The BBC reports that it has conclusive proof that the Loch Ness monster does not exist. This got the IPKat to thinking (after rejoicing – lack of sea-monsters means more fish for felines). If there’s no Loch Ness monster, then the photographs which supposedly show it must be fakes. Certain of those fakes are doctored photographs (in other words, someone has added detail to the original photograph at a later date). This has copyright implications.

First, what type of work are we talking about for the purposes of the subsistence of copyright if we have a photograph which someone has drawn on and reproduced? Both photographs and drawings are classed as artistic works under Section 4(1)(a) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. More interesting though is who owns the copyright in the doctored photo? Assuming that the photograph was doctored by a person other than the author of the photograph, has the person who touches up the photo created a new original work or has he just infringed the photographer’s copyright in the photograph. In Frank Searle’s case, he seems to have taken an element from a postcard and superimposed this onto a photograph so he may also have infringed the copyright of the creator of the postcard. Finally, in the UK at least, the original photographer may be able to claim an infringement of his moral rights under s.80 CDPA. Under this section, an author can object to derogatory treatment of his work. One of the tests of whether treatment is derogatory is whether it will damage the author’s reputation. Involvement in a photo-faking scandal would be pretty damaging to a serious photographer (or even just someone taking holiday snaps).

According to this site, the Loch Ness monster is long dead.
All things Nessie-inspired here
See if you can track down the monster here
Meet the only humans to have met the Loch Ness monster here. Here’s the tartan you need to make your Loch Ness kilt.
Read about Nessie’s little sister in Loch Lochy here
Another doctored photo scandal here

OCH AYE THE NO <strong>OCH AYE THE NO</strong> Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 Rating: 5

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