First Things First

First and foremost I am not a copyright lawyer or a lawyer of any kind. These are simply my observations over the last few years.

Be aware copyright still applies even if you do something "Not For Profit" or "Just For Myself".

Those two things said here are the main points I see as affecting album page printing.


Main Points

1. No-one can copyright a fact. For example a stamp that is coloured green is green that is a fact and cannot be copyrighted by anyone. The same applies to stamp descriptions a sower is a sower, the words on the stamp are on the stamp and it's issue date are all facts.

2. Sets of stamps are a little more complicated. In later years stamps were issued in sets by the postal authorities and this is not a problem. It is a fact that these stamps were issued as a set and so can be grouped together. However some catalogue publishers group earlier stamps or definitive's into sets. These stamps were not issued as sets and grouping your stamps in the same manner can be a copyright violation unless the stamps are grouped as a set due to a fact of manufacture, design or issue date.

3. Catalogue numbers. A little explanation here is needed. Catalogue numbers are facts, they are a number, but what is copyright is the association of that number with a particular stamp. So producing an album with numbers in the boxes for stamps that correspond with a publishers catalogue numbers is a definite violation of copyright. Read the top two points again even if you produce the album for yourself!

4. Images sometimes have onerous copyright restrictions. All the issues of Israel and the United States of America from 1978 being notable for this. Most however are simply fair use. This is open to interpretation. An example that would definitely be a copyright violation is printing album pages in colour with every space taken by a coloured image of the stamp to be inserted. I would suppose that a sprinkling of images throughout an album would be Ok but this is just my opinion.


World Collector Approach

This program in line with any program that will print boxes and text on a page can be made to produce album pages with catalogue numbers. This is done by you not the software so any copyright issues arising out of your use of the program are nothing to do with World Collector.

All album definitions published with the program produce albums and 
World Collector makes no claim to any of the pages produced from these album files. Some are donated from collectors but all are checked before shipment to make sure that no catalogue numbers appear on the pages. Copyright to these pages rests with the original producer of the album definition but all are donated with only small restrictions on use. No page or album may be produced and sold for profit. Feel free to give them away to friends etc or if you are a club, selling these pages for a small fee to cover paper costs etc is also acceptable. If you produce an album definition and would like to share this with other collectors please feel free to send the definition to World Collector for inclusion with the distribution.

Posted in March 2015 by William Atkin