Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
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It's not automatically public domain. There are a lot of factors at play here. First of all, if it was taken by someone in the Soviet Union, that would be public domain, regardless of where it was first published. If it was published with notice AND copyright was not renewed, it would be public domain.
Since it was published in 1949, you might need to do a bit of research to see if the copyright was renewed (you can contact the Copyright Office to determine this).
If it was not published with copyright notice, then it would be public domain.
The only way that it would not be public domain is if it was published with notice of copyright AND the copyright was renewed, in which it would be copyrighted 95 years from the publish date.
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