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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Comments on “Egypt's Plans To 'Copyright' The Pyramids”

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yogi says:

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.

Captain Nemo says:

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.

RF Engineer says:

Re: 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.

Jack Sombra says:

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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