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All Your Stonehenge Photos Are Belong To England

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the we'll-take-that dept.

United Kingdom 347

An anonymous reader writes "English Heritage, the organization that runs and manages various historical sites in the UK, such as Stonehenge, has apparently sent letters to various photo sharing and stock photo sites claiming that any photo of Stonehenge that is being sold violates its rights, and only English Heritage can get commercial benefit from such photos. In fact, they're asking for all money made from such photos, stating: 'all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.' As one recipient noted, this seems odd, given that English Heritage has only managed Stonehenge 'for 27 of the monument's 4,500 year old history.'"

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347 comments

First Henge (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969938)

Brought to you by the aliens who built it.

Re:First Henge (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969988)

Well if they get news of this outrage they may well come and take it back leaving English Heritage unhenged in addition to unhinged.

Re:First Henge (4, Funny)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970330)

And they built it for good reason, too. Have you seen what they put under that place-marker? There's a prison whose sole purpose is to absolutely contain the most feared creature in the universe.

Er, so said the British TV show, anyway.

Re:First Henge (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970616)

And, to allude to another bit of British culture, I'm sure the containment measures for said prison are 'perfectly safe'.

Re:First Henge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970372)

What the fuck is going on with /. today? Low-modded posts hidden, only 5 posts being shown ... hope this is a bug.

Simple: (4, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969962)

Step One: Study RIAA methods and business practice.
Step Two: Find some old stuff alying around that people seem to like.
Step Three: Claim "Ownership" of aforementioned stuff.
Step Four: PROFIT!!!

Re:Simple: (5, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969998)

Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google [goo.gl] that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.

Re:Simple: (2, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970120)

^^ +5 insightful,

they also better sue Microsoft for that picture of Stonehenge they distributed with their OS.

Re:Simple: (1)

rhizome (115711) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970232)

Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.

Not only that, but if you rotate the view, you'll see some kind of constable guy standing right next to the GoogleCam. Even da popo be cockblockin' royalties from the Herr'tage wallet.

Re:Simple: (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970256)

I think this is all a conspiracy to cover up the strange government experiments that are going on there. For example I see a headless body of a cop and another one apparently still alive but with no legs.

Re:Simple: (2, Interesting)

troon (724114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970472)

Try to walk through the middle now, and you get "This image is no longer available". The English Heritage black helicopters have paid a visit...

Re:Simple: (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970532)

Actually, while reading the comments on the article, I found this rather amazing link to a "street view" care of Google [goo.gl] that lets you walk right through there from the comfort of your own PC terminal.

Do I see the aligned object on the right days of the year?

Re:Simple: (4, Informative)

rilister (316428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970544)

If you want an even more amazing view of Stonehenge, here's a visiting tip that doesn't seem to be that well known - if you plan ahead and fill out this form:
http://bit.ly/bYertb [bit.ly] ...you can get inside the ropes and get within touching distance of the stones at sunrise. You get the place pretty much to yourself *and* the major road running right by the site is completely empty. It's a genuinely humbling experience and you can get views like this.
http://bit.ly/dxPWXE [bit.ly]
Yeah, go ahead and write me, English Heritage.
(although I still feel bad about the moment I found I was accidentally standing on a halfburied lintel.)

Re:Simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970576)

Hey, and as per google, Stonehenge is copyrighted by Google... who are we to believe, huh?

Re:Simple: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970008)

Step Five: Be hated and loathed.. but get publicity in the process
Step Six: Raise interest and get more people to come to said place and take photographs
Step Seven: Goto Step Three

Re:Simple: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970034)

Step Five: Take it to the logical limit. They didn't make Stonehenge, but they can control the copyright, correct? So, following that logic, if I don't make a song, but I downloaded it and therefore now possess a copy of the song, do I now have say as to the copyright of the song? Because, as the copyright holder, I can't be sued for breaking copyright, right? 'I can't be breaking copyright if I have a copy!' should be a legal defense if this holds up.

