by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jul 1st 2008 6:34am
And here's yet another story of important content that could be put to use, unfortunately being totally locked up thanks to copyright. A few readers sent in the story of the Brooklyn Historical Society refusing to let someone putting together a book of photographs of the Canarsie section of Brooklyn use some old, historically relevant, photographs, because of fears over copyright. The photos in question were from well over 100 years ago, and no one has any idea who owns the copyright -- but rather than risk getting sued for infringement, the Historical Society has said no to using the photos in the book. This is the sort of situation that could be solved with orphan works legislation, but there's a vocal contingent of photographers who loudly are attempting to block that legislation, often falsely stating what the orphan works bill would actually allow, claiming that companies will "steal" their photos. So, instead, we sit around, unable to see important historic photos. I'm sure that's what the framers of the Constitution had in mind.
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