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Public domain

This image from the US national archives (NARA) was originally copyrighted by the Presse Illustrationen Hoffmann (Heinrich Hoffmann, Berlin SW68 Kochstrasse 10) and was seized by the US government after World War II and vested by the US Attorney General as US government property in 1951. It is considered public domain because it was not divested to the original copyright owner and because of the ruling in Price vs United States:' United States Court of Appeals, Fifth circuit, 20 November, 1995[1] which confirmed that under US law Heinrich Hoffman items in the US national archives are not copyrighted by the original copyright owners in the US. Part of the ruling reads "The United States may dispose of items that were seized during the allied occupation of Germany as it sees fit; indeed, it has done so."

It states on [2] that

  • "Scholars fearful that a major source of visual material in the public domain was suddenly liable for ruinous permission fees can now breathe a sigh of relief. But one is well-served to look carefully at both Judge Hughes's initial judgment in favor of Price as well as Judge Jolly's judgment of dismissal, as both contain many illuminating details. It now seems clear that all of Heinrich Hoffmann's photographs at National Archives may be considered as being in the public domain, which means they may be used in scholarly and popular books, articles, films and television programmes without payment of permission fees to German heirs or to Billy Price"

Note this does not apply to Heinrich Hoffmann items not in the US national archives, it must say the item is 'Use Restrictions: unrestricted', always list the source of the image.