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Writing Books/obtaining copyright permission

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Question
Cathy, I have written a book that has been accepted for publication. The problem I'm having is in trying to track down photographers for permission to use certain photos, which in some cases are 50 years old. Several of the photos I want to use are in publications that do not list the photographer's name and the publication editors do not know how to get in touch with the photographer and in some case do not know who they are.Also, one of the publications has long been discontinued Thanks, Bob

Answer
Photographs are trickier to find out the status of than articles themselves. If the photos are notable, you might check with your local library to see if they have any of the same ones in their archives. Then you could simply sign an agreement with THEM to use THEIR copy of the same photo. I did this on one book and it really sped up the process. Rather than find the original photographer, the library's historical department had already jumped through that hoop.

In the case of a publication, you might be able to apply with the Library of Congress to find the proper person. Here's a link to the Copyright Office's FAQ page, which might help you out.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html#whoowns

If neither of these works, let me know and I'll come up with some other ideas. :)

Good luck, and congrats on the publication deal!

Cathy

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Cathy Clamp

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.

Experience

I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Organizations
Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Publications
Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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