I knew that when I reacted to the notion of Egypt’s copyrighting the pyramids with a snide crack about New York City’s copyrighting the Statue of Liberty, someone was probably going to inform me that the the lady with the torch (above) IS copyrighted.
Indeed, so said Richard Lacayo in his Looking Around blog yesterday.
So I decided to check it out, and found this web page from the Library of Congress. Not New York City, but the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi copyrighted the 1886 monument by depositing a photograph with the Copyright Office in 1876. You legal eagles help me out here, but I believe this means that the copyright has by now expired (maximum term: 95 years). I’m getting into New York harbor waters way over my head here.
Mr. Art Law Blog: AU SECOURS! (Glub, glub.)
UPDATE: Donn Zaretsky dives in to rescue me, confirming that I’m probably right about Lady Liberty’s now being in the public domain. Finally, people can start manufacturing little replicas to sell to tourists! (Just kidding, of course. Copyright, when it was still in effect, obviously had no effect on the kitsch industry!)