Monday, January 21, 2008

Scanning old charity calendars

Naked calendar
Originally uploaded by tobymerrittphotography
I get mail...

Over at the adult forum One Click Chicks (http:// www. oneclickchicks .com) there is a fair amount of interest in naked charity calendar pics....

Recently the question came up as to whether or not it is legal to scan old, out of date calendars, and whether anyone on the net is doing so. My reply was there was probably a limited number of these calendars sold in the first place, and also a limited market for such scans on the net. As for the legality - I don't know.

Can you shed any light on this? So many of these pics are unavailable, or only available in low resolution. Do you happen to know if old calendars can be scanned and if anyone is doing so?

Thanks again - I have linked to your website.

Hi. Great to hear from you.

I don't know of anyone scanning old charity calendars: I wish I did. I'd be delighted to see such a resource myself, for the same reason I started the site and blog. The images I use, I get from the same place I get most of my information: online newspaper stories.

If one simply has the desire to look at naked models, there is certainly no shortage of sources on the internet. These pictures are clearly different, special. What the models in these charity calendars have in common is an attitude that comes through in almost every photograph: Self-awareness, courage, commitment to their cause, self-depreciating humor, and a bit of a tweak to the nose to people too stuffy to appreciate the gesture.

It's what I find appealing about these images, regardless of where the models rate on any scale of conventional beauty. Whether hourglass or pear, young or old, man or woman, they're all unfailingly, irresistably charming.

Different groups produce calendars for different reasons, so I'd be reluctant to make any generalized guesses about what the response to a request for permission to scan would be.

Some, I'm sure--most, I tend to think--would be delighted for the attention, especially if the scans were distributed along with the appropriate information for donating to the cause the calendars were intended to benefit.

Some would flatly refuse. Some of the "models" were only reluctantly talked into participating, with assurances like "we're only printing a few hundred of them" and "only a few local people will see them" and "most of them will sit in a drawer unused". The idea of having these images available on the Web would scare the stuffing out of them.

And some continue to make calendars, and might insist on protecting their copyrights. Long Tom Grange, Vail Undraped, and Breast of Canada are among a dozen or so organizations who've marketed calendars in multiple years.

And just because the calendars are expired doesn't mean the group isn't still selling them. Salt Springs, near Seattle, continued to sell their calendar for several years until they finally sold out.

The copyright issues alone strike me as utterly nightmarish. Who owns the photo, the model, the photographer, or the publisher? Or some combination of the three? And just because it's last year's calendar doesn't mean it's public domain.

The internet being the kind of place it is, of course, if someone were to begin such an image collection, there is precious little anyone could do about it. Very few of these groups have the wherewithal to mount any kind of legal protest, even if they knew where to direct it. And if the collection isn't itself making money, I can't see that it would be doing anyone any harm.

But, as you say, the small numbers in which most of these calendars were printed would make finding and acquiring them very difficult. The main reason I started my site is that I couldn't afford to buy the calendars.

All of this is, of course, just my untrained non-legal opinion. I hope you find it useful.

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