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Egypt's Plans To 'Copyright' The Pyramids

from the you-have-got-to-be-kidding dept

We've had plenty of posts discussing the ridiculousness of copyright extension, especially when it applies to works retroactively. However, we're usually talking about content created in the last century. Not any more. It seems that this era's obsessions with misunderstanding the purpose of copyright is about to taken to a new level of absurdity. Chris was among many of you who took time out of your holiday feasts to alert us to the fact that Egypt is preparing to "copyright" the pyramids, the sphinx and other Egyptian antiquities. Of course "copyright" is being used loosely here. Realistically, it sounds like some Egyptian politicians need to come up with a plan to raise more tax revenue for the government, and so they came up with this bizarre plan to pretend that they can tax anyone who creates a likeness of famous Egyptian monuments. Apparently this decision came just days after a newspaper editorial suggested that the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas owes the Egyptian gov't a share of its profits. Realistically, this has nothing to do with copyright at all, but is simply just an excuse to try to try to bring in additional tax revenue by misappropriating the concept of copyright as a weak rationale for the tax. However, in an age where copyright supporters want people to think that copyright is the same thing as real property, it's much easier to get people to believe this is a reasonable proposal. Of course, given that the real purpose of copyright is supposed to be about creating incentives for the creation of new content, does this mean we're going to start seeing new pyramids start springing up in Egypt anytime soon?


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  1.  
    identicon
    muayad, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 4:23am

    There Rights

    i'm sorry mike but i think this is there rights to put a copyrights on there pyramids after all they are a very poor country with a very hungry government...

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    TriZz, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 4:54am

    Copyright Tax

    Everyone in my neighbor hood owes me some percentage of the value of their property, since every townhouse on my block looks exactly like mine.

     

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  3.  
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    yogi, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 4:57am

    They don't have to be poor.

    Many countries have shown that you can get rich without vast natural resources (And Eygpt does have some oil fields, as well the Suez Canal, and the Aswan Dam).

    Eygpt is actually ideally located to be a player in any number of markets. It's just a question of advancing to the 21st century, or "the Third Wave" as Toffler calls it.

    The problem is a culture of serfdom and fatalism. That can be changed but probably won't. Too bad. Well, at least they have their pyramids. I'm sure Las Vegas would love to share their profits with the Eygptian Government.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 5:00am

    I think it's a good idea.

    Who wants to see more science fiction, new age cliches about the Egyptian pyramids? They are just a minor civilization that never amounted to much. I'd be more interested in history textbooks talking about other Middle Eastern civilizations for a change.

     

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  5.  
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    Their Rights?, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 5:04am

    Re: There Rights

    I don't know enough about modern Egypt to argue their financial situation, but you can't say "Hey that was my idea" if you didn't think of it. The rich ancient Egyptions built the pyramids, not the poor modern ones.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    muayad, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re: There Rights

    i know that the ancient Egyptions who built the pyramids but the moderns now own it right now ...

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    keybored, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 5:51am

    science project

    If my kid my kid builds a pyramid for a school project she will owe Egypt compensation? What next the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben?

    Wait; an Egyptian Pyramid MP3 player, the little mummy coffin will accept memory sticks. Now the player and the music can both be illegal.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    I would think the artists would have been dead long enough to make it ineligible for copyright...

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    RF Engineer, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 6:23am

    Re:

    Yeah I think your on to something with the fact that copyright doesn't last forever. Also who really owns the pyramid? I would think the pharo does since he built them and spent his money. But he is long dead as is any of his kin. Then again Alexander the great owned all of Eygpt so maybe the greeks should own some of the stuff (since after alex all pharos where of greek). Of course Napoleian came down there and owned it a little bit, the Britian owned it, then Germany, and then the USA kicked Germany out... and now we have the present day Egyptian govt. Yeap I don't see a clear chain of ownership here.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    yogi, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 6:23am

    Who's their lawyer - The Mummy??

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Dec 26th, 2007 @ 6:36am

    Honor this!

    Does anyone really have to honor the copyright that isn't operating in Egypt?
    I say: Let them have their copyright!
    On another note: Has anyone actually been able to build an exact replica using the same techniques? I saw a Nova thing on it but it was a 2 parter and I only saw part 1.

     

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  12.  
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    Ha Ha, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:11am

    Re: There Rights

    silly cunt

     

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  13.  
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    Captain Nemo, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:12am

    Re: I think it's a good idea.

    The problem is that you're reading textbooks. If all you read was original documents and original analysis, you'd get a lot more stuff from Assyria, Mesopotamia, etc.

     

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  14.  
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    Captain Nemo, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:14am

    Re: science project

    Nope. Fair Use. School projects are, by definition, educational. Your kid is safe as long as she doesn't try to sell it. (Selling textbooks is still okay, because they remain educational.)
    The King James Bible is copyrighted in Britain. I don't see the pyramids as a huge leap.
    Daft Punk might have to pay royalties though. They love pyramids.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Captain Nemo, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:16am

    Re: I think it's a good idea.

    On the other hand- Stargate and those retards who came up with "holistics" should probably be paying royalties.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Captain Nemo, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:18am

    Re:

    The Aztecs and Mesopotamians, (also deceased,) might have a claim too. Messy.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Dan, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:20am

    what about Camel cigarettes

    Every time a likeness is used, a royalty is owed?
    That will put RJ Reynolds out of business.
    The pyramids are a fundamental part of their marketing for the Camel brand.

    What is next, the US government charging for every picture of any official monument on Flickr?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Jack Sombra, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:26am

    They should look at London

    Few years ago various local goverments in london trademarked/copyrighted famous London landmark street signs in an attempt to get extra revenue.

    Result? All the makers of tourist tat stopped using them. So those places now become over time become less famous and as time goes by, loose tourism revenue while the goverment get little if any extra revenue from the trademarks/copyrights

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Tom, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:27am

    muayad

    Hopefully you are joking. Otherwise, I hope you're too young to vote.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Mikey in Vegas, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 7:45am

    Disney Does It

    You do realize that Disney has copyrighted the likeness of Cinderella's Castle?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Lance Mertz, Dec 26th, 2007 @ 10:38am

    Germany?

    The Germans never took Egypt... were stopped somewhat to the west of Egypt by the British Eighth Army... Other than that you have a good point.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    greg, Dec 28th, 2007 @ 9:36pm

    no money from the Luxor

    If you read the linked article, it states that the Luxor will own no money. Sorry to blow a huge hole in your wimpy little article.
    "The Luxor hotel in the US city of Las Vegas would also not be affected because it was not an exact copy of a pyramid and its interior was completely different"

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Angela Merkel, Dec 31st, 2007 @ 5:57pm

    Doesn't the US $1 bill have a pyramid on it? .. sounds a little recursive if they have to pay royalties in cash!

     

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