Expiration of copywrite on printed matter

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Mon Nov 6 11:44:02 CST 2000

Given that we have an authority from The Natural History Museum, please can
you clarify your response as you used the word "now," as well as what is The
NHM policy on copyright as regards their holdings.

Are, for example, the illustrations made by Terzi (1872-1956) for many fine
BM(NH) entomological publications about to come into public domain?  That
is, 50 years after his death in 1956. Under USA law many would now be in the
public domain.

And in the case of now and the future, does EEA require explicit transfer
of copyright to another to be valid. We have heard "rumors" that the Natural
History requires scientists that study NHM material that they transfer their
copyright in regards to what they derived from their study to the NHM. Or
can it be assumed that any images, for example, made from a NHM specimen is
the property of the  NHM?

The "rumors" that I heard arose in regards to images of butterflies
(Hepner, et alia).  I should say that I do not agree completely with Hepner
et alia and believe scientists should transfer limited  copyrights (i.e.,
the commerical rights)  to organizations like the NHM.

F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., ARS, USDA
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D. C. 20560-0169
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at sel.barc.usda.gov
visit our Diptera site at www.diptera.org

>>> john jackson <j.jackson at NHM.AC.UK> 11/06 10:20 AM >>>
Jan Bosselaers said:

"As far as Europe is concerned, I think works are protected by copyright
50 years after the death of the writer. At least for works of literature
musical compositions, if I'm not mistaken."

This was the case, but now the position for the European Economic Area
(which includes the European Union) is that copyright protection is for 70
years after the death of the author for most things - there are still some
works (audio recordings, I think) where 50 years applies, but
would be 70.

John Jackson


John Jackson
Science Policy Coordinator
Science Directorate, The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
email  j.jackson at nhm.ac.uk    http://www.nhm.ac.uk/science/
tel  +44 (0)207 942 5257   fax  +44 (0)207 942  5765

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