Time we had a serious rethink about Copyright
In my experience people are pretty honest and try their best to stay within the law, but the rules covering Copyright are pretty insane.
I have a hobby(not a business) which is taking old photos and retaking the original photo in the same position and merging the two. I had always assumed that since the originals were old(> 100 years) that they were out of copyright and free to use(after all isn't that the idea of a government mandated monopoly).
However after being stung by another copyright issue, I did some investigations and found out that as the law stands it is virtually impossible to work out if a photo is in or out of copyright.
Basically you had to work out the following
When the photo was taken
Are they still alive? If not when did they die.
Was it published and if so when.
Actually it wasn't even that simple, so I wrote a flowchart ((http://photographyformortals.blogspot.com/2014/05/copyright-or-copywrong.html))
Basically it could not be done, so the only alternative was to give up my hobby or potentially break the law. Any guesses which I did?
As a photographer myself I want to ensure that people get proper remuneration for their work. But copyright in the digital age is a paper castle. It pretends to protect all, but only actually protects those with the money and influence to enforce it. It does little for the lone photographer, while at the same time inhibiting creativity. It is really time we bit the bullet and brought a little reality to copyright law