Re:Simple: (5, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970164)

Step Three: Claim "Ownership" of aforementioned stuff.

While for RIAA has clear the legal bases of their claims (copyright law, in various incarnations), it is not quite clear to me on what legal basis English Heritage can claim ownership of the photos one takes. IANAL, but to my mind they can't claim copyright:

  • on the photo, because the photo (which is the form of expression of "artistic creation") is not theirs, is the photographer's
  • on the Stonehenge itself - because:
    1. it is ... shall I say?... a building, not at "form of expression"
    2. even if a building would be a "form of expression", it is not theirs (being listed as world heritage [unesco.org])
    3. even if it would be theirs and classified as a "form of artistical expression", the creation act trancedes any current temporal limit for "protection under the copyright law" (that is, unless in UK the copyright protection was extended beyond 5000 years!)

    Head explodes!

Re:Simple: (3, Interesting)

jedi58 (1431579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970522)

It's not just Stonehenge - the National Trust do it for most of their properties too, but they don't actively police people selling the photos Apparently as it's their property, any photos taken on their property (if it's taken from public land it's okay) are owned by them under terms and conditions that don't seem to be visible anywhere and by taking photos you're agreeing to them. :(

Re:Simple: (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970642)

Apparently as it's their property, any photos taken on their property (if it's taken from public land it's okay) are owned by them under terms and conditions that don't seem to be visible anywhere and by taking photos you're agreeing to them. :(

You mean like some kind of IPLA? (Incognizant Photographer License Agreement)

Re:Simple: (1)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970214)

You missed Step Five: Repeat Step One C'mon most people on this site require explicit rather than implicit instructions...

Re:Simple: (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970290)

Did you get that list from "How to lose your public goodwill for dummies"?

I know RIAA et.al. did. :)

From the original email: (3, Informative)

rickzor (1838596) | more than 3 years ago | (#33969964)

'We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your [website]. Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.'

It appears that from this email even website advertising would be "violating their rights"

no worries! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33969986)

you can spread the goatse guy far and wide --- as wide as his asshole!

Dear English Heritage, (5, Insightful)

MarioMax (907837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970002)

Dear English Heritage,

Go fuck yourselves.

Signed,

Everyone else

Re:Dear English Heritage, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970028)

Aw damn! You beat me to it! Seriously! The whole message. The request for themselves to self-wank and then go piss off, and while they are at it, go plant their heads in a gigantic bucket of historical horse piss while they are at it.

Re:Dear English Heritage, (5, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970250)

Exactly. My photos of Stonehenge are mine. I shot them, and my admission ticket had nothing on it restricting the terms of my photographing it.

These are my fucking property. I created them, I own the copyright, not this organization, and I'll sell them if I please.

Now, if they want to try to trademark Stonehenge, go right ahead, but I don't see it holding up.

Wrong jargon for Britain (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970444)

Dear English Heritage,

We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

Signed,

Everyone else

Re:Dear English Heritage, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970512)

If they can sue over Stonehenge, can I sue over pictures of my box of rocks? They're both similarly entertaining, and my box of rocks has the notable advantage of possible movement -- they dance if I shake the box around.

Re:Dear English Heritage, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970624)

If they can sue over Stonehenge, can I sue over pictures of my box of rocks? They're both similarly entertaining, and my box of rocks has the notable advantage of possible movement -- they dance if I shake the box around.

Not to mention that said box of rocks is a work of art that has - I assume - been created by you, during your lifetime. So it would actually be covered by copyright.

But yeah, OP's letter is one I support.

Re:Dear English Heritage, (1)

acedotcom (998378) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970600)

Dear Everyone Else,

Although we do find your language offensive, we would like to extend somewhat of an olive branch.That is, of course, what we might say if we weren't money hungry control freaks. We need to buy money for our families.

We are sorry to hear about your lack of respect for our "rights", but we all here hope your mothers are buggered by syphilitic bears.

