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Mexico Wants Payment For Aztec Images

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the montezuma's-latest-revenge dept.

Idle 325

innocent_white_lamb writes "Starbucks brought out a line of cups with prehistoric Aztec images on them. Now the government of Mexico wants them to pay for the use of the images. Does the copyright on an image last hundreds of years?"

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325 comments

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Where are the pictures (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690656)

Surely they could have included a picture of the offending cups...

Re:Where are the pictures (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690768)

Surely they could have included a picture of the offending cups...

Then they'd have to pay too!

Re:Where are the pictures (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690858)

fair use

Re:Where are the pictures (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691416)

fair use

Does that apply in Mexico?

As evidence for the oddity of their beliefs regarding copyright, I need only direct you to the situation that resulted in this mess in the first place.

Good luck with that (0)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690662)

In most countries which have copyright laws it extends only 50 or so years after the author dies.

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690680)

Yeah, what are they going to do, hop in their Delorean and ensure that the original authors get their cut?

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691448)

The RIAA's behavior demonstrates that copyright has nothing to do with remunerating the original authors.

Re:Good luck with that (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690682)

This is Mexico though. They're not run like civilized countries in the rest of the world ... so if Starbucks wants to do business there, they'll have to play by the rules. And, knowing Mexico, Starbucks' problems can all go away if they grease the right palms.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690692)

You'll note he said "play by the rules", with no mention of the laws. Bring money.

Re:Good luck with that (3, Informative)

chromas (1085949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691358)

"if they grease the right palms"
Clearly, he meant something else.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691218)

This is the USA though. They're not run like civilized countries in the rest of the world ... so if Starbucks wants to do business there, they'll have to play by the rules. And, knowing USA, Starbucks' problems can all go away if they grease the right palms.

What country can this not apply to?

Re:Good luck with that (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690716)

In most countries which have copyright laws it extends only 50 or so years after the author dies.

Not only that, but it's up to the copyright owner themselves to make the complaint. How on earth does a government "inherit" copyright just because the original owner was from their country? That's like the British government suing anyone who does things based on William Shakespeare because he was English.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690734)

... especially since the real copyright owners are aliens who visited the Aztecs around 2000 BC.

(or so I heard)

Re:Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690748)

That's like the British government suing anyone who does things based on William Shakespeare because he was English.

Ever read the copyright notice in a King James bible?

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690766)

That's like the British government suing anyone who does things based on William Shakespeare because he was English.

Or for something even more absurd: the modern British government, which is descended from a system put in place by the Normans, suing someone who uses imagery from Beowulf.

Mexico is run by a culture and people primarily descended from the people who killed off the Aztecs. Yes, there are plenty of Indians in Mexico today, but they're pretty much at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. The Mexican government is the heir of the Spanish Empire.

Perfect analogy... (0)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690900)

Wish I had mod points - I was about to post something similar, but your analogy was much more insightful :)

Re:Good luck with that (1, Redundant)

JustNilt (984644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690982)

Damn, and I was trying to kludge up a car anaology. Hehe.

Re:Good luck with that (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691136)

Most people estimate Mexico's population to be at least 60% mestizo (mixed blood indigenous + European). Wikipedia puts it at 60%-80%. Indigenous people make up ~15%, with the remainder European / Asian / African. Since the Mexican census doesn't count ethnicity, no one knows for sure just how many are mestizo; but either way it's not correct that the culture or government is 'European' run.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Mexico [wikipedia.org]

This means that actually the majority of people in Mexico have lineage that married/raped the indigenous population (depending on who you talk to).

Also, the majority of "pure" Europeans living in Mexico arrived after the Spanish occupation ended (can't find citation for that at the moment, sorry).

I know it's 'cool' to rag on Mexico, but at least pick something accurate (there's a lot to choose from).

Re:Good luck with that (1)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691522)

if you go to a museum, some make a small charge for taking photographs.... and some do not allow any photograhs withuth permition of the owners... is not very different...

Re:Good luck with that (5, Interesting)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690854)

FTA: "The government archaeological agency said Wednesday it will decide by next week whether Starbucks should pay any fees. "

Has anyone thought yet to ask where the images came from? It seems obvious to me that what could have happened was that Starbucks took photographs taken by the government archaeological society, which the society may have used for post-cards, t-shirts, or other tourism items and placed them on Starbucks mugs without paying fees to the Mexican government for those photographs.

