII century till XIX century.
Under the British rule the Inda was a rather strange (from
contemporary POV)  combination of semi-independent countries (which
probably had no any copyright law at all, like Afghanistan nowadays)
and teritories under the direct rule of British Governors-General and
Viceroys. The independent Inda was formally established in 1950, but
Indian has a legal POV saying that British control over India was
generally illegal - at least starting from 1930 (Purna Swaraj).

Anyway - if you follow British POV over the legal issues (tell my
why?) - you might have really tricky problem about the "citzenship" of
Indian people. Those who lived on teritories under direct Viceroy rule
- might be treated as his subjects, and you should probably apply to
them a law of Calcuta parliament - so you should examine the copyright
law of British India. Those who lived on teritories which were ruled
under semi-independent princes were probably subjects of them - so you
should examine their local copyright law (if there was any...)

To make it more complicated - if you think of picture taken by British
before 1950 - you may also have problem. They for sure were subjects
of British Queen  - but also a subjects of Viceroys. After 1950 -
according to Indian Constiutution all of them - if only lived in India
for longer than 5 years started to be Indian citizens:

Article 5 of Indian Constiution:
"At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his
domicile in the territory of India and —
"who was born in the territory of India; or
either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not
less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be
a citizen of India."

As long as they do not decided to choose another citzenship.

Good luck with sorting out all these issues. :-)

Tomek "Polimerek" Ganicz

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