Cordial Yours,

English Heritage

Of course (3, Insightful)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970010)

All photos of the Colosseo, St. Peter's dome, Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto belong to ... Berlusconi.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970106)

Unfortunately, this is technically true. Italy does not have any provision like Freedom of Panorama (which is allowed, but not required, under EU law), so any photographic reproduction of public places is... go figure... forbidden. Of course, like for some 90% of the laws in the country, nobody cares.

Ruining photography (5, Insightful)

proxima (165692) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970016)

This sort of crap has the potential to make photographer's lives really annoying. And this comes just as more and more people are active amateur photographers.

The lighting on the Eiffel Tower is copyrighted? Museums claim rights over photographic reproductions of century-old paintings? Where do we draw the line?

On the one hand, we have the physical equivalent of contracts: agreements made as a requirement for entrance; this allows zoos, museums, etc. to restrict the use of commercial photography. But photos taken from public streets? From the air?

The fact that these institutions go after commercial users isn't much comfort; the line between non-commercial amateur and commercial-but-still-amateur photography. Have ads up on a blog? Submit your photo to a local art show? Sell your photo to a stock photo site? It's easy for an amateur to make a little cash from the best of their photos.

Re:Ruining photography (2, Funny)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970148)

As a Theatre Lighting Designer, i ask how i too can claim copyright on a lighting design and defeat a longstanding tradition which says i am unable to copyright anything but my paperwork.

Re:Ruining photography (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970334)

As a theatrical lighting designer, I dislike people like you. I don't want to copy your design for your last play. Firstly, it doesn't match the play I'm working on (even if it's the same script). If i did use it, it would look like crap and I wouldn't be hired again. Are you afraid of me copying a specific thing you did with a light? Guess what, borrowing little bits from others is how you grow in the arts. It's not just about each little idea, it's also about how you combine them. Think collage. And if you create the iconic version that runs on broadway and that every director asks to be repeated, well fucking awesome. Also, no other lighting designer is ever going to have the same equipment or space again, so even if they do recreate your look, it's less like copying and more like making a crayon version of the Mona Lisa. An homage. So please, get over yourself. This isn't like downloading music, where instead of coming to see your play they're looking at pictures they pirated or they went out and created a perfect working replica. At worst, someone several years down the line will make they're lights look kinda like what they're (crappy) camera remembers them like, only with different equipment in a different space. And people will say "those lights don't work for this production" and they will be out of work. Also, you don't mention copywriting your programming. Which you can. Also you're instructions to the board op and SM. Which, again, are useless unless everything is a perfect match. Which it won't be. Sorry for being so ranty. But worrying about someone copying one of my lighting designs is like worrying about someone copying the way an actor acts. Yes, with enough work someone could do it...but only sorta, and it would v&e meaningless to someone watching, and anyone in the biz making hiring decisions is gonna call them out on it...

Re:Ruining photography (3, Interesting)

lulalala (1359891) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970200)

Apparently this happened to Taipei 101 too. Its public relations section claims any advertisement using the building's iconic image need to pay a fee for it. Post card publisher and different real state agencies were sent legal notices in the past.

Re:Ruining photography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970218)

I wonder what would happen if I made a model of A stonehenge, not of THE Stonehenge, and used pictures of that.

Re:Ruining photography (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970284)

This sort of crap has the potential to make photographer's lives really annoying

Not sure about that. Nowadays everyone takes photographs of anything, and in an instant it becomes available to the world.
At least the photographs of this particular English protected Stonehenge will deserve to have some value, the photographs we'll be proud to show. The ones that won't end hidden under the stack of terabytes of digital images. Yes, a new challenge for photographers.

It's really simple, copyright expires. (2, Informative)

kawabago (551139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970366)

Old paintings are in the public domain as is stonehenge. Tell them to take you to court and make sure you have counterclaims to really slam them with because they wouldn't stand a chance!

