Your hypothetical is interesting indeed. It begs another question: Bill
Gates has for years been buying up the "electronic rights" to the world's
great art. If a photo of a piece of classical art is not copyrightable, what
does Bill think he's buying? And Bill's not a fool....
[log in to unmask]
From: Harpsichords and Related Topics
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Wanda Landowska KotF
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 12:46 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Copyright of facsimiles in the USA (2)
In a message dated 4/24/01 12:07:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> If a
> particular 12th century manuscript, say, belongs to the British Library or
> the French Bibiotheque Nationale, or is in the hands of a private
> collector, do they have the legal right to control the dissemination of
> content of that manuscript through facsimile or modern edition? Should
> their permission be obtained as a matter of law, or as a simple courtesy.
Corel v. Bridgman Art Gallery, as I understand it, deals with "originality"
as a requirement for copyright protection under U. S. law.
Perhaps a hypothetical will help.
The owner of a Rembrandt painting has an 8x10 transparency made, and that
transparency provides the source for an illustration that appears in a
monograph on Rembrandt. If I understand the holding in Corel v. Bridgman
Gallery correctly, the photograph of the painting does not have sufficient
"originality" to provide copyright protection in the USA for the
Under the holding in Corel, therefore, anyone who scans the photograph of
painting from the book is not infringing the copyright in the photograph.
This is, of courese, a double edged sword, when one thinks about it.
I hope that this helps.
PS: I do not offer these comments as any king of legal advice, "official"
"unofficial". I offer these comments only to make sure that people are
of the holding in Corel v. Bridgman Art Gallery. I also emphasize that this
applies only to the United States of America!