Friday, December 28, 2007

Copyrights and wrongs

I've been mostly laying off the internets this week, but just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in: Lee Rosenbaum asks about the copyright status of the Statue of Liberty, and, relatedly, George Wallace wonders about Egypt's plans to copyright the pyramids and other famous landmarks.

Lee's hunch about the Statue of Liberty seems correct: having been registered for copyright in 1876, I don't see how it could fail to be in the public domain now. As for the news out of Egypt, it's not entirely clear what the scope of the new legislation will be -- the New York Times says "the proposed law would apply to full-scale precise copies of museum objects and 'commercial use' of ancient monuments" -- but, in any event, the real issue is going to be enforcement: it's hard to imagine other countries (including the US) enforcing the law for acts that occur outside of Egypt.

In all likelihood, things will remain quiet around here through the end of the year. Happy New Year to all!