On 16 August 2011 20:39, Wjhonson <wjhonson(a)aol.com> wrote:
I don't believe your claim that you can take
something which is PD, make an exact image of it, slap it up in a new work of your own
(enjoying copyright protection automatically) and then claim copyright over that PD image
in your work.
Indeed. This is precisely the scenario addressed by Bridgeman v. Corel:
A slavish reproduction of a public-domain work is not copyrightable in the US.
This is an undecided legal question in many jurisdictions outside the
US, which is why the National Portrait Gallery thought they could
claim a new copyright. That they (a) claimed it against a US citizen
acting in the US doing something completely legal under established US
law. (b) not realising that the first thing digital natives do when
they get a legal threat is to publicly post the threat, (c) every
other museum we've dealt with everywhere is way saner, (d) WMF has
politely but firmly declared that they are following US law on the
matter, didn't really help their assertions any.