WW I Postcards and use of in a publication

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  • My first post on the forum and a thanks to all before I start

    I picked up a few WWI postcards at a flea market in Germany and am considering using them in some way in a publication (if copyright is not infringed of course). A few questions.

    Some of the cards have a company name but no date or copyright logo etc to be found. Would assume these were first released sometime in the early WWI years 1914-1915 as correspondance dates to about this time period. Can I use these images in a publication or for say commercial use?

    Some of the cards have no date, no company name and also date to the same period. What about the use of these?

    Some of the cards are actual photographs of people sent as postcards. Are these to be considered as being in the public domain as they were produced and posted? Correspondance has an address but usually only a first name for the person in the photo. There are also large groups photographed. Can these be used?

    What of the correspondace on the reverse of the cards? If no names were used could excerpts from this be incorporated into a publication (suitably identified as not my work)?

    In that any correspondance on a postcard is displayed (prominently??) for any or all to read (even at times perhaps the authors original intent - that in itself an interesting topic) does that constitute publication or am I interpreting too liberally?

    I will stop now but hoping the well-informed forum may be able to assist me with advice and/or direction. Thanking all in advance. Best Regards Michael
  • Well, the photographs would be considered out of copyright in the US and therefore could be fairly used. The correspondence would also be out of copyright by this date (technically, I don't think it would have been protected by copyright at the time, though it would be now), but there might be privacy concerns, as there might also be with portraits. I hope others will weigh in here! You might try going to a forum for historians or a WWI forum where you would find people who have dealt with similar situations themselves.

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