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This sculpture is in the public domain in the US but not in France. Why?
Artist Cosmo Wenman has been making something of a splash lately by taking detailed 3D scans of sculptures and then re-printing them with a 3D printer and posting them for others on Thingiverse. But one of the side effects of his project is to throw some light on the fundamental arbitrariness of copyright terms.
From a copyright standpoint, scanning sculptures is no different then copying them in any other way. If the sculpture is still protected by copyright, you probably need permission to make a copy. If the sculpture is in the public domain, you can copy (and modify) it to your heart’s content.
This means that determining if a work is in the public domain plays a big part in Wenman’s work. And that has brought him face to face with the madness that is copyright terms.