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All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the we'll-take-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "English Heritage, the organization that runs and manages various historical sites in the UK, such as Stonehenge, has apparently sent letters to various photo sharing and stock photo sites claiming that any photo of Stonehenge that is being sold violates its rights, and only English Heritage can get commercial benefit from such photos. In fact, they're asking for all money made from such photos, stating: 'all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.' As one recipient noted, this seems odd, given that English Heritage has only managed Stonehenge 'for 27 of the monument's 4,500 year old history.'"
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All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England

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  • First Henge (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:34AM (#33969938)

    Brought to you by the aliens who built it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well if they get news of this outrage they may well come and take it back leaving English Heritage unhenged in addition to unhinged.

    • by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:43AM (#33970330) Journal

      And they built it for good reason, too. Have you seen what they put under that place-marker? There's a prison whose sole purpose is to absolutely contain the most feared creature in the universe.

      Er, so said the British TV show, anyway.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by gtall (79522)

        "There's a prison whose sole purpose is to absolutely contain the most feared creature in the universe."

        I hardly think we need to bring Jimmy Carter into this.

  • Simple: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:38AM (#33969962)
    Step One: Study RIAA methods and business practice.
    Step Two: Find some old stuff alying around that people seem to like.
    Step Three: Claim "Ownership" of aforementioned stuff.
    Step Four: PROFIT!!!
    • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fluffeh (1273756) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:42AM (#33969998)
      Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google [goo.gl] that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by russ1337 (938915)
        ^^ +5 insightful,

        they also better sue Microsoft for that picture of Stonehenge they distributed with their OS.
        • We win, we lose (Score:4, Interesting)

          by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @08:22AM (#33972112)

          ^^ +5 insightful,

          they also better sue Microsoft for that picture of Stonehenge they distributed with their OS.

          On the short term, that would be a win:
          Two companies known for petty copyright claims are fighting each other in a lawsuit. Both lose money.

          On the long term, we lose:
          At first, more lawyers find work. But then they become unemployed. Unemployed lawyers may start searching for other things to sue (that's what they do, right?). Assuming that people cannot become more stupid, but the rules can become more stupid, it stands to reason that more lawyers means more (stupid) rules.

          • by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:03AM (#33973698)

            Assuming that people cannot become more stupid, but the rules can become more stupid

            That is a wildly optimistic assumption. Both people and rules have repeatedly demonstrated an unlimited potential for stupidity. There is no reason to think either have bottomed out yet.

          • This whole debate could be simplified by asking one simple question:

            - To whom does common property belong?
            - Answer: The People from which all legitimate authority derives.

            Stonehange is part of the British people's common property (just like air, water, roads), and it belongs to all, which means it is public domain and not copyrightable.
            .

            >>>Feedback on this comment system?

            It sucks. I hate this dynamic index and can't get back to the classic (plain text) index.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Obfuscant (592200)
              It sucks. I hate this dynamic index and can't get back to the classic (plain text) index.

              Me, too. Once you preview, you have to click another buttong to fix any typos, and then preview again before posting.

              What's worse is that moderation selections take effect immediately. I used to be able to moderate as I read through the comments, and if I really needed to moderate something near the bottom I could go back up and remove the moderation from an earlier comment and then submit them all at the same time.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              You should be able to go back to the old style comment system using your user preferences. I just did, anyways. Help & Preferences > Discussions > Viewing > Disable Dynamic Comments.
      • by rhizome (115711)

        Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.

        Not only that, but if you rotate the view, you'll see some kind of constable guy standing right next to the GoogleCam. Even da popo be cockblockin' royalties from the Herr'tage wallet.

      • I think this is all a conspiracy to cover up the strange government experiments that are going on there. For example I see a headless body of a cop and another one apparently still alive but with no legs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by troon (724114)
        Try to walk through the middle now, and you get "This image is no longer available". The English Heritage black helicopters have paid a visit...
      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google [goo.gl] that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.

