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United Press International (UPI) Photographs

Rights and Restrictions Information

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

Publication and other forms of distribution: May be restricted. CORBIS bought the pre-1991 UPI images that were physically housed in UPI's archives in New York City as well as photographs by companies UPI had subsumed (Pacific & Atlantic; Newspaper Enterprise Association [NEA]; International Newsreel; William H. Rau Collection; International News Photos; United Press Photos). CORBIS controlled the copying of UPI owned images physically housed in its archives in New York City. In 2016, CORBIS was, in turn, sold to Visual China Group (VCG), which arranged to have Getty Images be the exclusive distributor of CORBIS images outside of China.

Neither VCG nor Getty Images controls the copying of UPI images housed in the Library of Congress. However, any copyright held by UPI to the pre-1991 UPI images that were physically housed in UPI's archives in New York City would now be owned by VCG, administered by Getty Images, if that copyright is still current. Getty Images can be contacted at:

UPI and/or its photo providers claim the copyright to any UPI images after December 31, 1990. UPI can be contacted at:

United Press International
1133 19th St., NW
Washington, DC 20036
Fax +1 (202) 371-1239
Email: [email protected]

In an attempt to determine if UPI registered any copyrights and if those copyrights were renewed, Specialists in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress searched the Copyright Office files. It was found that only a few images were registered for copyright and those copyrights were not renewed. However, the Library’s legal office has advised the Division that photographs published with proper copyright notices between 1923-1963 may be protected if properly renewed, while works published after 1963 and unpublished photographs in the collection may be protected even if they were not registered with the Copyright Office. Additionally, researchers should be advised that determining the copyright status of photographs can be problematic because of the lack of pertinent information, and researchers often have to make calculated risk decisions concerning the appropriate use of an image when its copyright status is unknown or ambiguous. Privacy and publicity rights may also apply.

Access: Subject to P&P policy on serving originals.

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

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [Reproduction number e.g., LC-USZ62-123456].

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. Last revised: Sept. 2017.

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  September 14, 2017
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