[Clipart] Public domain and Norwegian law
"Áki G. Karlsson"
aki at akademia.is
Wed Sep 8 04:33:35 PDT 2004
Sorry about the inactivity... Work caught up with me :)
What you are talking about is not, strictly speaking, "copyright" as it is
defined in common law countries, but the droit d'auteur as defined by the
Berna convention. "Copyright" as an "exclusive right to copy, distribute"
etc. _is_ transferable under the Berna convention. A writer for example
transfers these rights to the publisher of his book. They can just as well
be transferred to "anyone" and a public domain dedication should (and in
practice probably would) be interpreted in such a way.
What is non-transferable in the droit d'auteur is the authorship itself
and certain rights pertaining thereto. Hence, you remain the author of
your work, even if you dedicate it to the public domain. So if I, for
example, created some ugly and provocative version of Fitzsimons icon set,
tacked Fitzsimon's name on it and published it, with the sole purpose of
smearing our esteemed colleague's name, I could be held answerable for
that act under the Berna convention (and most European author's laws are
little but translations of the Berna convention text). In common law this
is probably covered by other laws than copyright law.
The problem with all these references to "public domain" is of course,
that it doesn't have any legal value in itself, except maybe narrowly
defined as grazing rights or some such thing. Of course this has never
stopped Europeans from actively contributing to Public Domain, GPL,
Academic License or other open source projects.
This has been tackled in translations of the legal texts on Creative
Commons by "dissolving" the concept of "public domain" into something
equivalent like "exclusive right to... etc". It's probably nothing we have
to worry about.
On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 13:15:12 +0200, Runar Ingebrigtsen
<ringe at skolelinux.no> wrote:
> ons, 08.09.2004 kl. 04.18 skrev Bryce Harrington:
>> On Wed, 8 Sep 2004, Runar Ingebrigtsen wrote:
>> > "Public domain" does not exist in Norway. Norwegian law does not allow
>> > anyone to give away or remove the copyright, or as said in the law -
>> > creator rights.
> Of course, by Norwegian law, this terminates the effect that someone can
> "take over" the copyright as is possible with public domain in the USA.
> The reason being that in Norway a "copyright" is more like a "creator
> right" and you can't remove yourself as the creator when you're the one
> that made something. You can lie about it, but you still made it. ;)
>> How do you think this should be handled within OCAL's submission
> I think you are perfectly off with the current solution. The way you are
> doing it is that you require the user user to agree that his submission
> is going "public domain" - you're making a legal agreement. Even if the
> person making use of the creation don't really get the copyright over it
> he can perfectly do whatever with it.
> While "public domain" is not worth anything here and does not exist in
> Norway, the legal agreement clearly says the copyright holder will let
> anyone do whatever they want with his submission.
> The only way to terminate the copyrights of another person is to
> recreate the creation from scratch, different from the original. Then
> the new creator is just inspired by the original and owns his work.
> So, the creator still owns the copyright, but he cannot stop anyone from
> doing what they want with his creation.
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