        Do I see the aligned object on the right days of the year?

      • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Informative)

        by rilister (316428) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @02:36AM (#33970544)

        If you want an even more amazing view of Stonehenge, here's a visiting tip that doesn't seem to be that well known - if you plan ahead and fill out this form:
        http://bit.ly/bYertb [bit.ly] ...you can get inside the ropes and get within touching distance of the stones at sunrise. You get the place pretty much to yourself *and* the major road running right by the site is completely empty. It's a genuinely humbling experience and you can get views like this.
        http://bit.ly/dxPWXE [bit.ly]
        Yeah, go ahead and write me, English Heritage.
        (although I still feel bad about the moment I found I was accidentally standing on a halfburied lintel.)

        • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Informative)

          by ledow (319597) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @06:08AM (#33971568) Homepage

          Or you could just drive past.

          Without fail, every single foreigner I've ever asked about Stonehenge finds it to be extremely uninspiring and a wasted journey / stop. And £14.95 an adult... are ya kidding me? You can get entry to any number of places for that. Hell, Tintagel Castle of something is infinitely more useful, pretty and interesting (and far cheaper) and that's just a pile of crumbling rocks falling into the sea.

          Apart from there being virtually nothing at Stonehenge but some generic worn rocks in a vague circle, if you DO get past the barriers, there's much better stone circles elsewhere that are free. The "mystery" of how "they" made it isn't really a mystery for anyone who dabbles in such archaeology, or even that surprising - unusual at best.

          One American friend had an organised day trip to Stonehenge from London when they visited (all the British people are now in fits of laughter). How/why I have no idea, but they were rather disappointed to say the least.

          It's nice to see once, the best view now completely ruined by silly fences and borders and being from several hundred yards away as you drive down the hill to the East of it. But that's precisely what you do - see it once. I don't know of a single person that's seen it and *deliberately* gone back to stop there again (rather than passing by) - maybe I just don't know enough hippies.

          Considering it's on quite a major road that many thousands of people drive down every summer to get to Devon/Cornwall, and that it's only a few hundred yards from said road (on one of the most dangerous turnoffs in the world because everyone is goggling at the stones rather than driving and not noticing the *one* guy miles in front who's stopping to turn to actually go TO them), the number of people you ever see inside the barriers is pretty pitiful. Unless, of course, you're there on the solstice when you REALLY don't want to be using that road at all unless you fancy day-long queues and not being able to get within a mile of the damn thing.

          Stonehenge really is the most over-hyped, unimpressive place in Britain that I know. Keep driving, get to Cornwall and go look at dozens of standing stone sites for free (or much cheaper under the National Trust) or, even better, go look at something vaguely interesting like Tintagel, St Michael's Mount, or something vaguely recognisable.

          • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Informative)

            by thoth (7907) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @07:50AM (#33971958) Journal

            Or you could just drive past.

            I had a chance to visit the UK a few years ago, and took the train out to Salisbury to see Stonehenge. I enjoyed it, since it is a famous landmark, but what blew me away that day was wandering the cathedral in Salisbury. The medieval clock on display, working since 1200 or whatever, was really cool, at least to me. And there was an original Magna Carta on display, one of the few (four?) surviving copies, fairly legible too. All in all I went out planning to see Stonehenge but wound up pleasantly surprised with unplanned discoveries at the nearby town.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by bigbird (40392)

              Yes, it's an impressive cathedral, and the Magna Carta is definitely worth a look. Old Sarum, the original Salisbury, is an interesting place too. It's very close by.

          • Avebury (Score:5, Informative)

            by CountBrass (590228) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @09:06AM (#33972424)
            The complex at Avebury is orders of magnitude more impressive than Stonehenge. Possibly the most impressive stone... calendar err.. complex in the world. You can't get more than a fraction in a single photo. Definately worth a day trip. Some links: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-avebury [nationaltrust.org.uk] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury [wikipedia.org]
          • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @10:56AM (#33973596)

            The "mystery" of how "they" made it isn't really a mystery for anyone who dabbles in such archaeology, or even that surprising - unusual at best.

            Indeed. The tech is *so* simple that Wally Wallingford of Flint, Michigan is building his own Stonehenge [theforgott...nology.com] (more of a Concretehenge, really) almost single-handedly, just using wood forms, levers, and clever balancing to move these huge multi-ton blocks about.

            A lot of things that people these days describe as "OMG how did they possibly do that it must be ALIENS!" are really only mysterious because people are shockingly ignorant of the basics of how the world works. Probably comes of sitting on their bums so much.

            Cheers,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I went there with my school when I was young and many years ago before EH took over. There was no boundary, and I even ended up sitting on one of the fallen stones (not forbidden in those days). What was more interesting were some of the nearby complexes such as Avebury which had a proper museum.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Step Five: Take it to the logical limit. They didn't make Stonehenge, but they can control the copyright, correct? So, following that logic, if I don't make a song, but I downloaded it and therefore now possess a copy of the song, do I now have say as to the copyright of the song? Because, as the copyright holder, I can't be sued for breaking copyright, right? 'I can't be breaking copyright if I have a copy!' should be a legal defense if this holds up.

    • Re:Simple: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:14AM (#33970164)

      Step Three: Claim "Ownership" of aforementioned stuff.

      While for RIAA has clear the legal bases of their claims (copyright law, in various incarnations), it is not quite clear to me on what legal basis English Heritage can claim ownership of the photos one takes. IANAL, but to my mind they can't claim copyright:

      • on the photo, because the photo (which is the form of expression of "artistic creation") is not theirs, is the photographer's
      • on the Stonehenge itself - because:
        1. it is ... shall I say?... a building, not at "form of expression"
        2. even if a building would be a "form of expression", it is not theirs (being listed as world heritage [unesco.org])
        3. even if it would be theirs and classified as a "form of artistical expression", the creation act trancedes any current temporal limit for "protection under the copyright law" (that is, unless in UK the copyright protection was extended beyond 5000 years!)

        Head explodes!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jedi58 (1431579)
        It's not just Stonehenge - the National Trust do it for most of their properties too, but they don't actively police people selling the photos Apparently as it's their property, any photos taken on their property (if it's taken from public land it's okay) are owned by them under terms and conditions that don't seem to be visible anywhere and by taking photos you're agreeing to them. :(
      • Art, not History (Score:5, Informative)

        by gafisher (865473) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @06:26AM (#33971628)
        Stonehenge as we know it is a fairly modern structure, almost completely disconnected from what existed prior to what can only be called an "artistic" reconstruction in the early 1900s. Here [thisisbristol.com] can be found a fairly good summary of the story, which shows that "[Stonehenge] has been created by the heritage industry and is NOT the creation of prehistoric peoples." An online search [tinyurl.com] for "Stonehenge rebuilt" brings up other articles, including (while they last!) photos, showing that commercial interests like English Heritage have a far better claim to Stonehenge than archeology or history. One more quote summarizes the issue: ""The instigators of the English heritage landscape were essentially amateurs, working by trial and error."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015) *

        While for the RIAA has clear the legal bases of their claims

        I think what you mean is that the RIAA has a clear legal basis for their actions. And, the answer to that is: not always. They've been caught more than once suing over material for which they do not have the rights. Whether that's due to Incompetence or sleaziness, I couldn't say. The point being that the RIAA is hardly an improvement over this English Heritage outfit.

    • by JavaBear (9872) *

      Did you get that list from "How to lose your public goodwill for dummies"?

      I know RIAA et.al. did. :)

  • by rickzor (1838596) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:38AM (#33969964)
    'We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your [website]. Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.'

    It appears that from this email even website advertising would be "violating their rights"
  • Sadly another case of greed over-ruling common sense.

    • by xaxa (988988) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @05:55AM (#33971494)

      Sadly another case of greed over-ruling common sense.

      Blame the current government (or the previous government for spending all the money, if you prefer).

      All NDPBs (non-departmental public bodies / quangos), as well as government departments, have been told to cut costs and find new ways to make money. The one I work for is trying to sell it's scientific data (yet it's also supposed to go on data.gov.uk and be available to the taxpayers who paid for it).

      Anyone sufficiently annoyed with English Heritage should write to their MP. I imagine it will fix the issue very quickly.

  • Carhenge (Score:5, Funny)

    by tag (22464) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:40AM (#33969982)
    Fine. I'll use pictures of Carhenge [carhenge.com] instead.
  • by MarioMax (907837) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:42AM (#33970002)

    Dear English Heritage,

    Go fuck yourselves.

    Signed,

    Everyone else

  • Of course (Score:4, Insightful)

    by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:44AM (#33970010) Homepage Journal
    All photos of the Colosseo, St. Peter's dome, Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto belong to ... Berlusconi.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by delinear (991444)
      If you mean St. Peter's Basilica, since it's in the independent city state of the Vatican, all photography belongs to the Pope (or, possibly, to God). Interestingly, while on the subject of the Vatican and restricted photography, taking photographs of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is stricly forbidden, the rights now being owned by the Japanese company that restored it, but when I was there pretty much everyone ignored the rule (some guy even had a full tripod setup in the middle of the floor with a rem
  • by proxima (165692) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:44AM (#33970016)

    This sort of crap has the potential to make photographer's lives really annoying. And this comes just as more and more people are active amateur photographers.

    The lighting on the Eiffel Tower is copyrighted? Museums claim rights over photographic reproductions of century-old paintings? Where do we draw the line?

    On the one hand, we have the physical equivalent of contracts: agreements made as a requirement for entrance; this allows zoos, museums, etc. to restrict the use of commercial photography. But photos taken from public streets? From the air?

    The fact that these institutions go after commercial users isn't much comfort; the line between non-commercial amateur and commercial-but-still-amateur photography. Have ads up on a blog? Submit your photo to a local art show? Sell your photo to a stock photo site? It's easy for an amateur to make a little cash from the best of their photos.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Sylak (1611137)
      As a Theatre Lighting Designer, i ask how i too can claim copyright on a lighting design and defeat a longstanding tradition which says i am unable to copyright anything but my paperwork.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:44AM (#33970334)

        As a theatrical lighting designer, I dislike people like you. I don't want to copy your design for your last play. Firstly, it doesn't match the play I'm working on (even if it's the same script). If i did use it, it would look like crap and I wouldn't be hired again. Are you afraid of me copying a specific thing you did with a light? Guess what, borrowing little bits from others is how you grow in the arts. It's not just about each little idea, it's also about how you combine them. Think collage. And if you create the iconic version that runs on broadway and that every director asks to be repeated, well fucking awesome. Also, no other lighting designer is ever going to have the same equipment or space again, so even if they do recreate your look, it's less like copying and more like making a crayon version of the Mona Lisa. An homage. So please, get over yourself. This isn't like downloading music, where instead of coming to see your play they're looking at pictures they pirated or they went out and created a perfect working replica. At worst, someone several years down the line will make they're lights look kinda like what they're (crappy) camera remembers them like, only with different equipment in a different space. And people will say "those lights don't work for this production" and they will be out of work. Also, you don't mention copywriting your programming. Which you can. Also you're instructions to the board op and SM. Which, again, are useless unless everything is a perfect match. Which it won't be. Sorry for being so ranty. But worrying about someone copying one of my lighting designs is like worrying about someone copying the way an actor acts. Yes, with enough work someone could do it...but only sorta, and it would v&e meaningless to someone watching, and anyone in the biz making hiring decisions is gonna call them out on it...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sylak (1611137)
          I was trying to be funny because i find this ridiculous. The point that was trying to be made was that copyrighting a light display is in every other sense not feasible, and to use it to limit photograph is a gross misinterpretation. I'm very sorry you took that seriously, but I'm very firmly in a camp against copyrighting light displays not only for the reasons you mentioned, but simply because copyrighting it is putting a stifle on a lot creativity, because i and other LDs i know copy each other when they
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lulalala (1359891)

      Apparently this happened to Taipei 101 too. Its public relations section claims any advertisement using the building's iconic image need to pay a fee for it. Post card publisher and different real state agencies were sent legal notices in the past.

    • Old paintings are in the public domain as is stonehenge. Tell them to take you to court and make sure you have counterclaims to really slam them with because they wouldn't stand a chance!
    • by CrashandDie (1114135) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @05:28AM (#33971394)

      Well, it's already a big mess.

      In France for example, you can take the picture of someone on the street, but you're not allowed to publish it. You need to have a signed waiver from the person, or the legal guardian. Even furniture and houses benefit from this.

      What it basically means, is that I can't use the picture of a specific house to try and sell the house I'm currently building. It also means that I could get in trouble for putting a picture of myself on Flickr if there happens to be an identifiable stranger in the background. I also can't publish a picture of a (for the sake of example) chest-drawer in the middle of a public street, or sell it, or show it during an art expo and gain material benefits from it, unless the owner of the chest drawer signed a waiver.

      However, I can take a picture of a bunch of people who are demonstrating (quite common for the past weeks in France), provided that I'm photographing "a group of people demonstrating", not "a person". Though, when you think about the 18+ megapixel cameras any sufficiently committed amateur photographer can get their hands on, I wonder where the line is drawn. Can I crop?

      I'm quite an avid photographer; the UK/Australia/US rules on this were an absolute godsend (rough lines: don't breach the "expectation of privacy" and you're good to go). Well, that was in the days before Stonehenge was built.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:45AM (#33970020)
    "We own the light you collected which was reflected from this object that predates our country by millennia "? I am hoping deep down that they're just kidding and it's just a practical joke on the world. There are so many adjectives applicable to this idiocy, but I am getting sleepy and don't have time to list them.
  • This seems like an inconceivably broad interpretation of any copyright law I am familiar with, but IANAL so perhaps there are some legal loopholes in UK law that allow this?

    I would have thought copyright of a photograph would rest with the photographer (unless it's one of those cases where a building's design is considered copyrighted, but surely Stonehenge is beyond any conceivable copyright claims from the creators...)

    I suppose there might be some kind of restrictions due to tricks (nighttime Eiffel tower

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      My guess is Stonehenge told these guys that it is offended by people taking pictures, given how broad British libel laws are.
    • by headLITE (171240) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @02:03AM (#33970402)

      I'm not UK legal folk, but there is this: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/62

  • by williamhb (758070) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:57AM (#33970084) Journal
    I'm not a lawyer of course... 33(B).1 of the National Heritage Act 2002 is

    The Commision may exploit any intellectual property, or any other intangible asset, relating to ancient monuments or historic buildings.

    Various case law in some jurisdictions (eg, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vs Gentile Productions 1998 in the US) seem to allow companies to protect their building's images as trademarks even though the building is visible from public land. So I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss English Heritage's claim as "unthinkable and ridiculous". (Or at least, it might be "ridiculous" to us on Slashdot, but they might still win.) It'll be interesting to watch anyway.

    • by cappp (1822388) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:13AM (#33970160)
      The Act seems to apply to this case exactly. I wish Parliament published comments along with the Acts so we have an easier time judging legislative intent. I would imagine they're trying to facilitate English Heritage becoming more financially independent - 2008 they received 132mil [english-heritage.org.uk] from the government which was 2/3 of their operating budget. I suppose todays announcement [bbc.co.uk] that Culture, Media and Sport is taking a 24% cut over the next few years has them rather spooked.