While we're making unenforcable claims... (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970020)

"We own the light you collected which was reflected from this object that predates our country by millennia "? I am hoping deep down that they're just kidding and it's just a practical joke on the world. There are so many adjectives applicable to this idiocy, but I am getting sleepy and don't have time to list them.

Re:While we're making unenforcable claims... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970460)

All your photons belong to us?

same thing has happend before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970042)

same thing happened to the eiffel tower but it was thrown out if i remember.

Any UK legal folk around? (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970070)

This seems like an inconceivably broad interpretation of any copyright law I am familiar with, but IANAL so perhaps there are some legal loopholes in UK law that allow this?

I would have thought copyright of a photograph would rest with the photographer (unless it's one of those cases where a building's design is considered copyrighted, but surely Stonehenge is beyond any conceivable copyright claims from the creators...)

I suppose there might be some kind of restrictions due to tricks (nighttime Eiffel tower is one example, I believe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower#Image_copyright_claims [wikipedia.org])

IIRC the UK allows copyright claims based on effort rather than creativity, so perhaps the effort to "maintain" Stonehenge in good condition allows some kind of copyright claim? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threshold_of_originality#The_.22sweat_of_the_brow.22_doctrine) Seems unlikely to me, but it's not my field...

Re:Any UK legal folk around? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970226)

My guess is Stonehenge told these guys that it is offended by people taking pictures, given how broad British libel laws are.

Re:Any UK legal folk around? (3, Informative)

headLITE (171240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970402)

I'm not UK legal folk, but there is this: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/62

Re:Any UK legal folk around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970662)

It's too early in the morning to read all that legal mumbo-jumbo but I guess since it's a public body, they get special laws tailored to them; one of those "do as I say, not as I do" laws that governments tend to create for themselves.

I'd be surprised if they'd be valid anywhere but the UK, though (maybe the EU due to the infectious nature some of its idiotic regulations).

Then again, IANAL, so anybody who needs a real answer has to hire a leech to fight jackals :D

seems to misconstrue the nature of copyright (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970076)

This just seems bizarre.

Prima facie (*in Australia at least*) the people who have exclusive rights with respect to a photo (and hence the ability to derive a commercial benefit there-from) is the photographer (subject to statutory exceptions such as work done in the course of employment etc), unless there is an agreement to the contrary, a license, or he/she/it has assigned their IP rights as an author to another party.

obligatory disclaimer:- this is different for every jurisdiction - if you have a specific copyright issue or are facing any other sort of claim go see a lawyer!

Re:seems to misconstrue the nature of copyright (2, Interesting)

jeffrey.endres (1630883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970130)

Seems to be a trend. Parks Victoria is attempting to charge photographers [theage.com.au] for taking photos of state parks. I wonder if you could counter with a fraud charge?

Image rights and trademark (5, Informative)

williamhb (758070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970084)

I'm not a lawyer of course... 33(B).1 of the National Heritage Act 2002 is

The Commision may exploit any intellectual property, or any other intangible asset, relating to ancient monuments or historic buildings.

Various case law in some jurisdictions (eg, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vs Gentile Productions 1998 in the US) seem to allow companies to protect their building's images as trademarks even though the building is visible from public land. So I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss English Heritage's claim as "unthinkable and ridiculous". (Or at least, it might be "ridiculous" to us on Slashdot, but they might still win.) It'll be interesting to watch anyway.

Re:Image rights and trademark (3, Interesting)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970160)

The Act seems to apply to this case exactly. I wish Parliament published comments along with the Acts so we have an easier time judging legislative intent. I would imagine they're trying to facilitate English Heritage becoming more financially independent - 2008 they received 132mil [english-heritage.org.uk] from the government which was 2/3 of their operating budget. I suppose todays announcement [bbc.co.uk] that Culture, Media and Sport is taking a 24% cut over the next few years has them rather spooked.

