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July 12, 2004

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First let me say that LibraryLawBlog is a fantastic source of inspiration also for readers outside of the US.

Projects like the http://www.wikipedia.de (German branch) are desperately searching high quality public domain picture sources. There is a lot of digitization projects in the US like the Cornell collections. But I cannot find clear statements on which legal ground copyrights are claimed for, according to Bridgeman v. Corel, not copyrighteable reproductions of public domain material.

"As a publicly supported institution, Mann Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections." This is the LoC formula. There are some other right statements on Cornell pages which are very confusing.

http://insight.library.cornell.edu/
"Copyrights on all images presented on this site are either held by Cornell University or the artists (and/or their representatives)."
What is the difference between claiming falsely the copyright for a US declaration of indepence by an US newspaper and Cornell's claiming copyright for phtographs of public domain works (e.g. the thumbnails of Renaissance art displayed on the cited page for the general public)? Does Cornell not accept Bridgeman v. Corel? Is a publicly founded institution like Cornell not obligated to respect falling works into the Public Domain?

Why does Cornell not write at
http://cidc.library.cornell.edu/adw/adwcopyright.html
that these photographs are all, according to your great chart " Unpublished works created before 1978 that were published before 1 January 2003"? Then it would be clear that claiming copyright for ALL pictures is legal.

Please feel free to answer in private mail.
Regards
Dr. Klaus Graf


A really helpful contribution - particularly the international section which truly must have been a lot of work to put together. Thanks!!

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