Old newspaper Ad.

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  • Hi, i am new to this forum.. very very nice informative resource indeed.

    Can someone tells me the following

    1. Some ppl at ebay sells old newspaper ad, is this legal ? and they post the picture of the ad at ebay, is this legal ?

    2. My next question, is there any copyright for newspaper ad ? how can one trace back the ownership, is it the advertising company or the original company itself ?

    3. Is it possible to use this old newspaper ad in modern days again to advertise/promote the same product ?

    4. Is it possible to use any of the word, graphics, pictures for the same (promoting the same brand product) in modern days say using it on the web, print or other forms like mouse pad, printed on bags, etc. ?

    The intention is not to infringe the copyrights but yet promotes the heritage/history of the product and makes the product more appealing becuase of its heritage and credibility. A "retro" commercial/advertising campaign per se...

    Tks for any insights..
  • anyone have any ideas ??

    at the public domain chart,, at cornell. it seems that anything before 1923 automatically becomes public domain...

    May be these old newspaper ad can be used afterall..
    any thoughts ?
  • With advertising, you're likely to have other issues beyond copyright. Trademark may play a role as well. At any rate, let's look at your questions-

    1) Some of selling old newspaper ads is legal, and some is not legal. If they are selling copies, then that may be illegal. If they are selling the original ad, then that may be legal according to the doctrine of first sale. For the picture, again it depends. Some of the items, as you note, may be in the public domain. The public domain charts can tell you what to look for (dates, copyright symbol for some years, etc.). And of course, back in the day copyright had to be registered. Again, the charts can help.

    2) Yes, there is copyright for advertising. The ownership question is difficult. If it is an old newspaper ad, you may need to do some reasearch at the Copyright Office. Because copyright used to require registration, ownership information of copyright materials may be found at the Copyright Office.

    3) Hard to say. Who owns the product? Is there a trademark involved with the product?

    4) Again, hard to say. You have to determine if someone owns the copyrights and trademarks for the product.

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