Those photographs would then be copyright, just as any photograph would.

Re:Good luck with that (0, Redundant)

non-registered (639880) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691026)

Someone please mod the parent up. This is really the point.

Re:Good luck with that (4, Informative)

Narpak (961733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691100)

Has anyone thought yet to ask where the images came from? It seems obvious to me that what could have happened was that Starbucks took photographs taken by the government archaeological society, which the society may have used for post-cards, t-shirts, or other tourism items and placed them on Starbucks mugs without paying fees to the Mexican government for those photographs.

I tried to search around the web a bit, but the only thing I found was this quote from the Washington Examiner [washingtonexaminer.com]

Mexico's government archaeological agency says the images of the Aztec calendar stone and the Pyramid of the Moon from the pre-Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan are the intellectual property of the nation. The agency will decide how much Starbucks should pay.

Which seems to imply, to my mind, that this isn't the matter of specific photographs being copied, but rather that the Mexican government considers any photographs of these artefacts/sites to be the intellectual property of Mexico.

That being said I have yet to find any site or news provider, that referees to this case in more detail; so I shall hold my judgement until then.

Did the Aztec have a concept of copyright? (0)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690730)

I struggle to believe that a society that once murder 70,000 in a single day to appease the gods was big on registering copyrights. I could be wrong, and I'd hate to stereotype, but . . .

Why would the Mexican government get that copyright? Why not a Nahuatl organization? Or maybe victims fund for all the Tlaxcalans the Aztecs killed.

Re:Did the Aztec have a concept of copyright? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691264)

You don't think the RIAA is taking notes? I fully expect the massacre of virgins to begin next week.

(Run, Slashdotters, run!)

Re:Did the Aztec have a concept of copyright? (5, Informative)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691474)

Acording to the aztec, their Tlatoani Ahuizotl, persoally killed 84,400 prisioners in four days using a stone knife...

However, most experts consider these numbers to be overstated. For example, the sheer logistics associated with sacrificing 84,000 victims would be overwhelming, mos historia asume the aztec put a few extra zeroes as propaganda...

the arqueological excavation have revelead a few hundred sacrifices, far from the thousands claimed...

by comparition, in Auswtiz with their four gass chambers wrking 24 a day, they could execute about 4,000 prisioners a day...

The Tlaxcaltecas also killed and sacrifice Aztecs... Theyre power was very similar, it required only a small force to push de balance... that force was Cortez.

At the end, germs killed much more aztecs and Tlaxcaltecas than the war.

Trivia. The aztecs.... called themsleves meshicas... their gods had forbiten to call themselves aztecs...

Re:Did the Aztec have a concept of copyright? (1)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691534)

sorry.. forgot... the Tlaxcalans were nahuatl...

Re:Good luck with that (2, Interesting)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690890)

The article was light on significant details. It looks as if these images are used effectively as trademarks in Mexico, used for purposes of tourism, or some such thing. This is obviously not a copyright issue.

Starbucks is in trouble (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691060)

Those were developed by the gods. And they are still around.

Re:Starbucks is in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691144)

Only for a couple more years.

Re:Starbucks is in trouble (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691246)

Prove It.

I've got a stronger claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690688)

I'm Scottish and I want cash every time some one uses my family's tartan in a design or for cloth!

This is nuts especially since people have been using Aztec and Mayan designs for decades. They smell deep pockets and that's all this is about. Where does the insanity stop? Every country controls designs going back millions of years so long as it came from within their borders?

Re:I've got a stronger claim (1)

ChapterS (666029) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690710)

human culture, created by humans (music, art, pictures of mice) is all p0ned by corporations and their congress critters. google: corporate personhood. The congress critter you save may be your own.

