Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Copyright in Digital Scans

Likelihood of Confusion posts on the status of copyright in scans of public domain works. Spoiler alert... there is no such right.

Cases of note:
FEIST PUBLICATIONS, INC. v. RURAL TELEPHONE SERVICE CO., 499 U.S. 340 (1991)
BRIDGEMAN ART LIBRARY, LTD. v. COREL CORP., 36 F. Supp. 2d 191 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)

And read Project Guttenberg on why there is no "sweat of the brow copyright."

Of course you can always argue that a scan is a derivative work and hope a court agrees, but that argument is pretty much a losing battle. So too bad for all the hard work that goes into scanning something. I just don't think that's what Locke had in mind anyway.
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