English Heritage Organization Claiming It Holds Effective Copyright On Any And All Photos Of Stonehenge

from the stoned-henge dept

Every so often we hear of groups or organizations taking a rather expansive view of copyright law, but English Heritage, a UK gov't-backed organization to (you guessed it) promote English heritage and manage various historical sites, may have pushed the extremes to new levels. Boing Boing has the story of how it has sent a letter to a bunch of photosharing and stock photo sites claiming that all images of Stonehenge "can not be used for any commercial interest" and that "all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage." Of course, that's blatantly ridiculous.

One recipient of the letter, the site FotoLibra, is trying to figure out on what legal basis English Heritage is making this claim, noting that Stonehenge "has been their responsibility for 27 of the monument's 4,500 year old history." Of course, just about the only thing this will probably serve to do is make people a lot less interested in visiting Stonehenge, photographing Stonehenge and getting others to go to Stonehenge.

Filed Under: english heritage, photographs, stonehenge, uk


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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 20 Oct 2010 @ 12:14pm

    Look at it from their point of view...

    The purpose of copyright law is to promote progress, right? Without absolute control over every conceivable image, how will religious groups be encouraged to build more mysterious stone monuments?

    Think about it - the sphynx is 5000 years old, stonehenge is 4500 years old, and the moai statues of Easter Island are only 500 years old. While these once were obviously commonly built, there haven't been any mysterious stone monuments built in centuries! It's quite obvious that the lack of copyright is what's preventing more of these sort of things from being created - just like it's the lack of pirates that's causing global warming!

    We must encourage groups like to EHO to make these claims - it's the only way to get people to contribute to our culture!

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