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  1. #1
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    Default Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Entire USA

    I had the opportunity to buy a small collection of vintage bestiality pornography from the 1930's to 1960's. If I acquire it, I would be interested in making a limited edition artist book of the collection to distribute as a donation to special collection libraries. I tried to look it up on Google but found no firm answers. It looks like laws vary state to state. Do you think it would be legal to make a photo book on vintage bestiality for historical or scholarly purposes?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    Obscenity is measured by local community standards, so there is no answer for the entire USA. It is also not possible to tell you whether a picture would be regarded as obscene without knowing what is in the picture. It is within the context of obscenity that Justice Stewart made his famous statement, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    The first issue you need to resolve is whether any of those images are protected by copyright. If they are, you will need permission from the copyright holder to use them for your book. Apart from that, making the book is not what will give you trouble. What would potentially be trouble are laws regarding distribution of pornography. Those vary from state to state or even from one locality to another. That said, today there are not many prosecutions for distribution of porn to adults; it is distribution of it to kids that will really get people in trouble. You might want to consult a lawyer to see if you'd have any problems with what you plan to do. The details of the images will matter.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It seems porn is all over nowadays, but from my limited research animal / human porn seems to be frowned upon. I like this subject because there is not much out there for reference study. At least nothing for photo reference listed on WorldCat. But that may be due to legal issues, so that is my concern.

    These are old snapshots of people engaging in sex with various animals. I don't think they would be copyrighted, but that is still a good thing to consider. Since the proposed book would be a donation, I'd claim 'fair use' for educational and historical purposes if there was a copyright issue. I'd be reproducing the entire snapshot, so maybe that would also come under my 'proprietary rights' of showing my property.

    edit...I forgot tomention

    The proposed book would not be a commercial book. It would be hand-printed on an injet photo printer, bound by myself and editioned at about 25 books. It is not something I am looking to sell on Amazon. So it comes under 'work of art' if that has anything to do with this discussion of legalities.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    All works are covered by copyright by virtue of their creation so yes, copyright is still a possible concern.

    A claim of fair use is a defense when sued. It doesn't prevent a suit but allows one to defend the use as allowed infringement. So far your use as described isn't likely to be covered under fair use but if you get sued, you can always try.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    Quote Quoting jk
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    All works are covered by copyright by virtue of their creation so yes, copyright is still a possible concern.
    That is true for works created today, but no so for older works. For older works more than simply creating the work was needed to secure a copyright. Nevertheless, there remains the possibility that some of the images are indeed protected by copyright.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    That is true for works created today, but no so for older works. For older works more than simply creating the work was needed to secure a copyright. Nevertheless, there remains the possibility that some of the images are indeed protected by copyright.
    From my understanding, any works that were not published or
    registered during the period where copyrights were not automatically conferred were granted copyrights and treated the same as works created after Jan 1 1978 under the copyright act of 1976. That would mean as long as they were not published, copyrights protections were conferred on them just as with any worlds created after Jan 1 1978.


    Its an oddity that works that were never registered (as long as they were not published) had longer lived protections than that available for some works created when registration was required to obtain copyrights.

    I tend to suggest people err on the side of caution when there is a possibility of copyright issues. Especially given the nature of the pictures involved, should a relative of one of the subjects of any of the pictures become aware of the pictures, I wouldn't be surprised to hear they took any means available to quash the use of the picture of their relative.

    I am curious as to the age of the photos. The more I see about issues in the early years of our country, the more I realize there were a bunch of kinky people back then.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    OP have you asked the recipients of this book you're about to make whether they actually [I]want[/I said book? (Not a legal question, but probably relevant.) And if you did, what did they say?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is It Legal to Make a Photo Book on Vintage Bestiality for Historical Purposes

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    From my understanding, any works that were not published or
    registered during the period where copyrights were not automatically conferred were granted copyrights and treated the same as works created after Jan 1 1978 under the copyright act of 1976. That would mean as long as they were not published, copyrights protections were conferred on them just as with any worlds created after Jan 1 1978.


    Its an oddity that works that were never registered (as long as they were not published) had longer lived protections than that available for some works created when registration was required to obtain copyrights.

    I tend to suggest people err on the side of caution when there is a possibility of copyright issues. Especially given the nature of the pictures involved, should a relative of one of the subjects of any of the pictures become aware of the pictures, I wouldn't be surprised to hear they took any means available to quash the use of the picture of their relative.

    I am curious as to the age of the photos. The more I see about issues in the early years of our country, the more I realize there were a bunch of kinky people back then.

    They are from the 1930's to 60's. Various people. They are old porn people made back in the day, so they are not secret or candid photos.

    Quote Quoting eerelations
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    OP have you asked the recipients of this book you're about to make whether they actually [I]want[/I said book? (Not a legal question, but probably relevant.) And if you did, what did they say?

    Nope, only 1 institution. They said they would get back to me, they just had a small flood and were trying to recover. I have not solicited any institutions because I do not know if the material is legal to make a book with. (Not copyright legal, but in the realm of 'kiddy porn' legal. Even though no minors in the photos, bestiality photos seem to be in the same genre as kiddy porn in some states from what I can tell.)

    In the past I have had rejection rates of 80% to 95% or more for my artist book projects placed with special collection libraries. And some of them were landmark books, all hand-printed and expensive to make. But that is how it goes with art.

    Now, here is an example of 'found photography' which this bestiality porn would come under. The only thing is these are snapshot variety and not porn.

    https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...dB3gcVMc#spf=1

    Found photography is a well known area of photo collecting.

    If you want to get a better idea of the material do a Google image search for 'found photography vintage pornography'

    The bestiality porn is of this nature more or less. Just people having sex with animals instead of people.

    In any case, I have had a good deal of success with book placements of slightly less extreme material with numerous intuitions in the past.

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