Works in public domain should remain in the public domain

Communia has published Guidelines for the implementation of the DSM Directive. Teresa Nobre, Paul Keller in Dimitar Dimitrov have prepared a Guide on Article 14, which regulates works of visual art in the public domain.

Pursuant to Article 14, Member States shall ensure that reproductions of public domain works of visual art cannot be protected by exclusive copyright, and as a result be removed out of the public domain. With Artice 14, DSM Directive seeks to achieve that anyone can freely use reproductions of public domain works of visual art without having to obtain explicit permission. The conditions for such free use are that the original work of visual art is already in the public domain and that the reproduction of the work is not itself an original work, protected by copyright.

It is recommended that Article 14 is implemented in the Member States where faithful reproductions are protected or where their legal status is inconclusive. On the contrary, the implementation of Article 14 is not necessary and is inadvisable in Member States, where faithful reproductions of copyrighted materials are not protected and are free to use.

For a detailed analysis, read the Guide on Article 14 of the DSM Directive.