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Re: [BKARTS] Copyright Question



Maria Arango writes:

>>>... in the case of artworks and according to The Practicing Law Institute's "Art Law" (Lerner Bresner), the copyright protection extends to "reproduction by any means, creation of derivative works, display or distribution without explicit consent of the artist/creator" of the image... The proposed project would be an obvious creation of a derivative work, however I do not know if that interpretation would extend to copyright for published books.

I suspect this thread will quickly bore much of the list, but in so far as it bears on the work of many, one more comment:  Yes, in the case of images (art works, photographs, etc.) and (perhaps even books in light of the recent decision upholding J.K. Rowling's protest regarding an "encyclopedia" detailing her characters, etc.) "derivative works" are protected. But a rebound book is NOT a derivative _work_ (for copyright purposes): it is a rebound book.

If the new binding relied overmuch on the key element of the design of, say, the dustjacket in which it was originally issued, then the graphic designer (or whoever owns rights to his/her work) might have grounds for complaint under the derivative work doctrine but the author of the text would not (unless s/he was the self-same designer). Again, though, some degree of commercial intent is probably necessary for a claim to be upheld: if Philip Smith flawlessly reproduced a jacket in a leather binding with the (reasonable) intention/expectation of selling his "work" for a large sum, the designer would probably have a case. If he did it as an undeniable demonstration of his skill and with no intention to sell it, or to sell it for no more than the cost of materials and a nominal amount for his time, he would probably have a strong fair use defense.

Cordially --- Sid Huttner

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