Re:I've got a stronger claim (1, Interesting)

electrons_are_brave (1344423) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690844)

Lucky ducky that your family has a tartan! I'm Scottish from a long line of Scots, but being a grotty lowlanders, we had naught but a knock on the head handed down through the generations. However, there are rules of use for tartans - and I'm quite happy to protect your families heritage from being ripped off by some American fast food chain. It's not about copyright to me - it's also the issue of treating other people's culture with respect. For example, in Australia, it became quite common for people to use "aboriginal" designs to flog tourist items, while the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people died in poverty of third world diseases. And how many record companies have ripped of poor Africans for source music without paying them a cent?

Mexico is a pretty poor country. I wouldn't object to there being some fund for use of these images for profit in foreign countries provided the money went into some cultural preservation purposes (for maintenance of the ruins or something).

I don't really see it as a copyright issue at all. I would have linked to have read more about the matter than the link above gave.

Re:I've got a stronger claim (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691004)

And how many record companies have ripped of poor Africans for source music without paying them a cent?

I get what you mean, but I wouldn't have thought that drawing inspiration from somewhere requires paying the source.

If so, I think Europe can sue Disney for most of their older movies, as well as for inspiring Sleeping Beauty's Castle [wikipedia.org] ... ;)

Re:I've got a stronger claim (1)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691200)

I'm descended from lowlanders as well. However, we're the only lowland clan, officially registered with the Lord Lyon King of Arms. This has nothing to do with the story mind you. I'm still waiting to find out the exact nature of the alleged copyright violations before I make any comments on that.

Re:I've got a stronger claim (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691076)

Well, my mother is MacGregor, so if you are Campbell, I would like to have a word with you.

It is looney, that anybody thinks that the murders of a ppl should profit from them. I wonder if the Aztec gods can strike dead those that came up with that idea.

And ridiculous copyright suits collapse... (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690698)

...under the weight of their own stupidity.

It was once thought that 14 years was a reasonable amount of time to capitalize on a copyright. Now, distribution and capitalization happens much more quickly, and yet copyright duration has continued to get longer and longer.

Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690700)

IIRC certain countries or people demand that their "culture" must not be exploited without their consent. I.e. not without paying for it.

I don't think it's just "simple" copyright they're going to field, they're going to insist that the culture of a country belongs to that country and isn't just public property.

Which should be interesting if it sticks. Egypt demanding compensation for every mummy movie, Italy demanding compensation for every time someone does a gladiator movie, Russia demanding compensation for every dystopian totalitarian novel and Israel demanding compensation for every Bible.

I somehow almost wish they get away with it. It should be insanely hilarious.

Russia only gets royalties for bear pictures (2, Funny)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690720)

The Boston Bruins are gonna have to accept a buy out by the Red Army in order to settle their debts.

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (2, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690788)

But if you kill everyone in a culture, you can claim it?

Charge $1? Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (1)

AJ Mexico (732501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690970)

Humm, let's see... What if Egypt (or Mexico) charges $1 for each image of a pyramid, then ... All your one dollar bills are belong to us!

Re:Charge $1? Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (1)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691496)

Mexico only charges it the picture is used for comercial purposes. The people that sold the images to Starbuck should have known...

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (3, Insightful)

Aargau (827662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690980)

Ask Mexico to pay Israel (or would it be the Vatican) for any Christian icon, including crosses, Virgin Mary statues, and patron saint candles, and see what the response is.

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (0, Offtopic)

Jeff Carr (684298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691064)

This is fantastic news! We can start charging people for incompetence then! We're going to be rich.

And no, I don't mean we, the United States, I mean we, as in Slashdot and it's editors!

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (1)

Grail (18233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691234)

Or more to the point, only people from the Champagne region of France being allowed to use that name on their sparkling wines.

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691286)

and Israel demanding compensation for every Bible

Seems we give them about 6 billion $ for it a year.
 

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (2, Insightful)

re_organeyes (1170849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691382)

Wait until Japan demands payment for all of those Kanji tattoos.

Re:Copyright or "cultural heritage"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691486)

So they can pay the Chinese for their use of Hanzi?

I know this one, I know this one! Pick me! (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690712)

The answer is . . . No?

If this is the case, then sweat damn are all the states of the old Confederacy gonna make some serious Union dollars.

Re:I know this one, I know this one! Pick me! (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690804)

Nope, we'll pay all the royalties for all the Civil War movies in Confederate cash only.

