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Thursday, 20 November 2008


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Mike--They do blow up to 8x10 (second click)--and don't look that bad--and for personal use they're FREE. There was a time that only a few people had access to any of Life's photos. I worked for Bill Vandivert in the early '60s. He was a Life photographer during WWII and his wife was one of the people that had access to the files at the time.
It's great that we get to see all of these great timeless photos. What a great collection.

"Totally pointless"?

That's like saying amazing art is totally pointless. Which I guess one could make a point that it is, but still.

Re: John and Jackie Knill, I too was haunted by the article when I stumbled upon it, and so searching for their names, found a more complete (and even more terrifying) photo series:


I just saw this is my local paper, only it was in black&white! How did you get it in color?

Two Robert Capa photographs could have been included in the [last pictures] collection: One of the Spanish soldier meeting his demise on the battlefield at exactly the instant Capa clicked the photo, and the one (linked below) taken by Capa moments before he stepped on the landmine that killed him in Indochina in 1954:

Let's not forget Craig Arnold's jewelry made from lens parts:


Very nice link to the last photographs site.
Here is another famous last photograph, of Gandhi taken by HCB. Gandhi was dead some 20 minutes later.

You can get Dilbert (in color) delivered to your inbox every day by signing up at the Dilbert website.

Mike J.

I agree with John Mason; it would be nice to have the text along with the photos. Just having the photos available again is a great start though, and I do appreciate it.
I think my Gramp had every issue of Life stored in one of his extra upstairs rooms, right along all with what seemed like centuries of National Geographic. I spent most of my childhood looking at all of them. John's reference to Smith reminds me of the time when I saw 'Tomoko in her bath' and the chemistry lesson Gramp gave me (I was 4) about the properties of mercury and how thermometers worked. I'm going to enjoy going back through those archives.


I'm assuming those hard drive destroyers work by degaussing the drives, i.e. erasing all the magnetic information. This is the way the NSA destroys its drives and for good reason. Short of melting the data platters, physical damage to a drive isn't a guarantee to protecting data.

You've probably read stories about the feds coming in to bust someone (normally these stories involve pedophiles) and only finding hard drives that have been erased and beaten. But they still manage to recover enough data to prosecute with. If you do a quick Google search for data recovery services, you'll find that places can recover drives with all sorts of physical damage, including fire(!) and water.

While you may never need such a device, companies working in security, finance, or other fields with sensitive data do. I hope our embassies in Iraq or other high threat areas have these things; if the embassy falls under attack, think of all the secret information that could be leaked if the server drives aren't wiped out ASAP.

Re. LIFE photos on Google
I probably spend too much of my days worrying about copyright... but Time inc claims © for all of the images, how can this be?
1. aren't some of these images no longer copyrighted eg the photos of William T. Sherman from the 1860s.
2. and aren't some public domain, eg Dorothea Lange's FSA photos.

(In the case of Dorothea Lange much better scans are available from the Library of Congress.)

I wondered about the copyright claims on Dorothea Lange's photos as well. Is there a chance the claims are on the scans themselves? I've heard of people claiming scans as derivative work.

Dear Tim and Andre,

You don't copyright an intellectual concept, you copyright a physical expression. That's why, whenever a book or magazine of photos is published, the book will be copyrighted, even if all the photos in it have their own copyrights as well (or don't).

So, yes, Time can copyright this particular embodiment of the work.

This, by the way, is one reason why digital watermarking of some kind attracts a lot of interest. Because it provides a way to prove if someone steals YOUR expression of a work.

pax / Ctein

Hi Ctein
But is this case Time isn't claiming copyright for the layout, they haven't put scans of whole pages online, only the images.

The image on its own isn't a new work, just a copy.

Obviously I don't know what they are claiming when they put ⓒ Time next to the images. They might just be using it to show the source of the image rather than claiming copyright.

Unfortunately my daily dealings with copyright are: this image ⓒ Joan Bloggs so we need to contact Joan Bloggs to license the image... which might be biasing my view.

But I'm on holiday now, so I won't be typing alt+0169 all week

Regards, Tim

Here are a few more possible explanations for it:

a) Template. Copyright notice goes on everything automatically.

b) Wet-behind-the-ears junior assistant. Still a bit hazy on what copyright actually means, but thinks everything TIME publishes anywhere, anyhow, TIME owns the copyright to.

c) Anal-retentive Managing Editor. The style sheet says all images on website are to have copyright symbol prominently displayed, and the style sheet was negotiated across six alternately tense and gruelling meetings, so he doesn't care if the photograph was taken in FIFTEEN-sixty-two, g'dammit, whatever the effing style sheet says is what aforementioned junior assistant is going to effing do if he want to keep getting his effing paycheck....

d) Etc. (Add any other reason you can think of that doesn't necessarily make legal, moral, or intellectual sense.)

I'm just sayin'.

Mike J.

Dear Tim,

But Time DOES own the scan, and that they can copyright it. If they want to put restrictions on your use of THEIR scan of the photo, they can.

Derivative works don't have to be creative in any way to be copyrightable.

pax / Ctein

I just listened to Scott Sheppard's interview with Ctein today about the dye transfer process and highly recommend it for anyone who wants to find out what this process is all about. Sheppard has a bit of a Top 40 DJ style of a sort that Top 40 DJs don't have anymore in the age of homogenized radio, which is kind of an odd match for the subject, but Ctein managed to remain lucid and eloquent throughout.

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