When author’s right on a statue in the public domain “resurrect”
The “Neues Museum” in Berlin keeps amongst its collection of ancient Egypt works a more than 3000 years old bust of Nefertiti, the wife of pharaoh Amenophis IV. Recently, the museum has scanned the statue with the help of 3D technology and recreated a digital copy. This replica was then made available under the terms of Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence. This means that the rights have to be attributed to the museum, the work can be used for non-commercial purposes only and that it has to be shared under the same licence. Is this permitted?
Creative Commons explained that ownership of rights on the work is a prerequisite for the use of their licences. If the work is in the public domain, licences cannot be used or rather they are not effective. In such cases, dedication to the public domain is more adequate.
There is no doubt that the statue is in the public domain as copyright on the work never existed (the first copyright act originates from 1710). What is questionable is whether there can exist rights on the 3D replica of the work. Member states of the European Union have, until recently, regulated this question very differently. German courts have recognised some neighbouring rights on the reproductions of the work in the public domain when the standard of individuality was not met. Such a regulation is no longer consistent with the EU law. Article 14 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market provides that non-original reproductions of works in the public domain cannot be protected by copyright or neighbouring rights. The legality of controversial practices of institutions, that are supposed to safeguard cultural heritage and not claim ownership over it, is just a matter of time.
The Internet Archive will file an appeal against an unfair decision that ignores the value of the libraries’ work
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that maintains the Open Library, a digital library index, and is dedicated to preserving knowledge. As many of the works in the Internet Archive are under copyright, the Archive uses a system of controlled digital lending based on digital rights management to prevent unauthorized downloading or copying of copyrighted books. In March 2020, due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet Archive established the National Emergency Library, eliminating the waiting lists used in the Open Library and expanding access to books for all readers. In June 2020, the Emergency National Library faced a lawsuit from four book publishers and was ultimately closed.
The 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (hereinafter SCCR) made substantial progress on the issues advocated by the A2K Coalition (Access to Knowledge Coalition), which IPI is a member of. This year’s session was the most productive on the issues of exceptions and limitations. James Love (Knowledge Ecology International), a long-time observer at WIPO, described the outcome and the impact of the public interest community as the strongest since the conclusion of the Marrakech Treaty, which brought global copyright exceptions for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.
Today, March 17, 2023, a symposium on law in the information society is taking place in the golden lecture hall of the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič will present copyright aspects of artificial intelligence at the symposium.
The third day of the 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is intended for discussion on the topic of exceptions and limitations to copyright, especially in connection with the right to research.