[cc-licenses] License , copyright issues
hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Mon Oct 2 14:54:16 EDT 2006
Peter Brink wrote:
> NB! It's the "original" paintings that are in
> the PD. Photos of those paintings are (in India) protected "until
> sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following
> the year in which the photograph is published".
Presumeably, this is under *Indian* law, based on the rest of the quoted
Under *US* law, the photographs are "mere reproductions" and cannot be
copyrighted in themselves (there is some subtlety here -- this is only
true for flat-on photographic reproductions of work, a photograph of the
interior of a museum, with paintings on the walls is, of course,
copyrightable as a new work).
(Technically a photocopy or lithograph is a photo, too, so you can see
the problem if you don't have this definition in principle -- it would
effectively destroy the public domain entirely. The sticky question is
where exactly to draw the line between a reproduction and an original
This was decided by a court case only a few years back. I believe that
German law agrees with the US decision. UK law appears to go the other
way, but I think it's untested in court.
Now why does this matter to you in India?
*Because*, what matters is *what country the photos were taken in*.
Photos from a US museum, are public domain if the works they depict are
This may also be true for Germany and other countries, but I'm not
advising you on that -- you'll have to look it up.
> 2) If you have access to the original works you may take your own
You always have this option, regardless of the legal question above.
> 5) While it's true that all the great 16th and 17th century masters
> works are not copyright protected, the owners (museums mostly) have
> the right to allow or disallow the taking of photographs of the
> paintings they own. In effect this means that any reproduction you
> may have is protected by a copyright to the photo of the painting.
> However, you are (in most cases) free to go to a museum and make your
> own reproduction by hand...
This varies by jurisdiction (probably true within the UK, definitely NOT
true in the USA).
Wikipedia addresses this, BTW:
So, if you take a savvy approach to where you get your photos, you can
do what you want.
Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com
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