As I have probably already committed copyright infringement, the question of whether to download pictures of 1950's Hollywood stars may be a moot point.
Most of the family pictures I have already posted were either made by or the film developed by Collier Studio, a photographer who had a shop on Main Street since the early fifties. This baby picture of me was made at Collier's and is stamped Collier Photography Studio on the back.
By the way, we all had to bring a baby picture of ourselves to display in a slide show for our penning ceremony at nursing school. As I was the oldest graduate from my class, they had no difficulty recognizing me in this old black and white picture.
Collier Studio is also stamped on the back of my engagement photograph that was taken there eighteen years later. When I went in to look at the proofs, I told Mr. Collier I liked my hair in one picture but my blemishes were showing too much. He said he would take care of the blemishes and not to worry. I think he did something to my lips as well. They have never been that full. Oh look! I think he straightened my teeth. Or maybe, this isn't really me.
Two years later he developed this snapshot of my son eating his oatmeal and Del Monte raisins with his little Tupperware sippy cup. Collier Studio is stamped on the back of this photo as well.
I tried to get a picture copied at Wal Mart years ago but when they saw the Collier Studio stamp on the back, they would not copy it. I had never heard of copyright laws then. Who knew they applied to a little photography shop in small town mid America.
I do understand the reason for copyright laws. If I had a great shot of Angelina Jolie, I would want to sell it for big bucks without having it devalued every time it is re-posted on the internet. But is anyone out there still making money off of 1950's pictures of Bette Davis or Humphrey Bogart?
I did get some good feedback on sites for free pictures. There are some great photos that are public domain or creative commons that are available for reprinting. I think a copyright is only held for thirty years after published unless they renew the copyright. They are seldom renewed. But how do you know?
Probably the biggest copyright infringement I am guilty of is my beautiful photo of a peace of artwork I let slip through my fingers while vacationing last summer in Gulf Shores. I have been passing this beautiful mermaid off as myself on my Facebook profile picture. I even edited it which supposedly is a no-no as well. I named her Anna. Isn't she pretty? I am going to miss seeing her.
I will probably change to this picture my Auntie took of me on the back porch the day of the Arkansas Flotilla. I would bet Mr. Collier could have taken the wrinkles and sagging skin out of this picture. But........then it would have his stamp on the back.