Egypt Copyrights It’s Most Famous Antiquities

Apparently, anything that’s on display in the museums of Egypt or considered a national treasure is bartsphinx.jpgabout to be copyrighted and “Commercial use of ancient monuments like the pyramids or the sphinx would also be controlled,; said Zahi Hawass. “Even if it is for private use, they must have permission from the Egyptian government.”

I’m not exactly sure what to make of that move. Isn’t there generally a statute of limitations on works of art before they’re considered public domain?

More at, Egypt to ‘copyright antiquities’ [BBC]


  1. From Wikipedia – snipped but with emphasis added:

    The Berne Convention states that all works except photographic and cinematographic shall be copyrighted for at least 50 years after the author’s death, but parties are free to provide longer terms…,

    Although the Berne Convention states that the copyright law of the country where copyright is claimed shall be applied, article 7.8 states that “unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work”,

    In the USA I think it’s nominally 95 years for the oldest works, but this keeps getting extended every time the mouse is threatened, so it could be arguable that copyright is becoming perpetual.

    I’m planning to write more on this because in some ways the Egyptian government is merely being honest about what some other bodies do. There’s a few ways to use copyright to stifle public use of artefacts and images.

  2. Hi. I came over here from your old site, A Cup of Hot Joe where I left you a comment. Unfortunately for me, however, the question I left for you on that post was 2 years old! 😉

    Please visit your old site so that I may find out where to look for a scientific blog or site that will just look at the facts (without having an ax to grind either for or against religion) as to whether or not there are artifacts at the bottom of the Red Sea. If there are artifacts, where are they located? Egypt is no longer allowing us to search or to take anything out of the country.

    Thank you so much for your time. Have a very nice day.

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