That being said, why doesn't it make sense that they want to control the commercial exploitation of their properties? The British public pays to maintain these sites, and an awful lot of money at that, so why should some company be allowed to step in and enjoy the benefits of the public's investment? As long as they aren't charging then it seems English Heritage doesn't mind - seems fair.

Re:Image rights and trademark (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970526)

The British public pays to maintain these sites, and an awful lot of money at that, so why should some company be allowed to step in and enjoy the benefits of the public's investment?

Because they took photographs a long time ago, maybe long before the current 'owners' of the property were involved, and don't need the public's investment? e.g. The public's investment has nothing to do with it

They are 5000 years old. You think the public needs to continuously invest anything in them, to keep them existing? All the public has to do is not destroy them.

Re:Image rights and trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970240)

The Stonehenge claim is more in line with European public law than Anglo-Saxon tradition (the irony is thick here). In Europe, "ownership" includes such things as the "terroir", which means in practice, the overall impact. Thus, you can't have champanges outside of Champange. This is an reactionary/aristocratic view of the law that sees some people or organizations as inherently more fit to have certain rights than others.

Re:Image rights and trademark (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970278)

The Stonehenge claim is more in line with European public law than Anglo-Saxon tradition (the irony is thick here).

Not quite as thick... Stonehenge predates the Angle and Saxon arrival in Britain too by a few thousand years!

Re:Image rights and trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970346)

How about Canon saying that because their engineers' formulas and functions make the image into memory card they own all the rights.
Also for the cameras way before this statment was inventent.

The stonehenge wolves hasn't built the place. They haven't made agreements not to photograph & use the pictures with their customers.
They are just ripping off. Hope somebody will strike them down and stonehenge comes a free place to visit.

Re:Image rights and trademark (1)

not_surt (1293182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970380)

Surely being given rights to exploit a thing isn't the same as taking the right to prevent others from exploiting it?

Re:Image rights and trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970426)

Note that it does not say "may exploit exclusively"

It not a monogamist sort of exploitation.

Re:Image rights and trademark (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970492)

I'm not a lawyer of course... 33(B).1 of the National Heritage Act 2002 is

The Commision may exploit any intellectual property, or any other intangible asset, relating to ancient monuments or historic buildings.

May I argue that, before exploiting any intellectual property, they need to prove that they are the owner of that property? Then, they need to prove that the said property pertains to "intellectual property"?

(I'd continue by arguing that it would be needed a proof they actually have/manifest even a rudimentary level of intellect to be allowed to have ownership over an "intellectual property", but this would be at the same level of craziness as the very concept of "intellectual property").

Re:Image rights and trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970676)

My interpretation would be that exploit in this context means something more akin to "manage".

Re:Image rights and trademark (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970592)

However.... exploiting any intellectual property says nothing about "making something intellectual property" that was not intellectual property before.

And doesn't say anything about giving the commission the exclusive right to exploit any intellectual property.

The most obvious definition of 'exploit intellectual property' is.... they can sell post cards with a picture of the historic place featured, even if someone else took the picture, and didn't give them permission.

It says nothing about "seizing any intellectual property" or "denying other people the right to exploit their own intellectual property, if relating to the monument", or "creating intellectual property rights from thin air", and enforcing them retroactively

Re:Image rights and trademark (2, Interesting)

ishobo (160209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970712)

Hall of Fame v. Gentile was vacated by the 6th and it went no further. It did not establish any case law regarding the trademark of a structure. If you are going to throw around examples, I recommend the 6th's White Tower v. White Castle (1937) and Ferrari v. Roberts (1991), Also, the SCOTUS opinion in Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana (1992). Finally, the Lanham Act of 1946 had a narrow scope protecting marks likely to cause confusion or deceive purchasers as to the source of goods or services. In 1967, the statute was ammended, eliminating the wording of purchasers, broading the scope.

