[Foundation-l] Subject: Re: Dead Sea Scrolls

Robin McCain robin at slmr.com
Tue Oct 4 16:21:08 UTC 2011

On 10/4/2011 9:04 AM, foundation-l-request at lists.wikimedia.org wrote:
>>> issue of originality.
>> >
>> >  The Qimron case is completely irrelevant with regard to the copyright
>> >  of the images. ?It is a case about the*text*.
> If WMF wants to copy*the text*  of the scrolls, I don't think anyone
> is going to have a problem with that.  The copyright notice claims
> copyright "in the digital images of the manuscripts", not in the text.
Wait a minute! **the text** is exactly the area where a copyright might 

Think about it: the images are written in ?Aramaic? with missing 
segments in unpredictable places.
Are you planning on printing the original Aramaic as is (that would be a 
Unicode representation of Aramaic characters) or the text of a 
translation into another language by someone who is trying to fill in 
the holes as they translate? If the latter, then I'd guess that the 
copyright is valid in the sense of being a translation that required 
substantial intellectual effort and produced a unique result.

As nearly as I recall (40 years after reading "The Dead Sea Scrolls" ) , 
there were a lot of unknowns as some fragments of scrolls were missing 
large areas. So the attempts to read them were to some extent based on 
modern copies of copies that may have differed considerably from the 
source material. At that time many of the scrolls were NOT opened, as 
the science of preservation had not yet advanced to the point where 
anyone felt comfortable doing so without seriously damaging them. 
(Presumably those shortcomings have since been addressed.)

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