Re:I know this one, I know this one! Pick me! (1)

4e617474 (945414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690820)

Confederate cash is rare and a century and a half old. It's worth a fortune.

Re:I know this one, I know this one! Pick me! (1)

l3prador (700532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691072)

Confederate cash is rare and a century and a half old. It's worth a fortune.

In some cases, yes, but its current market value is not in any way proportional to its face value:

$500 [ebay.com]

$5 [ebay.com]

Re:I know this one, I know this one! Pick me! (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691096)

No, it's not. It's quite common (because it was fiat) and I had the opportunity to get some for very little money very recently. You can find it in most coin shops.

Actually (3, Informative)

Lobo42 (723131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690722)

Actually, the article clarifies that these images are from the pre-Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan, which would make them at least 1,000 years old.

Re:Actually (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691030)

The shame of it is, someone who didn't bother to read the article is going to mark you informative for that revealing tidbit of information...

Re:Actually (0, Offtopic)

nystire (871449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691512)

If Bono reads this, I'm pretty sure he will mark it as 'Insightful'.

Re:Actually (1)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691510)

The images also included the Monument to the independence and the "palacio de bellas artes" which date from 1910.

All them are consideres historical monuments, and the images, property of the nation.

Re:Actually (1)

Lobo42 (723131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691554)

Well, that's a horse of a different color, then. Although I can't seem to find mention of it in the (very brief) linked article. Do you have a more detailed report?

What. (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690742)

What...

That's crazy. I can sort of understand wanting compensation for something your government created, to recompense taxpayer expense... but to ask recompense for an artistic STYLE your nation was built upon the dead remains of is WAY beyond my usual expectations of baseless money-grabbing.

If there was a copyright on the creation, it has expired. By a few thousand years. There is certainly no derivative works clause you can pull out at this point.

Even if you want to stake some claim on government effort in excavation, the only efforts you can claim ownership of would be individual performances/creations you have based on the original works - anyone else can just base their works on the original and avoid any derivative claims.

Still, my guess is that this isn't really about making a serious claim - it's about getting settlements - about casting nets and seeing what comes back. The governmental version of SCO-style license trolling.

Ryan Fenton

Re:What. (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690750)

But without copyright, those unnamed artists of millennia past might not have the motive or means to produce anything. I know if I'm an ancient artist, the first thing on my mind is how I'm going to feed the civilization that murders and conquers my own civilization hundreds of years after my death.

Wait until they claim copyright for the Mayans (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691092)

and then they will try to claim royalties for anything that talks about December 21st, 2012.

Amazing (5, Funny)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690760)

Walt Disney would be proud.

Just give a senator some trips to Cabo San Lucas (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690762)

And we will have the Sunny Aztec copyrith extension act. Now, copyright will last at least from 1923 until next decade. That is from when Disney and other media houses started recording movies and music. Today that means 100 years. In a billion years, copyight will have been extended to 1 billion and 100 years. If the mexicans want in on the game, they will have to pay some lawmaker.

it's not copyright; it's cultural heritage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690764)

it is customary, and while it may not have teeth, it's used to support
the archeological sites -- to continue to make the works publicly
available; running most of the 100's of sites in Mexico costs quite
a bit of currency, payments like this offset it

Re:it's not copyright; it's cultural heritage (1)

electrons_are_brave (1344423) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690866)

Yes, I don't have a problem with it. If Starbucks uses the images from the ruins to make $$$ and the Mexican Govt charges a fee to maintain the ruins, then it seems like a good thing to me.

I don't think it's a copyright issue really.

Ka Pai! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690782)

They should come to New Zealand and talk to the Maori. They try to do the same thing with the Haka and Moko's

Mickey! (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690786)

... I'm not some fancy big shot lawyer. But ...

Why not? The copyright system seems borked beyond belief. If Disney can keep it on Mickey (*1928) and [insert studio name here] on [old movie/record/whatever here] or [dead person] retaining theirs via some company or whatever. So that stuff clearly gets extended beyond time.

That said, a country retaining C on a "long dead" culture from 500-700 years ago that just happened to live in the area? That seems to be stretching it. But if it is the case then whom do I talk to about getting some cash from the Minnesota Vikings?

