File:Mike Farrell Stumpers 1976.tiff

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Larger headshot of publicity photo of game show Stumpers. Pictured is M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell. Celebrities were supposed to appear on the game show on October 18–22, 1976, 10:30am–11am PT / 11:30am–Noon ET.

Scanned photo into hard drive. Proprietor of this photo is NBC. Date of release was October 15, 1976. Bought on eBay:

Copyright status[edit]

At the time of release, permissions of using this photo was granted to the third-party media for editorial uses only. However, this photo was released during the Copyright Act of 1909 and lacks copyright notice, as indicated in all versions of this file, which the 1909 Act required prior to the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988. No efforts to correct this omission were made.

Analysis of copyright[edit]

All versions of and other unscanned portions of the back of this photo do not display the copyright notice. This photo was released under the Copyright Act of 1909, and, under the 1909 Act, the copyright notice was required and must contain three elements:

  1. The symbol © (letter C in a circle); the word “Copyright”; or the abbreviation “Copr.”
  2. "The year of first publication. If the work is a derivative work or a compilation incorporating previously published material, the year date of first publication of the derivative work or compilation is sufficient. Examples of derivative works are translations or dramatizations; an example of a compilation is an anthology. The year may be omitted when a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery, jewelry, dolls, toys, or useful articles."
    This was not required for copyrighted photos published before 1978 under Copyright Act 1909, and omission of date may have been irrelevant to such works. However, Copyright Act of 1976 came into effect and then has applied to copyrighted materials published before 1978. Year has become required for works published before 1978. Consequently, pre-1973 copyrighted photos without a year of copyright and registration and required mandatory deposit into the Copyright Office lost copyright protection and then fell already into the public domain.
  3. The name of the copyright owner, an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of owner.
    Example © 2007 Jane Doe.

See for older rules that apply to pre-1978 works without required notice. See more at Appendix A of the Copyright Act of 1976:

Film production expert Eve Light Honathaner in The Complete Film Production Handbook, (Focal Press, 2001 p. 211.):

“Publicity photos (star headshots) have traditionally not been copyrighted. Since they are disseminated to the public, they are generally considered public domain, and therefore clearance by the studio that produced them is not necessary.”

The Professional Photographer's Legal Handbook By Nancy E. Wolff, Allworth Communications, 2007, p. 55:

“There is a vast body of photographs, including but not limited to publicity stills, that have no notice as to who may have created them.”

Creative Clearance-Publicity photos"

“Publicity Photos (star headshots) older publicity stills have usually not been copyrighted and since they have been disseminated to the public, they are generally considered public domain and therefore there is no necessity to clear them with the studio that produced them (if you can even determine who did).”


This image is in the public domain because it is a mere mechanical scan or photocopy of a public domain original, or – from the available evidence – is so similar to such a scan or photocopy that no copyright protection can be expected to arise. The original itself is in the public domain for the following reason:
PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice. Unless its author has been dead for several years, it is copyrighted in jurisdictions that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, such as Canada (50 p.m.a.), Mainland China (50 p.m.a., not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany (70 p.m.a.), Mexico (100 p.m.a.), Switzerland (70 p.m.a.), and other countries with individual treaties. See this page for further explanation.

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This tag is designed for use where there may be a need to assert that any enhancements (eg brightness, contrast, colour-matching, sharpening) are in themselves insufficiently creative to generate a new copyright. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For known raw unenhanced scans you can use an appropriate {{PD-old}} tag instead. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.

Note: This tag applies to scans and photocopies only. For photographs of public domain originals taken from afar, {{PD-Art}} may be applicable. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag.

File history

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current07:38, 21 March 2012Thumbnail for version as of 07:38, 21 March 20121,941 × 3,676 (27.25 MB)George Ho (talk | contribs)larger headshot
07:36, 21 March 2012Thumbnail for version as of 07:36, 21 March 2012830 × 504 (678 KB)George Ho (talk | contribs)== Other versions == * File:Stumpers Mike Farrell Allen Ludden Jamie Farr 1976.tiff =={{int:filedesc}}== Larger headshot of publicity photo of game show ''Stumpers''. Pictured is ''M*A*S*H'' star Mike Farrell. Celebrities wer...
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