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Copyrights of Works on this Site

Bellingerent countries personified by children

StarSalute! But beware: each country has its own complicated copyright laws  

Articles and pictures on the pages of 'The Heritage of the Great War' can be used for all non-commercial purposes, unless specifically stated otherwise (with a sign)1) .

But beware: copyrights are intricate matters and laws and rules differ from country to country (and copyright laws are changing all over the world). They may concern pictures, stories and poems made by others and available on this website.

Most asked question: what is the legal status of pictures, prose and poems made during or shortly after the Great War?

Answer: As a rule of thumb I consider work, made by individuals, to be copyright-free if at least one of the following rules apply:

  • When communicated to the public by or on behalf of public or military authorities (as was the case with almost all war-pictures published during the war, and many war-pictures published later)2)
  • In the U.S.A : when first published before 1923
    (works published after that year are owned by copyright holders for 95 years after first publication, as the Supreme Court affirmed on January 15, 2003, in a case wherein the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act was unsuccesfully challenged by Eric Eldred)
  • In all countries of the European Union : 70 years after the author's death
  • In most other countries (including Australia, New Zealand, China, Argentina and Indonesia) : 50 years after the author's death
  • Exceptions are, for instance, India and Venezuela: 60 years after the author's death, and Mexico: 75 years after the author's death
  • Specific guidelines for your own country can be found at http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/okbooks.html.

    Rob Ruggenberg  (the editor of
    'The Heritage of the Great War')


    1) -  On this website you will find several copyrighted pictures made by the Dutch photojournalist Piet den Blanken. He grants permission to students to use these pictures in their schoolwork for free. For commercial use of his pictures you should contact him beforehand.

    2) -  Many pictures on this website reside on webservers in The Netherlands. Often these pictures have been made available in the past by, or on behalf of (semi-)governmental authorities, organisations, record offices, archives or other (semi-)official institutions in various countries. In these cases Article 15b of the Copyright Act 1912 (Netherlands) states:
    The further communication to the public or reproduction of a literary, scientific or artistic work communicated to the public by or on behalf of the public authorities shall not be deemed an infringement of the copyright of such a work, unless the copyright has been explicitly reserved, either in a general manner by law, decree or ordinance, or in a specific case by a notice on the work itself or at the communication to the public.