End fees for images of historic pictures in national museums

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Please help us to end museum copyright fees

Thank you for supporting the campaign to end the image fees that national museums charge for out-of-copyright works of art. If you are based in the UK, can I please ask you to do one more thing? The UK government's Intellectual Property Office operates a "copyright notice service [which] allows anyone to ask us to provide guidance on an area of copyright law where there is a particular confusion or misunderstanding." The public can make a request using a web form: https://www.ipo.gov.uk/c-notice-submit.htm Would you kindly ask the Intellectual Property Office to issue a "copyright notice" to settle once and for all the question of whether any fresh copyright is created when a museum makes a photographic reproduction of a historic painting, watercolour, print or drawing? For it's this copyright that museums often rely on to charge fees. The Intellectual Property Office does not always respond, but the more people who request a copyright notice, the more they will recognise there is a "demonstrable need." A 2015 copyright notice touched on the issue briefly (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-digital-images-photographs-and-the-internet), concluding it was "unlikely that what is merely a retouched, digitised image of an older work can be considered 'original'" and therefore enjoy copyright protection. But museums continue to assert exactly that copyright. It is clear that further unambiguous advice is required to bring clarify to the situation. Thank you, Richard Richard Stephens

5 years ago