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Yanker Poster Collection

Rights and Restrictions Information

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20540-4730


The Yanker Poster Collection contains about 3,500 political, propaganda and social issue posters and handbills. They date from 1927-1980 and were produced in the U.S. and in about 50 other countries. All the pieces were published and distributed to advertise and/or promote political activities and ideas.

Publication and other forms of distribution: May be restricted.

Online catalog records for posters in this collection include all legible information found on the item related to copyright, such as the name of the copyright claimant.

In 2017, a Prints and Photographs Division staff member reviewed all of the U.S. posters. For those that do not have a copyright notice anywhere on the poster, the rights status in the online catalog record is indicated as "No known restrictions on publication. Published without copyright notice," because U.S. works first published before March 1, 1989 required notice in order to inform the public that a copyright owner was claiming ownership of it (see the U.S. Copyright Office Circular 3 (https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ03.pdf).

For all other posters, when information pertaining to potential copyright holders is available, patrons are advised to conduct a copyright search to determine if a copyright was registered and is still in effect. The addresses of such parties, and an indication of the status of their works (to the extent known by the Library) are provided in the Rights and Restrictions Information page https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/ under the artist's name.

Many posters, particularly those published outside of the U.S., lack sufficient information to determine copyright status. Sometimes patrons can derive clues from the image itself about the artist or the printer, and this information can then be used in a copyright search. Patrons who wish to show that a reasonable effort was made to determine copyright status may wish to request a copyright search and retain any supplied report for their records.

When explicit rights information is lacking, patrons must conduct a "risk analysis" to determine appropriate use of an image. This involves coupling a knowledge of rights principles (such as duration of copyright, and the definition of "published" works) with the risk associated with the intended use (i.e. educational or commercial) and making and documenting for the user's records a decision about whether or not use is appropriate.

The Division's reference aid, "Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images: Assessing the Risk of Using a P&P Image," found online at http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/195_copr.html may be of assistance in determining the appropriate use of a Yanker poster.

Access: Subject to P&P policy on serving originals; generally, researchers are asked to use digital images in lieu of originals, when available.

Reproduction (photocopying, hand-held camera copying, photoduplication and other forms of copying allowed by "fair use"): Subject to P&P policy on copying, which prohibits photocopying of original posters.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-90145]

For more information, please read: Copyright and Other Restrictions That Apply to Publication/Distribution of Images: Assessing the Risk of Using a P&P Image


Prepared by: Prints and Photographs Division staff. Created: June 01, 2007. Last revised: January 2018.


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  January 5, 2018
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