Does copyright lasts hundreds of years? (1)

naringas (733106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690792)

not yet, but it will once Mickey is hundreds of years old

Depends (1)

Rehnberg (1618505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690802)

Is the Disney of the Aztec Empire still around?

illegals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690808)

Sounds like a deal could be made here. Mexico pays us for providing free services to 6 million illegals and we pay copyright on the images. The way I see it mexico is in the hole yet a few billion.

This is great (1)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690812)

The copyright, trademark, and patent insanity will only stop once everyone is negatively impacted. It's got to get (much) worse before it will get better.

You think that is bad? (3, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690832)

The real trouble happened when tried to put 2 Aztecs in 1 Cup. Associated a whole new twist to the taste of their coffee.

copyright may very well apply (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690850)

Starbuck's work is likely either a photograph, or a work derived
from a photograph. The photo is likely copyrighted, or restricted.
When you visit an architelogical site, your personal photos are
for personal use only -- not commercial reproduction accoring to
the law of Mexico. It's been this way for quite some time (70's?).
When you do apply for reproduction rights, it's usually limited
to specific publications with a nominal fee per object represented.
These laws were put in place quite early, perhaps before the 60's.

So, it's possible it's an artist's rendition (not derived from photo)
or it is based on a representation from before the antiquity laws
were passed -- however, unlikely. So, it's extremely possible that
copyright is the vehicle for enforcement.

So they can give it to the tribes, right? (4, Insightful)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690892)

Of course, the Mexican government is going to be sure and give that money to the indiginous tribes, the descendants of the original artists, right?

Re:So they can give it to the tribes, right? (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691172)

If by "give money" you mean "sodomize then throw in a pit", then yes....

LMAO (3, Interesting)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690918)

What's next? We're going to have to pay the Italians for using Roman letters and the Saudi's for using Arabic numbers? Ridiculous!

Re:LMAO (1)

bl968 (190792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691158)

Just be glad they didn't think about demanding payment for the use of the number zero....

Re:LMAO (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691350)

Just be glad they didn't think about demanding payment for the use of the number zero....

They got zero for it.

not copyright -- mexican law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690960)

and since starbucks does buisness in that country it is subject to its laws

mine all mine.... (1)

ushere (1015833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30690964)

i'm putting a claim for copyright on the english alphabet...

so all you m'f'kers be ready for a visit from my lawyers...

Maybe.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30690994)

By the same logic, maybe the German government should sue for payment each time a swastika is used by someone..

Yep, TFA just got godwinned :)

Re:Maybe.. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691084)

Considering that the swastika was from India, and then from Iran before that, I doubt that Germany can lay claim.

We want payment too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691028)

We want mexico to pay us for all the boarder jumpers that come here for medical and social services they get for FREE! We want payment of the taxes they circumvent by working under the table and then send the money to mexico. We want payment for all the crime they bring to this country and the cost of enforcement of the immigration laws they circumvent requiring us to round them up, process them, and then send them back to where they belong, SOUTH OF THE BOARDER! Pay us first and then we can talk about the works of a people that have vanished off of the planet before mexico WAS mexico!

Just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691032)

Hey Mexico, my middle finger just called and it wants its 'Fuck You' back.

(?)

How to resolve the US Deficit... (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691090)

Just pay the US royalties on blue jeans

How about an exchange? (0, Troll)

c1ay (703047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691124)

The Mexican government collects some token fee for these images and pays the U.S. government for all of the U.S. medical care provided to Mexican citizens in our Emergency Rooms. Fair is fair right. Shouldn't those parties that are actually owed something be able to collect it?

Fine, in that case. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691128)

I want a pony.

PREHISTORIC? (0, Redundant)

chizor (108276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691148)

calling aztec images "prehistoric" is racist. would a society without recorded history have one of the most advanced calendars of all time, still being reproduced on coffee mugs?

Really? (0, Redundant)

findawg86 (898451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691152)

Well when the aztecs return from space, they can claim their money, not mexico.

And now some real information from Mexico (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30691164)

I read all the troll messages around, obviously from people that don't live in Mexico or care about us. I must made note that if you paint or use "Aztec like" patterns/people/scenery you are much safe for ***pay nothing***. I do images made on Aztec codex usually and I do not pay a single dollar. And you can do it too.

