[INDOLOGY] NGMCP images and copyright law

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at gmail.com
Sun Apr 10 13:54:09 UTC 2022

I am not a lawyer, but...

According to the research I have done, at least under US, EU and UK
copyright law, it is NOT possible to claim copyright on two dimensional
reproductions of two dimensional objects (not only mss but also paintings
for example) which themselves are not subject to copyright.

What *can* be exterted is contact rights. So, if you order an image from
someplace, and they make you sign a contact, then you are bound by the
terms of that contact. However, if you for instance have access--however
you have that access--to such a two dimensional image (see above) there is
no issue of copyright.

What this means in practice is that if I were to take, for instance, the
University of Washington Press volumes of Gandhari manuscripts and scan the
images (NOT the text) there is nothing they could do about it.

Why do some museums and libraries try to restrict copying? Because they
think they can make money, that's all! The Rijksmuseum some years ago
considered just making high definition images of all its paintings free on
line. Why did they not do it? the gift shop objected...


On Sun, Apr 10, 2022 at 2:57 PM Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear list members,
> Does anyone know, if according to international copyright law, the
> manuscript images of the  NGMCP (Nepal German Manuscript Cataloguing
> project) will eventually go into public domain. And if so, when.  Or do the
> agreements signed between the project and the Nepal government supercede
> this, and the Nepal government has copyright for the images forever.
> Thanks,
> Harry Spier
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology

J. Silk
Leiden University
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Matthias de Vrieshof 3, Room 0.05b
2311 BZ Leiden
The Netherlands

website: www.OpenPhilology.eu
copies of my publications may be found at
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