Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What is commercial use?

A story from last year (“Greece says Verizon telecoms apologizes over unlicensed Parthenon advert”) explains that 'commercial' use of photographs of ancient monuments require substantial fees and must be approved by senior officials.

(found via a post by PhDiva with pictures of J. Lo. vamping on the Acropolis).

I'm not sure what 'commercial' use is. Would a textbook targeting high schools be 'commercial'? There is something very troubling when a government believes that some fields of endeavor (for example, businesses) deserve less speech rights than others. Does this law mean that if/when the Elgin marbles go back to Greece it will be against the law to print pictures of them?

1 comment:

Dorothy King said...

Yes, basically it would be illegal. I'm amazed nobody in Greece tried to sue over photos in my book - which in theory is 'commercial' as in theory are all books ...

I hear a story about a Danish university that tried to put up a digital archive of THEIR own photos of Greek sites for students. And took it down when they received a legal letter from an Italian image bank which claimed they had bought copyright of all monuments ... The Italians had no legal case, but the Danes were frightened into removing the archive.