Costa Rican Money Might Infringe On Artist's Copyright?

from the or-just-moral-rights... dept

We've pointed out in the past the oddity that some countries copyright the design of their currency, though we can't quite figure out why. There are already anti-counterfeiting laws for copying money, so why add copyright on top of that? However, down in Costa Rica, there may be a slightly different issue brewing. Michael Scott points us to the news that an artist is upset that a painting he did of educator Mauro Fernandez is to be included on new currency, being issued by the government, without his permission. The article is a bit unclear on who owns the copyright, but does note that the painting itself is owned by the Costa Rican National Museum, and the government had received permission from the museum. However, it also notes that Costa Rica has "moral rights" as well, which could allow the artist to demand his name be associated with his work. It appears to deal with this, the Costa Rican Central Bank is calling a press conference to "recognize" the painter as the creator of the image.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    I wonder if the copyright on the U.S. dollar has expired yet. Then again it depends on which dollar you're talking about. Given how often they change the hundred dollar bill I don't see how a counterfeit hundred dollar bill couldn't simply confuse someone into thinking it was a new bill that they've never seen before. It seems to me that constantly changing the hundred dollar bill ultimately gives counterfeiters more options of bills that they can counterfeit and they can simply choose the bill that's easiest to counterfeit. Wasn't ACTA supposed to stop that or something, after all, it is an anti counterfeit act.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 12:14am


    I wonder if the copyright on the U.S. dollar has expired yet.

    There is no copyright on the US dollar. There is no copyright on anything produced by the US federal government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 2:59am

    Re: Re:

    I know, I was kidding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    mariovistus (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    not counterfeiting

    There is a US artist, JSG Boggs who does one sided bank notes by hand that are sometimes replicas of different currencies. Boggs has created his own currency called Boggs notes that he uses to pay for different services (meals, hotel rooms, etc.) The bills wind up being far more valuable than whatever the equivalent was in US dollars at the time of the original transaction. He has found himself in trouble with the US Treasury and had exhibitions of his art shut down in Australia and England.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Nina Paley (profile), May 4th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Dear World,

    Please print money using images from Sita Sings the Blues. That would be the coolest "commercial use" ever. Talk about turning art into money!

    You're welcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    There is at least one very limited exception, the USPS, but as a general matter your comment is correct.

    Bear in mind, however, that it is possible for the USG to hold a copyright if it receives "title" to the copyright by "assignment, bequest, or devise". This is not, however, a situation that has been the subject of any significant litigation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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