Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in Copyright - A Plea for Assistance

Over the past few years, a number of publishing projects have made me keenly aware of how complicated Canadian (and international) copyright law can be. Right now, I'm working on a textbook module on gay and lesbian activism in 1970s Canada for Nelson publishing. I'm proposing to include three book chapters and scholarly articles, plus a selection of material that was originally published in Toronto's The Body Politic periodical. Sounds simple, right? Alas, when it comes to securing copyright, it is anything but, and this seems to be the case for much material published in periodicals prior to the 1990s. While Pink Triangle Press, who published TBP, is keen to allow us permission to use this material, they aren't certain who legally holds the copyright, and so we have to track down the original authors/photographers/cartoonists. But what does one do if they don't know who the photographer was, or if the author is deceased. That, my gentle readers, calls for careful detective work.

So, on the off chance that this post is seen by some friendly readers familiar with gay and lesbian activists of the 1970s, I'd greatly appreciate any leads that can help me track down someone who might know about the estates of Chris Bearchell or Michael Lynch, or who knows who was leading Toronto Gay Action in 1971 and could authorize the reprinting of the "We Demand" manifesto. My email contact information is listed in my profile.

Many thanks!

ETA: Thanks to the various people who have provided me with helpfor this query! I think I now have all the information I could hope to have found.

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