[APG Public List] RE: Copyright question

Pat Asher pjroots at att.net
Wed Nov 25 14:58:53 MST 2009

At 03:31 PM 11/25/2009, Ray Beere Johnson II wrote:
>It is the image of the postcard which was posted which _might_ - for 
>example, if it included the unpublished, handwritten portion _and_ 
>met the test for creative work be subject to copyright. _That_ image 
>was created in 2009, not 1909. >

Under what conditions/circumstances could a true copy be a "creative" 
work, eligible for copyright protection residing with the copier?

According to Batlin v. Snyder, which was referenced in the landmark 
Bridgeman v. Corel decision ruling against copyright for "slavish" copies,

1976 U.S. App. LEXIS 11846; 189 U.S.P.Q. BNA) 753, January 19, 1976, 
Submitted, April 12, 1976, Decided

A copy of a toy, which was both reduced in size, and redesigned to 
include in one mold two appendages which were separate in the 
original design, was deemed to be
"merely 'trivial' [changes] and that it was a reproduction of the 
metal bank made as simply as possible for the purposes of 
manufacture. In other words, there were no elements of difference 
that amounted to significant alteration or that had any purpose other 
than the functional one of making a more suitable and probably less 
expensive) figure in the plastic medium."

Looking at the Bridgeman decision, and the Batlin decision which 
proceeded it, it is hard for me to understand how anyone could 
believe they could claim copyright of a scan or other copy that 
purports to represent the original, regardless of what enhancements 
have been made in the interests of legibility or functionality.

Pat Asher

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