Copyright Issues

I’ve been asked a few questions by concerned users, representative of some artist’s estate about copyright status and the legality of the images posted on my site. Here are a few answers to the frequently asked questions regarding copyright and ownership of the Golde Age Illustrations Gallery.

Where you do obtain the images ?

  • All the images on this site are personally scanned by me from my book collection. All the details about provenance of those images are mentioned in the descriptions.

Where in the world are you ?

  • I’m living in US, my site is hosted in the US and I’m subjected to US’s copyright laws only. Before you contact me about copyright violations, please make sure you own or have proof of copyright ownership of the said image(s) in the US only. I’m not subject to any other countries’s law.

Who owns the copyright on those images ?

  • Nearly all of the images on this site (98%-99%) are in public domain in the US. They came from books published before 1923, thus are in public domain in the US. I’m not aware of other countries’s copyright laws. You may have to verify with your own country’s law before using it for commercial purpose.
  • I’m doing my best to make sure that the images I use for personal and commercial purpose are in public domain in the US. However, the few that I’m not certain of and that you believe are still under copyright in the US. Please contact me so I can remove it from my site.
  • For books published between 1923 and 1963, some are in public domain. The Stanford University have published an Online Renewal Database, if a book hasn’t been renewed in the US by the original copyright owner, it is now in public domain.
  • For the rare exception books that are still under copyright on my site. I published it under the Fair Use provisions, for nonprofit and educational purpose.

I own the copyright of image(s) XXX and want to take it of your site #!$@

  • If you believe you own the copyright of an image(s) and want to take it off my site. Please send me an e-mail with any evidence that can substantiate your claims as the rightful owner of the image(s) and I’ll be happy to comply.

For more infomation on copyright and public domain works, please visit:

For works published in the UK, prior to Jan 1, 1996, copyright extends to 50 years after the author’s death. After the copyright extension, it’s now 70 years after the author’s death. Also, I’m not entirely sure about the official owner(s) of the images. The publisher, who paid the artist for the works, or the artist himself. I’m assuming the original publishers own the copyright to those works, many of them are no longer in business and hard to track. I’m also not sure how the copyrights are transferred in this case. If you have any information, please let me know so I can update this page.