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
    Prashanth (profile), 20 Oct 2010 @ 2:24pm

    It isn't the first time

    I remember rereading a few years ago Roald Dahl's publication of the story about Gordon Butcher and the Mildenhall Treasure. Basically, a man named Gordon Butcher accidentally stumbled upon ancient Roman silverware when plowing another man's field for-hire. Due to English law at that time, despite the fact that the silverware was found on private property, it (all gold and silver items) had to go to the Crown's museum. This is certainly pathetic, but it isn't the first such occurrence of a British national entity claiming ownership over things that clearly aren't theirs.

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