Brion Vibber wrote:
Obviously the nearly 400-year-old
originals are going to be out of copyright, but the scans are from
reproductions, which may have a valid copyright even if it's
non-creative, depending on applicable law.
The Bridgeman Art Library, Ltd., Plaintiff, - versus - Corel Corporation,
"WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE CASE & WHAT WAS IT ABOUT?
The Bridgeman Art Library had made photographic reproductions of famous
works of art from museums around the world (works already in the public
domain.) The Corel Corporation used those reproductions for an
educational CD-ROM without paying Bridgeman. Bridgeman claimed
WHAT DID THE COURT DECIDE?
The Court ruled that reproductions of images in the public domain are
not protected by copyright if the reproductions are slavish or lacking
In their opinion, the Court noted: ''There is little doubt that many
photographs, probably the overwhelming majority, reflect at least the
modest amount of originality required for copyright protection.... But
'slavish copying', although doubtless requiring technical skill and
effort, does not qualify.''
In other words, an exact reproduction of an image in the public domain
does not possess creativity itself. Therefore, the reproduction is not
protected under copyright law. "
For old paintings, I think it's nicer to credit the original painter,
than the person who scanned it "slavishly".
Wouter Vanden Hove