Production: You Have the Right(s)…

Part of what I want to be able to blog about while Tin-Can Canucks is being developed, is the process behind writing, publishing and promoting a small-press book here in Canada.  Today’s Production note is about getting rights to images.  (photos and associated captions are from the Canadian War Museum website

I’m lucky to have had an artist in the family who could paint the cover for Tin-Can Canucks, but as much as I have tried to limit my need for other rights-managed images there were two I knew I wanted to use to bookend the manuscript.

This photograph shows much of the crew of the torpedo boat HMCS Grilse posing around the ship's aft 12-pounder gun.
This photograph shows much of the crew of the torpedo boat HMCS Grilse posing around the ship’s aft 12-pounder gun.

So much of the genesis of Tin-Can Canucks has revolved around two ships–HMCS St. Croix (I) and HMCS Grilse (I).  St. Croix first introduced me to one of the most poignant stories of a Canadian destroyer and her crew, but it was HMCS Grilse’s own tales of wartime hardship that made me resolve to bring together all these stories in a single publication and a format anyone can read and enjoy.

Another important piece of the puzzle was the poem “Assassin by Night”, written by a member of Grilse’s crew during the great war.  Between the two I knew I wanted to close the book with a passage from the poem, and a photo of the Grilse’s crew.  So this photo was the first of the two I would need the rights to.

This recruitment poster uses imagery of HMCS Rainbow and various naval trades. Some of the activities depicted, including signalling and gunnery training, accurately reflect aspects of life aboard Rainbow, but others would prove somewhat exaggerated.
This recruitment poster uses imagery of HMCS Rainbow and various naval trades.
Some of the activities depicted, including signalling and gunnery training, accurately reflect aspects of life aboard Rainbow, but others would prove somewhat exaggerated.

The second was a recruiting posted for the Naval Service of Canada.  I thought that if I was going to close the book focusing on some of the men who served in the RCN during the first world war, I should open it with a visual reference to the recruiting of the men who would serve during that war (it doesn’t hurt that the poster is prominently displayed in the offices of my daughter’s Sea Cadet Corps RCSCC 335 Calgary).

As both of these images belong to the Canadian War Museum (the current Copyright holder) I contacted the Museum through their Copyright and Permissions page.  Within the day I was contact by a very nice lady at the Museum who was able to walk me through the process–essentially what the Museum wanted to know what how was I intending to use the photo’s and how large a print run the book will have.  As the latter is still open for debate they were nice enough to set the licensing fee based on a minimum run of 300. All in all the price for licensing these two images was well below what I would have expected.  When all was said and done, it made a very small dent in my budget for this project.  From there the Museum staff provided high-res versions of the images as well as guidelines in how to use and attribute them properly.

I have to admit being rather nervous in pursuing the rights for these images–I questioned myself several times as to keep them or remove them from the final manuscript–as I had never been through this sort of process before.  What I realized once I had taken the plunge is that the Museum makes if very easy to secure the appropriate rights; which makes sense as I’m sure they want Canadian authors to use these images to better illustrate works about Canadian military history.

So a hearty “Thanks You” to the folks at the Canadian War Museum–thanks to your help, this part of developing Tin-Can Canucks was not only painless, but a real joy to undertake.