On 6/30/06, Matt Brown wrote:
Depends where you are in the world. In the United States, there is a
minimum creativity bar to clear, which accurate copying generally does
not. Thus in the US exact copying does not create new copyright.
In some other places in the world, new copyright is created every time
a new copy of the work is created - this "mechanical copyright" means
that a copy of a public-domain work is not necessarily public domain.
This is the case in the UK among others, I believe.
How should we apply this? I believe that as the flag itself is a PD object,
that gives us the license to yield to what Matt states is US law.
My own interpretetion: If it appears that a graphics program adept (they're
familiar with the graphics program, be it Photoshop or Inkscape or whatever,
that they're using) put a significant amount of creativity (a billable
amount of time, more than 2-4 hours dependant on level of expertise) into
the design, they may be able to claim copyright on it. Either delete it or
modify it significantly (put another hour into it), or upload a decent copy
of your own.
Frankly, I think it's just silly to claim copyright on a flag. I also think
it's silly to upload a flag you got from a site that claims copyright.