Zen International Patents and Trademarks

Today’s topic is photographic copyright.

Q:
Can you copy the photograph of the “Mona Lisa” of Leonardo da Vinci, taken by a famous photographer?

A:
If the photograph is recognized as just a two dimensioanl reproduction of “Mona Lisa”, it’s OK.
In Japan, it is thought that the photograph taken with an intention to faithfully reproduce a painting is no different from a copied thing by machines and so that it lacks creativity.
Therefore, in this case, the photograph is not under copyright protection.
On the othe hand, the photograph of sculptures that are three dimensioanl works can be protected by copyright law.