Author Topic: Crown Copyright  (Read 4089 times)

Offline Stovepipe

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Crown Copyright
« on: Wednesday 30 August 06 10:34 BST (UK) »
Does anybody know what this means in the following context?

All across the back of a holiday photograph is stamped "CROWN COPYRIGHT RESERVED".  Above the words is a simple crown separating the initials "A" and "M".  The photograph is an interior shot of two children taken in a commercial studio (Happy Snaps, Southend) around the late 1940's.

I can understand why the studio might want to retain copyright, but why the British state?  (Which is what I understand "Crown Copyright" to mean.)  Do the initials stand for "Air Ministry" and the copyright is due to some wartime regulation.  If so, can that be used to help date more precisely the picture?  (By means of a terminus ad quem, say.)

Cheers,
Stovepipe (who'll maybe incur the wrath of the Crown when he makes a few copies for family members!)
Census information is Crown Copyright: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline acorngen

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 30 August 06 11:59 BST (UK) »
Stove,

Terminus post quem you mean.  After a date at which it cannot be taken.  Anyway did you get the picture from the Archives?  If so that would be why its stamped Crown Copyright.  If it is from the actual studio then you could well be right although I have never come across this unless of course it was taken by the MOD as a way of giving the soldier some memories to carry with him but I have never heard of that. 

Another explanation could be that this was the way people who wanted to insist on copyright back then made sure people were aware of it

Rob
WYATT, COX, STRATTON, all from south Derbyshire and the STS, LEI border Burns Fellows Gough Wilks from STS in particular Black Country and now heading into SOP

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Offline GordonD

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 30 August 06 12:18 BST (UK) »
I'm not sure what it means in this context but when I was back at home at the weekend there and looking through old photos there is one of my gran and granpa taken in the late 1940s which has Crown Copyright on the back. I can't remember if there were initials or a studio name on the back just noticed the crown copyright. The photo was taken while they were walking down the street and they are looking to their left hand side as if looking at something that is happenning. Wasn't sure why it had crown copyright on it when I came across it.

Gordon
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Offline stockman fred

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 30 August 06 13:19 BST (UK) »
Hi, My Gt. Uncle was employed as a bomb disposal Officer at the Air Ministry during the war. He obtained a permit in 1941 to photograph anything useful and he certainly made the most of it.
We found literally hundreds/thousands of wartime pics which were being thrown in the skip by the house clearers and every one is stamped with the AM and crown and Crown Copyright reserved on the back with a further "AM Bomb Disposal -secret" embossed on the front
There are pics of pubs, friends, WAAFs, as well as official things, bomb damage and so on. They all had to be taken for developing at RAF Kidbrooke in London so he must have known the staff fairly well.
I wonder if your photos were printed on War surplus RAF paper  -  I would imagine the RAF had huge stocks of it to dispose of and it may have been bought at auctions by photographers.
I've been told by a modern RAF chap not to worry too much as the pics were taken by Uncle, although he was technically being paid by the govt.
Fred

Offline Stovepipe

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 30 August 06 16:29 BST (UK) »
Terminus post quem you mean.

Er ... no, I meant what I wrote.

Thanks to Stockman Fred - I think the use of war surplus stock by a post-war commercial studio is the most likely explanation.

Cheers,
Stovepipe
Census information is Crown Copyright: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline acorngen

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 30 August 06 23:15 BST (UK) »
Erm Stove no you are wrong.  Terminus post quen and terminus anti quem not ad.  Terminus ad quem would delimit the picture to having been taken before 19xx however in this case the paper could be old stock which had this stamp on it and the picture could have been taken in 1960 not 1940 therefore the 19xx on the back would give a terminus post quem or a date after which the picture must be.

Rob
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Offline Stovepipe

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 31 August 06 00:18 BST (UK) »
Rob,

Stockman Fred's helpful reply does indeed invalidate the "Crown Copyright" notice as evidence of a terminus ad quem, but you seem to forget that I used the term before I knew of his reply.  I had imagined that the notice may not have appeared after the ending of a wartime regulation, and so the end date of the regulation could have been used as an upper limit for the date of the picture.  I was wrong in this, but I was not wrong in using the term as I did in the context of my original post.

Incidentally, neither of your terms terminus post quen [sic] and terminus anti quem are listed in my dictionary (Collins English Dictionary) whereas both terminus ad quem and terminus a quo are.  The same is true for the online dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/.

However, the online dictionary does return the following when searching for one of your phrases:

Quote
No results found for Terminus anti quem.

Did you mean Terminus ad quem?

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Stovepipe
Census information is Crown Copyright: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline acorngen

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 31 August 06 12:21 BST (UK) »
Stove,

Try Wikipedia and ask any other professional archaeologist.  Terminus anti and terminus ppost quem are used on a daily basis. 

In relative soil dating, archaeologists follow two general principles known as terminus post quem and terminus ante quem. The first terminus post quem, refers to the notion that a datable object provides only the date on or after which the layer of soil that contains it was deposited (see Figure 2). In contrast, terminus ante quem refers to the concept that all the soil below a solid, undisturbed layer dates before that layer (see Figure 3).  taken from http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/decoding_the_past/interpreting.html
and then we have In archaeology or history, refers to the date before which an artifact or feature must have been deposited. Used with terminus post quem ("limit after which"). Similarly, teminus ad quem ("limit to which") may also refer to the latest possible date of a non-punctual event (period, era, etc.), while terminus a quo ("limit from which") may refer to the earliest such date. taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_phrases_(P%E2%80%93Z)

Finally terminus ad quem (tĕr'mĭ-nʊs' d kwĕm', tr'mə-nəs ăd)
n.
A goal or finishing point.
A final limiting point in time: The date of the author's death was the only terminus ad quem for the manuscript.
[Latin, limit to which.]
 taken from http://www.answers.com/topic/terminus-ad-quem
WYATT, COX, STRATTON, all from south Derbyshire and the STS, LEI border Burns Fellows Gough Wilks from STS in particular Black Country and now heading into SOP

Offline Stovepipe

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Re: Crown Copyright
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 31 August 06 12:51 BST (UK) »
Genre,

Thanks for that - I now see where your confusion lies.  You're using terms from soil dating and archaeology whereas I'm using terms from document dating (which I hope you accept is more appropriate to the dating of a photograph).

I'm pleased to see your final example fully supports my use of terminus ad quem.  Well done - you got there in the end.

Regards,
Stovepipe
Census information is Crown Copyright: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk