Case Study 1

Case Study 1 - Historic Photographs of Work Protest

A member of the public brings in her own photographs from her time working for the GEC in Coventry in the 1970s. They include photographs of people standing on picket lines as well as inside the factory. Visible are people she worked with and still knows, as well as people at the picket line she cannot identify.

Several issues are raised here. We can be comfortable that the copyright is hers given we have no reason to doubt it. Political affiliation is a protected characteristic and since making these photographs available online is likely to lead to the individuals and their involvement in strike action in the 1970s being identified, consideration needs to be given to whether this affects their legal rights. The age of the images makes this a low risk concern therefore it is likely to be something we would ingest make available given the value of the subject.

The Contributor knows some of the people and so it may be sensible to seek their opinion  about the photographs and letting them know her intentions. This is a matter of ethics and safeguarding as the Contributor may discover vital information about a person which might make it insensitive to make an image or two public. Another pair of eyes on the images may also reveal more information, which is always welcome.

To take this forward we suggest the contributor opens a dialogue with the friends in the photographs and explain her intentions to submit them to Coventry Digital. It may be that several friends do not have a problem but one may be unsure. Therefore, the contributor can decide whether to include this person's image: legally there is no problem if she does include it but safeguarding her friend is also a consideration.


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