The photo below is a screenshot of an email I received earlier today, via the Skull’s contact page>>>
The person concerned didn’t seem to want to identify themselves, so I figured I’d just reply here and clear a few things up…
Owning a scan of a photograph does not imply copyright. The only copyright on a photograph belongs to the original photographer and it lapses seventy years after that person’s death (unless they have legally bestowed said copyright on their descendants).
Even owning the actual, original print doesn’t give you copyright over that image, unless blah blah blah (see previous point).
So unless the ‘current owners’ (of what, by the way? Every one of the several hundred photos on this website?) are the direct descendants of every photographer whose work is on these pages, then, well…I don’t think so, pal.
The vast majority of post mortem photographs on The Skull Illusion are way out of copyright. I always make it clear that I do not own the photos on this site, nor do I purport to.
On the (very) rare occasion that someone has got in touch with me to say ‘Hey, that’s my pic!’ I have always tried to either take the photograph down or given them due credit. This is despite there being no legal requirement for me to do so and for no other reason than my being a (mostly) nice person. I don’t strip watermarks from anyone else’s images – if a picture on here is missing a watermark then it’s because it didn’t have one when I found it.
In the nearly three years that the Skull has been running I have yet to make a single penny of profit from the site. Calling me a thief is a disservice to your actual, genuine thieves, because I am evidently utterly rubbish at it and would almost certainly bring the profession into disrepute.
I run this website simply for my own enjoyment and that of other people. I’m certainly not out to upset anyone or steal their mortal souls (well actually maybe that second bit. Shh, don’t tell).
One last thing – if you’re going to accuse a person of a serious crime then it’s generally considered polite to pull on your big kid pants and identify yourself.
Instead of telling me to go consult the FBI (I’m pretty sure they’ve got better things to do with their time), you might like to read the article I wrote about this exact subject quite some time ago
Love, Vi x