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Anonymous[1] documents published in Japan between January 1st, 1946 and January 1st, 1958 are in the public domain in the following jurisdictions (as of 2008):

  • Japan, where the copyrights for an anonymous work expire 50 years after its first publication;[2]
  • the European Union, where the "shorter term" rule applies to foreign works, and a foreign document which is already in public domain in its home country is not protected.[3]

They are not in public domain in the United States, where foreign works which were not already in public domain in their home country as of January 1st, 1996 were subject to copyright restoration, and are protected until 95 years after their date of first publication.[4] The republication of advertising material published in Japan in that period probably falls under fair use in the US, and thus it is accepted in Camerapedia.


  1. Advertising material published by a company follows the same rules as anonymous documents, unless it is explicitly signed by an individual or some individual later claimed to be the original author.
  2. Copyright law of Japan (from the CRIC website), chapter II, section 4.
  3. Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, art.7.
  4. Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, 1 January 2007, by Peter B. Hirtle.

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