Correspondent Glyn Williams of Derby has written to New Scientist, asking:
"When condensation forms on a clean bathroom mirror, you can draw pictures in it. When the condensation evaporates, the pictures disappear. But when it forms again, they reappear. Why?"The IPKat, conscious as ever of the intellectual property dimension of apparently unrelated phenomena, wonders whether the tracing of a disappearing/reappearing image in condensation on a mirror is sufficient to vest an original artistic work under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 with copyright protection. Under section 3 of that Act, literary, dramatic and musical works must be fixed in writing or some other material form, but the same proviso does not explicitly apply to artistic works.
Scientific answers to Mr Williams' questions will eventually be found on New Scientist's The Last Word page. But answers to the IPKat's questions should be posted below, please!
Find out about condensation from Tim
Artistic condensation here