Finally, one key detail that is often overlooked in the Hall of Fame case is both parties sold posters of the museum, hence they were competitors.

Music piracy has taken enough money from bands.. (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970090)

now this is going to absolutely ruin Spinal Tap.

My copy of Spinal Tap.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970196)

Those guys can have it when they pry my copy from my cold, dead hands!

Erasing objects in real time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970124)

In a related incident, many people were surprised to find that the English Heritage monuments suddenly went missing from the background on their photos and videos they had shared online. It turned out that as a result of the aforementioned letters all photo and video sharing sites have now implemented the technology to erase such heritage objects on the fly when being shown on their sites (for more details see http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/10/13/0525245/Erasing-Objects-From-Video-In-Real-Time [slashdot].)

This happens to be the fastest transition from demonstration to real life implementation of technology - and that too in spite of being derided and made fun of on slashdot.

When will the copyright expire? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970230)

I thought copyright lasts some hundred years or so after death of last of creators, so Stonehenge's copyright should have expired about 4000 years ago. Which/whose intellectual property is being protected now? ...or is it just that Stonehenge is a modern-made ruse, and the copyright is still valid?

Not copyright - a special law applies (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970296)

This isn't about copyright. If it were, these letters would have nothing to support them, since a) the copyright on Stonehenge has expired and b) the plain view doctrine (for at least some of the photos).
However, it turns out that there is a special law in Britain that grants English Heritage all rights to all intellectual property somehow derived from archaeological monuments (search for National Heritage Act 2002). Since the UK's constitution is a rather jumbled up and all in all pretty toothless mess, the principle that the government can and will create any law it bloody well pleases seems to be in effect. So yes, in the UK English Heritage has a case.
If you've smuggled the images outside of the UK and you publish them there, the situation might be different, but it depends highly on whether your country has an extradition treaty with the UK and if so what the exact terms of it are.

Re:Not copyright - a special law applies (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970698)

So, in Communist UK, the nationalization of goods has started from Intellectual Property?

Taj Mahal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970244)

Okay got it...It is time we Indians claimed lawful ownership of all the Taj Mahal photos...These foreign tourists are making money at our cost!

Setting a precedent (1)

nonguru (1777998) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970246)

I want to see the first precedent set in a UK court. How the hell would you determine "lost" income due to commercial use unless the image is explicitly sold and purchased...

some kind of wall... (1)

EricX2 (670266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970270)

They should build a really big wall of stones surrounding it, a stonehengehenge perhaps? Then people wouldn't be able to take pictures without paying.

Google Earth (1)

metalmonkey (1083851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970276)

Google earth still has photos - both satellite image and many photo icons with ads (commercial?).

  I have noticed a sacred mountain in china being greyed out on google terrain

Map [google.com]

Erasing on the fly.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970300)

In a related incident, many people were surprised to find that the English Heritage monuments suddenly went missing from the background on their photos and videos they had shared online. It turned out that as a result of the aforementioned letters all photo and video sharing sites have now implemented the technology to erase such heritage objects on the fly when being shown on their sites (for more details see the story on erasing objects from photos and videos in real time posted on slashdot a few days back.)

This happens to be the fastest transition from demonstration to real life implementation of technology - and that too in spite of being derided and made fun of on slashdot.

4500 years? (4, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970308)

How did they manage to build it by 2500 BC? I usually don't manage to finish it until 2000BC... they must have had a nearby source of marble I wasn't aware of.

Re:4500 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970382)

Mod up, thats funny.

Egypt Pyramids, similar issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970312)

Apparently if you take photos of the Pyramids you get harassed to buy/pay for the local photos.

I'm not sure if that extends online due to language barriers, but it's a slippery slope if the companies start claiming copyright on photos and video of places that are more than 200 years old. I mean even modern copyright goes "death+75 years" in the US.

