Who Owns the Copyright to Vivian Maier's Photographs?
January 24, 2015 3:48 PM Subscribe
John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier is nominated for an Academy Award, Best Feature Documentary. Most people have read about the nanny who worked in complete obscurity, yet may be one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th Century. The filmmakers tell the story of her art and also track down people who knew this eccentric and perhaps troubled artist. Meanwhile, and problematically for Maloof and other owners of Maier’s work, it’s one thing to own the negatives and quite another to own copyright that allows for printing and publishing those negatives. Maloof thought he had that covered, but in 2013 that came into question. Finally and most recently (2015), perhaps sensing an opportunity for much-needed revenue, the State of Illinois has belatedly opened a file on the Maier Estate and notified owners and galleries to be prepared for legal inquiry. The documentary is streaming on the major distributors (Netflix, Amazon, GooglePlay).
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