Who owns the copyright if the photographer died?

I have some wonderful pictures that my deceased father took in WWII of planes, pilots, etc. while serving in the Army airforce. I would like to reprint them and sell them in my airport coffee shop and on the Internet. Should I put the copyright “C” with his name or mine, and with the current year or the year he took them during the war. I assume he has the copyright, but being deceased, does that pass on to his heirs?

Diane Biddle on March 22, 2012

You don’t need to add copyright info, that’s optional. You could add something like “Photograph taken in 1944 by Joe Bloggs” (or whatever you want to say). It’s unlikely that he registered a copyright and renewed it, in which case there was and is no copyright to the photo (it would thus be in the public domain). If there was and is a copyright, it would likely be owned by his heirs, which presumably includes you.

copyright ownership, public domain

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