The NPG may be *less than delighted*:


Are digitised copies of older images protected by copyright?

Simply creating a copy of an image won’t result in a new
copyright in the new item. However, there is a degree
of uncertainty regarding whether copyright can exist in
digitised copies of older images for which copyright has
expired. Some people argue that a new copyright may
arise in such copies if specialist skills have been used
to optimise detail, and/or the original image has been
touched up to remove blemishes, stains or creases.

However, according to the Court of Justice of the
European Union which has effect in UK law, copyright
can only subsist in subject matter that is original in the
sense that it is the author’s own ‘intellectual creation’.
Given this criteria, it seems unlikely that what is merely
a retouched, digitised image of an older work can
be considered as ‘original’. This is because there will
generally be minimal scope for a creator to exercise
free and creative choices if their aim is simply to make a
faithful reproduction of an existing work.

- d.

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:

Reply via email to