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Copyright in archive films and sound recordings

Is it possible to have copies of the films and sound recordings held at West Glamorgan Archives?

These films and recordings have been made available to view and listen to at the Archive Service. They are all subject to copyright, and there is no automatic right to have a copy without the permission of the copyright owner. With many of the films, rights are owned by the council, but with the oral histories, rights ownership lies elsewhere.

Films
Most of the films, including those showing civic events and ceremonies, were originally produced by Swansea City Council as a record of the event. Copyright in these films belongs to the council. There are also some films that were produced commercially: here copyright does not belong to the council, but to the company that produced the film, or their successors. Others again were made by private individuals, and the copyright belongs to them, or to their heirs-at-law if they have died.

Oral histories
Copyright in oral history recordings consists of two elements: on the one hand, the institution or person who made the recording owns copyright of the recording itself. In addition, the person who is being interviewed holds copyright over their own words. This makes the situation more complicated: some of the recordings are properly documented with agreements drawn up at the time outlining the rights, purpose and permitted use of the recording. With the remainder of the recordings there is no written agreement, and in these cases we cannot legally make a copy.

If you would like a copy
Our staff will do our best to clarify the situation for you. If you would like to request a copy of a film or oral history recording, please write to:

The County Archivist 
West Glamorgan Archive Service 
Civic Centre
Oystermouth Road 
Swansea SA1 3SN

Or email westglam.archives@swansea.gov.uk

It will help us if you could explain why you would like a copy. We will do our best to investigate the situation regarding copyright. However, we cannot make a copy if we would be infringing copyright by doing so.

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