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An Interesting Copyright Question

Posted on | January 21, 2010 | No Comments

I found these shots from someone who buys unexposed rolls and plates and then attempts to process them. I found those after following up on another awesome find. An interesting question entered my mind while I was viewing the photos:

Some of the best stuff (I think) I have ever done lives on unprocessed rolls of TMAX from 20 years ago.  If someone found and processed them, who owns the copyright therein of anything worth arguing or laughing over?

Why unprocessed? I completely lost track of the rolls in an effort to hide them from my mother who was at the time a photography student. It was the late 80′s and early 90′s, I was involved with some strange cultures, I didn’t wish to be grounded due to her accidentally processing the rolls. I’m not sure what scared me the most, the fear of what she’d see in the pictures or the fact that she’d know that I sneaked her Minolta SR-T 201 (pretty sure it was CLC) out for numerous  joy rides. If I had asked her to borrow it, she’d want to see the film, which was obviously out of the question.

The cool thing was, I had to shoot a whole roll in a short amount of time, which is why I’m sure those rolls contain some of the best shots I’ve ever taken.

Point? Oh, yes, I’m terribly sorry, but that’s not the point.

Since I’m obviously the one behind the camera and unseen, how could I hope to assert any kind of copyright should those pictures find the light of an enlarger and later the light of day?

Perhaps, eventually those rolls will meet a fate much kinder than a Kodak Kiosk outside of a grocery store. I’d be happy just to see the pictures.


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