How does copyright apply to works that have entered the public domain?
May 22, 2004 9:09 PM Subscribe
I have a question regarding copyright, public domain, and the digital domain. It's kind of a "fight the power" thing. [mi]
posted by keswick to law & government (13 answers total)
Okay, so I've done some research, and I'm confident in my knowledge that any works created before 1923 is in the public domain.
My question is, how does copyright apply to works that have entered the public domain? For example, if I were to scan a photograph that has entered the public domain into a jpeg, would I be able to claim any sort of copyright over this scan?
The reason I ask is because I'm a student of local history, and our local historical society has a large collection of photographs, many of which predate 1923, that they have put online with this notice: "We must remind you that you may not reproduce, alter or transmit any of the photographs in the collection without written permission." I find this policy to be insane because a) it ignores the public domain and 2) doesn't promote the preservation of history.
Would I be within my rights to put copies of these public domain images on my website for public download?