The only place I might give a royal care about is airports due to pulling out the camera might lead to more harassment than the photo is worth, and museums where flash photography may damage(flashes emit UV.) Everything else, subway systems, rail systems, water systems, buildings, pedestrian systems, eg anything that I don't have to break a lock to enter, nobody should be able to claim copyright on it.

Re:Egypt Pyramids, similar issue (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970700)

Apparently if you take photos of the Pyramids you get harassed to buy/pay for the local photos.

Sounds more like a scam to rip-off gullible tourists.

I mean even modern copyright goes "death+75 years" in the US.

But are mummies, technically speaking, dead?

good (0, Offtopic)

scarveszcl (1925752) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970316)

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In other news... (1, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970342)

The United States Department of State is claiming copyright on all images of the world as "it been their responsibility for the last 27 of the planet's 6,000 year old history."

Stone what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970348)

Never heard of it never seen it. Used to be famous you say what happened?

Since we're on this topic... (1)

rcasha2 (1157863) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970404)

The Geological Society requests all profits from photos featuring the Earth (or part thereof) to be forwarded to its bank account. This claim however is being contested by the Astronomical Society which contends that the earth is just another planet and since it is the sole beneficiary of IP rights related to stars, planets and other cosmic objects, it automatically has rights over photos of Earth and the moon and sun. In addition, any photos made using unauthorised light from the sun are strictly forbidden.

'prior art, schmior art'. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970494)

stop trying to fight irratonale of these patent & copyright thingies on their own ground. they are legalese. legalese, can be changed to fit any private interest's needs.

you argue prior art today, and win, some other bunch of lawyers will argue something else the other day, and go around your argument. if not, private interests will finance a new law, and will totally undo whatever defense you were using to defend the rational approach.

patent, copyright systems are intellectual feudalism. eventually they will be totally dominated by whomever has the most wealth/power. they need to be abolished, before we come to that point and need a revolution for that.

Sydney Opera House Too (4, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970546)

The Syndey Opera House Trust tries to pull the same crap, even though they are directly contradicted by Australian law on photography in public places. Seems to me that England also has a law that you can shoot any photograph you want in public, although the police there often do their best to ignore it when they are misbehaving otherwise. I would think that the Stonehenge people don't really have a case and are trying to get away with threats and bluster.

English Heritage meet Greek Heritage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970658)

English Heritage? Since the English are protecting their heritage, the Greeks would also like to talk to you about similar matters. Can you please return the Greek artifacts that you so kindly stole, during the ruling of the Ottoman Empire. I know you bought them, but that doesn't count when Greece was enslaved by Turks. Oh, and all photographs should be returned or destroyed, as only Greek heritage should be allowed to get commercial benefit from them.

Speaking as an ancient monument myself (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970660)

I am something of an ancient monument myself now, and I do notice that the young take lots of admiring pictures of me when I am out and about, doubtless to show their friends this extraordinary old thing they have seen at Tesco. So I look forward to taking ownership of these photos and selling them back for a small fee to defray my ever growing wine bill, and maybe be able to shop in a better class of store one of these days....

Serves the anti-copyright cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33970680)

They should keep this stupidity up, and soon people everywhere will demand that copyrights be revoked.
*Goes out to apply for a copyright on myself. Will then sue anyone taking pictures of myself or making an illegal copy of myself in their brain*

Good Reply To The Letters..... (5, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33970696)

Dear Sir/Madam, We will gladly remove the photographs of Stonehenge that you have asked us to remove. However, we require that you provide us with written, notarized documentation detailing: 1. Ownership or controlling interest in Stonehenge by your organization, 2. Transfer of ownership to your organization by the original creator(s) of the work, and, 3. That the work was, in fact, created by those that transferred ownership to your organization. Additionally, we would like to take this letter as an opportunity to inform you that we have awarded your organization with lifetime membership in our "Good Luck With That" club, which is an exclusive organization of groups displaying exceptional confidence in their legal endeavors. Sincerely, Howard, Fine, and Howard Attorneys-At-Law
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