      That being said, why doesn't it make sense that they want to control the commercial exploitation of their properties? The British public pays to maintain these sites, and an awful lot of money at that, so why should some company be allowed to step in and enjoy the benefits of the public's investment? As long as they aren't charging then it seems English Heritage doesn't mind - seems fair.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That being said, why doesn't it make sense that they want to control the commercial exploitation of their properties? The British public pays to maintain these sites, and an awful lot of money at that, so why should some company be allowed to step in and enjoy the benefits of the public's investment?

        Because what's being "exploited" are photos, which are in no way, shape, or form their property.

        I mean, I pay a fair bit to maintain my car as well, but that doesn't give me any control over the "exploitation" of third-party photos of it.

      • by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Thursday October 21, 2010 @04:51AM (#33971228) Homepage

        I wish Parliament published comments along with the Acts so we have an easier time judging legislative intent.

        That's what you'll need to read Hansard [parliament.uk] for. Alas, it seems to be difficult to search, but I think this [parliament.uk] is relevant. Moreover, as in the US, UK courts most certainly do take into account what was said in the legislature during the legislative process when dealing with some law, though they prefer to use the letter of the law as stated and existing precedent in relation to any particular act.

        As pointed out in the link, there may well be superior legislation that prevents English Heritage from successfully making the claim. I would expect the key issue to be whether the photographs in question are, in principle, commercial or private pictures, and not whether some company is making money off hosting them.

      • by naasking (94116) <naasking@gmail.EEEcom minus threevowels> on Thursday October 21, 2010 @09:06AM (#33972414) Homepage

        The British public pays to maintain these sites, and an awful lot of money at that, so why should some company be allowed to step in and enjoy the benefits of the public's investment?

        Because you paid an entrance fee to visit this site, and you're also paying to maintain the site via taxes, so why should you pay even more? Will I now have to pay the government every time I take a picture of a road? I'm sorry, but it's ludicrous.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I'm not a lawyer of course... 33(B).1 of the National Heritage Act 2002 is

      The Commision may exploit any intellectual property, or any other intangible asset, relating to ancient monuments or historic buildings.

      May I argue that, before exploiting any intellectual property, they need to prove that they are the owner of that property? Then, they need to prove that the said property pertains to "intellectual property"?

      (I'd continue by arguing that it would be needed a proof they actually have/manifest even a rudimentary level of intellect to be allowed to have ownership over an "intellectual property", but this would be at the same level of craziness as the very concept of "intellectual property").

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772)

      However.... exploiting any intellectual property says nothing about "making something intellectual property" that was not intellectual property before.

      And doesn't say anything about giving the commission the exclusive right to exploit any intellectual property.

      The most obvious definition of 'exploit intellectual property' is.... they can sell post cards with a picture of the historic place featured, even if someone else took the picture, and didn't give them permission.

      It says nothing about "seizin

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ishobo (160209)

      Hall of Fame v. Gentile was vacated by the 6th and it went no further. It did not establish any case law regarding the trademark of a structure. If you are going to throw around examples, I recommend the 6th's White Tower v. White Castle (1937) and Ferrari v. Roberts (1991), Also, the SCOTUS opinion in Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana (1992). Finally, the Lanham Act of 1946 had a narrow scope protecting marks likely to cause confusion or deceive purchasers as to the source of goods or services. In 1967, the statute

  • now this is going to absolutely ruin Spinal Tap.
  • by Dogbertius (1333565) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:00AM (#33970102)
    C:\WINDOWS\Web\Wallpaper\Stonehenge.jpg

    Need I say more?
  • ...I've shot hundreds of pictures of the Loch Ness monster. Freeeedommmm!
  • I thought copyright lasts some hundred years or so after death of last of creators, so Stonehenge's copyright should have expired about 4000 years ago. Which/whose intellectual property is being protected now? ...or is it just that Stonehenge is a modern-made ruse, and the copyright is still valid?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This isn't about copyright. If it were, these letters would have nothing to support them, since a) the copyright on Stonehenge has expired and b) the plain view doctrine (for at least some of the photos).
      However, it turns out that there is a special law in Britain that grants English Heritage all rights to all intellectual property somehow derived from archaeological monuments (search for National Heritage Act 2002). Since the UK's constitution is a rather jumbled up and all in all pretty toothless mess, th

      • by SharpFang (651121)

        So, in Communist UK, the nationalization of goods has started from Intellectual Property?

