The book is On growth and forms by D'arcy Thompson. It was published in 1942 and Thompson died in 1948. Wikipedia uses the image citing public domain. Can I use extracts and images from the book with proper citation without problem?

The image I want is on this page: https://archive.org/details/ongrowthform1917thom/page/322

As you can see the book is in public domain and is freely available on archive.org

  • Are the images by Thompson or by somebody else? – Wrzlprmft Apr 2 '19 at 18:24
  • the image has caption and in bracket says (After Rhumbler), I am not sure if it is by Thompson himself. You can check the image with link above. – kada Apr 2 '19 at 18:26
  • 2
    You can contact the publisher of the book directly as well. Appears published by Cambridge University Press and they have a nice website that lists contacts cambridge.org/rights/permissions – Compass Apr 2 '19 at 18:40
  • I contacted them and did not hear back. – kada Apr 2 '19 at 19:53
  • I think this should be asked on the Law Stack Exchange instead. – Allure Apr 2 '19 at 22:42

It depends on whether or not the book is in the public domain in your specific country. In some countries, copyright extends to some amount of time after the death of the author, for example 50 years. However, your country's copyright laws may be different.

  • 1
    I am in Germany and from the wikipedia it says EU law is life + 70 years, so it would be valid in this case as 1948+70 would be 2018. – kada Apr 2 '19 at 18:13
  • so would this mean I can use the image without any permission? – kada Apr 2 '19 at 18:21
  • 1
    It also depends on whether the someone else renewed the copyright. However, since it is available on Project Gutenberg, I think you are OK. Reality: I am not a lawyer, though, so be careful. gutenberg.org/ebooks/55264 – Michael Stachowsky Apr 2 '19 at 18:27
  • 1
    I cannot access gutenberg in Germany, oh the irony. The book is also available in archive.org archive.org/details/ongrowthform1917thom/page/322 I also dont know whom to contact in this case. – kada Apr 2 '19 at 18:29
  • 1
    It certainly seems to be OK, but no one here can give you a guarantee, you would need to hire a lawyer in your country to be sure. – cag51 Apr 2 '19 at 20:55

the image has caption and in bracket says (After Rhumbler), I am not sure if it is by Thompson himself.

It appears that Rhumbler, rather than Thompson, is the original creator of the image in question. You will have to dig some more to find out who Rhumbler is and/or where this image is originally from, to evaluate whether this image is in the public domain.

  • Hey I checked and Rhumbler would be Ludwig Rhumbler who died in 1939. So it should still be in public domain as far as I get it. What do you think? de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Rhumbler – kada Apr 2 '19 at 19:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.