Posted by M. Arthur Auslander on February 09, 1999 at 11:05:18:
In Reply to: Public Domain and artwork posted by Eric Fandrich on February 09, 1999 at 07:30:28:
: I have a dilemna. The works of the master painters of the 19th century have clearly passed into the public domain (life + 50). If I wish to make a copy of these works, unless I have access to an original, how can I make a copy without infringing on the Copyrights of a printing company or book, etc.?
: How does the Metropolitan Museum, etc. keep a Copyright notice on their works and restrict copying?
: If I copy a reproduction, and make modifications to it, am I copying the public domain image or an copyrighted instance of it?
The owner of a work is entitled to register a copyright on a reproduction of the work or art. Infringment is the copying of the reproduction.
There are subtleties that I don't care to spend the time to research. I do not believe that an artistic creation of an image from a reproduction is not an infringment. I would be inclined to believe that modifying a reproduction could be an infringement.
Even photocopying a public domain book is not an infrimgement. You have the feel of what to avoid in copying public domain books.
There is, I think in New York, the Bettman Archive, that supplies images. Check with them and they may be able to provide what you want legally. The wrong in copyright is the copying thus copying the reproduction is an infringement even if the work itself is in the public domain.
M. Arthur Auslander
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