Re: Re: copyrghts in famous painting

From: David Dailey <david.dailey[_at_]>
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 15:10:01 -0500

At 11:15 AM 1/19/2006, Terry Carroll wrote:
>On Wed, 18 Jan 2006, Webb, Jere wrote:
>[re: example under the 1909 Act]
> > There must be something I am missing here. Is there an argument that
> > taking a photograph of the work and distributing it is not a publication
> > of painting? If widely published without notice, the copyrights went
> > out the window.
>Under pre-1989 law, courts were hesitant to use an infringer's
>distribution of a work as a divesting publication; unless the copyright
>owner knew of that distribution and tacitly apprived it by not objecting.

Please forgive what may be an ill-stated question, but suppose the work was created prior to 1909 and was displayed in a museum prior to 1909 (I'm assuming, then, that the thing could not be eligible for the 75 year term nor for the
perpetually-lengthening-but-always-finite* copyright term of the post Sonny Bono dark ages)...
then can ghosts (or heirs) of the artist still emerge from their tombs and claim that the thing was never legally published and that museums and textbooks and living people are all infringers?

Can it be argued successfully that such material (living outside of books) never enters the public domain, even in countries that attempt to limit copyright duration?

Just out of curiosity, what happened in 1989 that might have changed this?

*The expected date of entering the public domain approaches infinity, but is prevented by the constitution from ever reaching infinity. Received on Fri Jan 20 2006 - 01:10:01 GMT

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