So what is the trouble here? There are some stuff that was Copyrighted for the Mexican government and the National Institute of Archeology and History (INAH) and those are of course the Aztec Calendar, some codex and other monuments. I wonder why Americans made a of mess here: Starbucks took some copyrighted material and added it to the mugs without pay a dime and this the same thing than someone in Mexico made a DVD rip from a Hollywood flick and sells on the streets.

Either Starbucks pays for the copyrighted images or remove the cups, this is the game of the copyright no?

Copyright or trademark? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691174)

I think trademark would be more fitting intellectual property here.

And can a government assert trademark rights over things it didn't create? Can a government assert trademark rights over things that are marks of a people that existed prior to them? Can a government assert trademarks at all?

This just sound like more government corruption to me.

Don't take mexican politics lightly... (1)

rafusmx (971073) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691250)

Oh boy! You think that ancient painting is far away of any kind of copyright protection? Think twice... Unfortunately this is Mexico you're talking about. Just as reference. Mexico could be one of the most powerful countries in the world if we knew what happens with the resources XP... (Just take a look on the payroll of politics and government offices). National corruption is just a hobby around here; a nice challenge for the first quarter of this year could be to blackmail an international company...and why not Starbucks? I fell shame and sadness looking news like this...

Mexican idiots: GO AWAY !!! (0, Troll)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691254)

If it is up to Mexican reconquistas, US residents should pack up and go back to the motherland, i.e. Europe, leaving the land to them. This royalty for thousand years old images is another display of the same sentiment. I live in Souther California (or northern Mexico if you choose to say so) and this reconquista movement is getting to my nerves. If your ancestors were stupid enough to sell the land to the US, don't come crying to me now, asking it back. Go pound sand. I am really touch about these people's behaviour. I did not come to the US and overcome every bureaucratic hurdle to become a US citizen to listen to the Mexican La Raza idiots. I want to kick them in the ass for such stupid demands.

My response letter would look something like: (1, Troll)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691282)

Mexican government
To whom it may concern:

Fuck off.

Sincerely,

Starbucks

What? Welfare isn't enough? (-1, Troll)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691338)

We already support a good number of their citizens through welfare and free medical care. I guess the United States isn't being a good world citizen because we aren't supporting our neighbors enough.

Or should the money roll south. Canada, you need to give the United States money so we can pass it on to Mexico.

And I want payment for... (1, Troll)

re_organeyes (1170849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691366)

The minivan. I had the idea when I was a mere teenager back in the 60's.

What's the problem here, Mexico not making enough money off of the drug lords or is the Obama mentality migrating south? If Mexico really wants payment for those images, they have a lot more people to go after than just Starbucks. A quick google search for Aztec images will net you quite a few different websites that use those images not only for show, but to make a profit.

Property of the nation. (5, Informative)

nanahuatzin (1363965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691374)

In México, the use of historical images (from buildings, archeolgical artifacts, sculpture or paintints) requires permision from the INAH (national institute of antropology and history)..

This is contemplated in the federal law about Monuments and Archeological, artistics, and historic sites. It is not exactly a question of copyright, but those images are considered "property of the nation".

Ussually the fees are not very high, but depends on the use of the images. Since this was part of a comercial product, the INAH has to autorize its use, and charge a fee, used for conservation of the monuments. The problem is that the design company that sold the images to starbuck should have request permision to the INAH first. There are no penalties involved.

The permisions can be requested here:

http://www.cofemer.gob.mx/BuscadorTramites/BuscadorGeneralHomoclave.asp?SIGLASDEPENDENCIA=INAH&accion=Buscando [cofemer.gob.mx]

If you took a photograph nad use it for personal or divulgation, there is no problem, but if you used them for a comercial purpose you need permision.

http://dti.inah.gob.mx/ [inah.gob.mx]

White House must pay the Greek government (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691514)

For using the Corinth style capitals and columns in its buildings ...

hmmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30691546)

It's almost hilarious that a government that existed after the Aztecs wants money for the images of their predecessors... Am I missing something here? Or am I laughing by myself?
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