Copyright on old works of art?
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Posted by J. Woller on December 08, 1999 at 07:43:39:
How does copyright work on old works of art (e.g., Leonardo da Vinci's paintings and drawings)? What determines when (and if) artworks move into the public domain? Is the copyright not on the work itself, but rather on the reproduction of it? That is, if I could get my hands on the Mona Lisa, I could copy it to my heart's content, but if I copy it from a book, it's the *book's* copyright I have to worry about?
This question stems from my occasional desire to put a Renaissance painting image in some desktop publishing work. If I were to scan the image from a book on which the copyright has expired, am I in the clear? So far I've managed to find royalty-free clipart of these paintings, but I'd like to have more flexibility. (For instance, I'd really like to use some of da Vinci's engineering drawings, but haven't been able to find high-resolution royalty-free clipart of them.)
Thanks for any help!
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