Is This Wikimedia File 100% OK to use?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Is This Wikimedia File 100% OK to use?

Post by keith_12345 »

Is This Wikimedia File 100% OK to use? There isn't anything to say it's a photo of a public domain work, and these are maybe copyrighted in UK. But even if it could be copyrighted in UK, am I breaking the law by using it? It does say it's OK to use it, so if it is perhaps copyrighted in UK, is it not my fault, and someone else's, for mistaking the copyright status? ... levant.jpg
Last edited by keith_12345 on Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi keith,

As stated in the Wikipedia article, the painting is no longer in copyright in France or most other countries of the world, including the other EU member states such as the UK. However as you rightly observe there is nothing to indicate whether or not the person or institution who took the digital image of the painting (claimed to be Wartburg College in the USA) is asserting copyright in the digital image. Generally speaking in the USA, a slavish copy of a painting is not recognised as having a separate copyright (due to a court case known as Bridgeman Art Library v Corel Corp) but that is not necessarily the case in the UK. So on that basis you should check with Wartburg College firstly to confirm that they are the authors of the photograph or scan of the painting, and secondly whether they claim copyright in the digital file.
Alternatively you could check with the gallery which owns the painting (Musée Marmottan Monet) to see if they have released a public domain digital file of the painting.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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