Answer: There is no straightforward answer. Ownership depends upon the publishing agreement signed by the publisher and author/illustrator/photographer. If you want to reproduce a portion of a book, it is often easiest to locate and contact the publisher. If the publisher cannot provide you with reproduction rights, they can refer you to the author/illustrator/photographer, or their representative, who may provide you with the appropriate rights. (2006-3)
3.2 Question: Do I own the copyright to photographs taken during an expedition that was funded by a separate entity, i.e., museum? I used my own photographic equipment and I did not sign any document that transfers my copyright.
Answer: Subject to specific exceptions, a person owns the copyright in photographs he takes. Although you did not sign any assignment of copyright, you need to check the wording in your funding agreement to see if you have transferred your rights in exchange for being funded for your project.
3.3 Question: A visitor loaned our museum library some slides for us to digitize. Who owns the copyright in the slides, and who owns the copyright in the digitized copies of the slides?
Answer: A loan does not constitute a transfer of rights. The visitor presumably owns the copyright in the slides, unless he transfers ownership to you in a signed agreement. Before digitizing the slides, ensure that the visitor does in fact own the copyright in the slides and does not just own the physical slides. Generally, the person/entity who digitizes slides will own the copyright in them (this is assuming the digitized versions are copyright-protected.) (2010-3)
3.4 Question: What should one do if a publisher tells you that rights in a book have reverted to the author however the author claims otherwise.
Answer: Ask the publisher to send you an email confirming that rights have reverted to the author. You may then need to “educate” the author so he understands that he has the rights and may grant permission for your use. (2011-3)
3.5 Question: To complement a work project, my employer has posted some of my personal photos on the company’s website. May he do this without my permission?
Answer: No, the photographs belong to you. Unless the photographs were taken as part of your employment duties, you own the copyright in the photographs. Your employer must get your permission prior to posting the photographs. (2011-4)