[Wikipedia-l] Interesting link on British copyright law...

Robert Graham Merkel robert.merkel at benambra.org
Thu Aug 5 00:17:57 UTC 2004

I'm sorry for the profusion of mails on this issue, but I think it's
kind of important.

Google reveals that the Museum Copyright Group in the UK had a presentation 
on museum copyright issues in 2003 by the "Peter Wienand, Partner and Head of 
Intellectual Property, Farrer &CO"

They were so kind to place their material online here:


He has some very interesting things to say about the issues we are
interested.  Let me quote some relevant sections:

2. What is the nature of a copyrighted work?
   * Works need to show originality, and/or skill and judgement
   * Many copyrights may exist in any work or in an archival file.

9. How can rights be enforced in the taking of photographs of archival

    * This is difficult to do under copyright law
    * However, rights can be enforced under contract law

11. Are there any rights issue relating to facsimiles?

    * This relates directly to whether there is any copyright protection
     afforded to photographs of art works. Although this has never been
     properly tested in the UK, there is probably enough skill and
     judgement in the photos of art works to afford them copyright
     protection in their own right

So, there we are...nobody knows what the law is in this situation is.

                                           Robert Merkel
                                     robert.merkel at benambra.org

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been
searching for evidence which could support this.
                -- Bertrand Russell

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