Friday, September 3, 2010

A Scan Is Just a Scan

Who owns what these days? BoingBoing's Cory Doctorow ponders the idea that someone who scans old ads or other print material feels proprietary about the images:

Scanning a public domain item does not attract a new copyright to it. Copyright rewards creativity, not ‘‘sweat of the brow.’’ Of course, it’s only natural to feel a proprietary instinct to the product of one’s labor, but in this case, it’s misplaced – or at least, best kept to oneself.

Any ethical claim to ownership over a scan of a public domain work should be treated with utmost suspicion, not least because of all the people with stronger claims than the scanner!

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