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Derivative Works

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  • Derivative Works

    This is not even close to being an area I have any expertise in, but I think its important we discuss it.

    It's pretty self-evident that a restoration is not a "new work", and therefore uncopyrightable, but what if you alter, add to it, subtract from it, or otherwise repurpose it? Such acts are called "derivative works", and it's a very complex and thorny issue, particularly after the recent revision in copyright law.

    Rather than expound (which would certainly cause more confusion than help in my case), I'll just bring this to everyone's attention and list a few links so you can come to your own conclusions:

    One important point:
    Don't confuse "Derivative Work" with "Fair Use"

    One area I have absolutely no idea about is how public domain materials affect all this. Many of our Restoration Challenge materials are in the public domain.

    Further confusing things is the recent revision of copyright law (the "Millennium Copyright Act")

    Plus, this is all U.S. stuff, I have no idea about the UK, Australia, or Zimbabwe, etc.

    Sorry to throw out all these complex issues with zero answers (or even opinions), but I felt it was important we all give these some thought.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    All very interesting Doug. What I take away from this is that the owner of the copyright also "owns" the derivatives (or at least must give permission for the derivative to be created.) Of course, anything in the public domain no longer has a copyright owner, so that begs the question, can you copyright a derivative of something in the public domain? (I guess that was the question to begin with, huh? I'm a little dense sometimes.) Anyway, thanks for the links. -Jeanie


    • #3
      Plus, this is all U.S. stuff, I have no idea about the UK, Australia, or Zimbabwe, etc.
      Not an issue here, Doug - in Zimbabwe there IS no law ... !!

      It's an interesting one, though. Perhaps every photo that is submitted to the site should come with a disclaimer of some sort (or whatever you'd call it in legal-speak) to say something along the lines of: this photo may be used by anyone for whatever purpose and I promise I won't sue them if they do. AND whatever someone does with it (e.g. restoration), they have copyright of. Or whatever.

      Then again, perhaps I've misinterpreted the problem ...


      • #4
        That's why I cautioned not to confuse it with "fair use", which covers most of the work we do here. But, it wouldn't apply to a 3rd party who wanted to use the works for some other purpose. In addition, since we're using many of these works under fair use laws, the permission isn't ours to pass along.

        I told you it was complicated
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning


        • #5
          Hummm......Perhaps the next release of Photoshop will have a slight price increase...say about $97,000.00... to cover the cost of getting a Law degree so you can use the program without running afoul of the myraid of ill defined and generally confusing copyright laws....Tom
          Last edited by thomasgeorge; 03-29-2002, 07:05 PM.


          • #6
            [QUOTE]Originally posted by Sam

            Not an issue here, Doug - in Zimbabwe there IS no law ... !!

            I just posted something on copyright in another thread here tonight ...and this caught my attention. Sam in the good old US, it's much the same thing ...the difference is that we have so many laws that you can apply just about any one of them that you want to apply. Because these are all turned into "civil suits" you get to pay the lawyers instead of the "authorities" or whoever keeps making up the rules for their own benefit over there!

            Glad to see you posting regularly - I think we have all been caught up in your concerns there because they make ours seem so small.

            Jim Conway


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