Friday, August 22, 2008

Hispanic Society and intellectual property

I had a fantasy of the ANS e-publishing Hispanic Numismatic Series 4: Raw SQL and image dump of 38,000 coins but that looks to be impossible.

The HSA coins were well cataloged as Curtis Clay pointed out on Moneta-L. I had thought the ANS cataloged them; in his Spring 2004 column Michael Bates claimed to have finished the Islamic pieces.

It turns out the HSA claimed to have cataloged the coins. The revised complaint of March 6th says the HSA loaned photos and labels to the ANS. Coin catalogs are mostly collections of facts and thus cannot be copyrighted but the original labels must be returned. It's also easy to make the claim that the ANS' excellent cataloging is somehow a 'derivative work' in the copyright sense of earlier cataloging by the Huntington's people. The coin tickets lack copyright claims (I assume!) but perhaps they are considered 'unpublished works'.

All the court records for the HSA coins case are available as PDF downloads from SCROLL. Links and case index numbers were published on the e-Sylum back in March but I've been having trouble receiving the e-Sylum and missed that notice.

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