  • A lot of my ancestors were from England. Don't I deserve a cut of England's national heritage?

  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:36AM (#33970286)
    I suppose they'll want a percentage from sales of Smell the Glove too.
  • by T Murphy (1054674) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @01:40AM (#33970308) Journal
    How did they manage to build it by 2500 BC? I usually don't manage to finish it until 2000BC... they must have had a nearby source of marble I wasn't aware of.
  • The United States Department of State is claiming copyright on all images of the world as "it been their responsibility for the last 27 of the planet's 6,000 year old history."
  • You have no chance to photograph, make your time.
  • stop trying to fight irratonale of these patent & copyright thingies on their own ground. they are legalese. legalese, can be changed to fit any private interest's needs.

    you argue prior art today, and win, some other bunch of lawyers will argue something else the other day, and go around your argument. if not, private interests will finance a new law, and will totally undo whatever defense you were using to defend the rational approach.

    patent, copyright systems are intellectual feudalism. eventual
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @02:37AM (#33970546)
    The Syndey Opera House Trust tries to pull the same crap, even though they are directly contradicted by Australian law on photography in public places. Seems to me that England also has a law that you can shoot any photograph you want in public, although the police there often do their best to ignore it when they are misbehaving otherwise. I would think that the Stonehenge people don't really have a case and are trying to get away with threats and bluster.
  • I am something of an ancient monument myself now, and I do notice that the young take lots of admiring pictures of me when I am out and about, doubtless to show their friends this extraordinary old thing they have seen at Tesco. So I look forward to taking ownership of these photos and selling them back for a small fee to defray my ever growing wine bill, and maybe be able to shop in a better class of store one of these days....
  • by IHC Navistar (967161) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @03:06AM (#33970696)
    Dear Sir/Madam, We will gladly remove the photographs of Stonehenge that you have asked us to remove. However, we require that you provide us with written, notarized documentation detailing: 1. Ownership or controlling interest in Stonehenge by your organization, 2. Transfer of ownership to your organization by the original creator(s) of the work, and, 3. That the work was, in fact, created by those that transferred ownership to your organization. Additionally, we would like to take this letter as an opportunity to inform you that we have awarded your organization with lifetime membership in our "Good Luck With That" club, which is an exclusive organization of groups displaying exceptional confidence in their legal endeavors. Sincerely, Howard, Fine, and Howard Attorneys-At-Law
  • ... that Irish Stew is property of Ireland Heritage. Any pictures of a bowl of Irish Stew belong to Ireland Heritage. People distributing recipes for Irish Stew are in violation. Private folks are allowed to make Irish Stew at home, provided that they pay the appropriate Irish Stew license fees to Irish Heritage.

    A working group at Irish Heritage is now finalizing a similar policy for "The Humble Spud."

  • Disney will love the precedent. Don't worry about copyright running out 75 years after the artist dies, 4,500 years will do us for now.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @04:50AM (#33971218)

    .. of any photo they take in the UK. So EH can bluster and threaten all they want , they won't get anywhere. Someone needs a good kick up the arse in their legal department.

  • by HertzaHaeon (1164143) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @05:11AM (#33971306) Homepage

    But only if you trade them for all the images of myself captured by Birtish surveillance cameras. Photos or video of me belong to me, sorry.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @11:16AM (#33973922)

    wonder if they'll come after me for this one:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/linux-works/140536377/ [flickr.com]

    yes, it was a slow day in the hardware lab and I felt inspired at the time. I know that if anyone will 'get' what those are, its the slash crowd.

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