Answered By: Darren Chase
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2017     Views: 47

Thanks for your question.  Though the image is in the public domain, NYPL has rights to their specific digital version - they have probably done work on it to ensure quality, etc.  I would not advise crediting them as the source without contacting them first.  Here's contact info for permissions/licensing: NYPL Digital Gallery.

In general, only the original material is in the public domain - in this case, a photograph.  Or it could be an historic newspaper, book, etc.  Whoever has access to that original can digitize it, but it becomes a different version.  In some cases, people may offer the digitized version for free, but in many cases, companies and organizations charge for use. That's why the library pays $250,000 to $500,000 for a database that's made up entirely of material in the public domain.

For more information on copyright, you can take a look at the links below.  If you have any other questions, please let us know.


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