Expiration of copyrights

Based on an agreement concluded with Ishimoto Yasuhiro during his lifetime, copyrights for his photographic works were transferred to Kochi Prefecture after Ishimoto’s death. Copyrights for some of the works that Kochi Prefecture has been administering since have recently expired. Details of these items are specified below.

1. Terms of copyrights for photographic works, and additional count of wartime

Under the current Copyright Act, works of art are protected by copyright for 70 years from the respective creator’s death. In the case of photographs, however, the old Copyright Act (1899) determined a term of ten years of copyright protection starting from the date of publication, and as later temporary extensions and revisions did not include retroactive regulations of copyright protection, copyrights for photographs published before 1956 are uniformly treated as expired.

In Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s case, related to his American citizenship during the war, a total of 3,794 days (December 8, 1941 until April 27, 1952) have been added as a “wartime” period to the term of copyright protection, based on the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

2. Identification of works for which copyrights have expired

As it is necessary to specify the dates of creation and publication of each individual work in order to determine the terms of copyright protection for Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s photographs, the Museum of Art, Kochi, has been investigating various media in which his works have been published. Based on thorough investigations of three photography magazines conducted in the fiscal year 2018 (see also “Museum of Art, Kochi bulletin vol. 9” from March 31, 2019), a total of 41 items have been identified as falling under one of the categories of creation/publication dates specified below. It has been confirmed that the terms of copyright protection for these 41 items have expired.

– Items created in 1953-54 and published in 1954 (copyright protection until the end of 1964)
– Items created in 1953-55 and published in 1955 (copyright protection until the end of 1965)
– Items created in 1953-56 and published in 1956 (copyright protection until the end of 1966)
– Items created in 1948-52 and published in 1953 (copyright protection until the end of 1963 + additional time = end of 1967)

List of works by Ishimoto Yasuhiro for which copyrights have expired (as of June 14, 2021) [PDF]

3. Future handling

In addition to items for which copyrights have been confirmed to have expired, the list on this website will be frequently updated to include every item that is identified through investigations in the future. As copyrights have expired for all items in this list, they may be used without prior permission.

* More information on the use of copyrighted items can be found at Use of copyrighted items.
* Those who wish to borrow and use images of works from the collection of The Museum of Art, Kochi, must apply for permission. Details regarding application procedures can be found at Lending / use of photographs of artworks.
* For purposes related to our research activities, we ask everyone who uses images of Ishimoto Yasuhiro’s photographs, to kindly provide samples of the respective products, so we can keep track of when and where Ishimoto’s photographs are being used.

Postal address:
The Museum of Art, Kochi Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center
353-2 Takasu, Kochi City,
Kochi Prefecture
Japan 781-8123


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