What are the rights to 3D scanning of artwork?

What are the rights to 3D scanning of artwork?


Since 3D technology is caught between copyright law and public information law, it is now raising questions. From the British Museum to the Rodin Museum, are we entitled to 3D-scanning connections for artworks?

3D printing and scanning technology, which originated in the 1980s, has proven to be an extraordinary tool for cultural preservation and research activities, such as Google’s Open Heritage project. Institute of Arts and Culture. It is therefore not significant that the idea of ​​scanning and “copying” some cultural goods to return the originals to the plundered countries is a subject of increased interest. However, it is still necessary to be able to access the works to create their 3D images. The Oxford Institute for Digital Archeology also had a bitter experience with it after it was banned by the British Museum for the Parthenon Marbles, taken from Greece by Lord Elgin in the 19th century.

A question that is not without repeating the question of the artist Cosmo Weinman who for several years has been fighting against the Rodin Museum in order to get in touch with the 3D scanning of the sculptures, in particular from Kiss And thinker, in order to be able to market copies. problem ? The museum fears that its financial model, which is based in part on the production of original editions in bronze, is at risk. Behind this textbook case, 3D scans of artworks in public collections are found under the problem of copyright and public information.

Copyright blacklist?

We know that any use of a copyrighted work outside of the private domain constitutes an infringement. Digitization and 3D printing of constructions also implement the artist’s right of reproduction and therefore must be authorized by the latter, while publishing 3D scans online without the author’s permission constitutes a violation of his right to representation. Reflectively, the moral rights of the author will also be undermined when the 3D printing reproduction, although authorized by the author, is of poor quality or made in a different material or color than that of the original work.

As Auguste Rodin’s works are in the public domain of copyright, the Museum will only reserve a field for work on a moral rights basis. The original bronze print is perfectly framed, and the respect for the museum cannot be questioned. This is the ambition of the Ministry of Culture’s recent “3D printing” charter, which aims to reduce the risk of counterfeiting or artistic counterfeiting. Moreover, if the Rodin Museum tends to invoke intellectual property over 3D files, it seems, according to a report dedicated to 3D printing by the Supreme Council of Literary and Artistic Property in 2016, that those created by simple digitization would bear no imprint. It is personal to the author and cannot be protected by copyright.

Necessary editing of public data

En revanche, sur le terrain du droit des informations publiques, la Commission d’accès aux documents administratifs (CADA) a estimé en 2019 que les scans 3D produits par le musée Rodin, et donc les musées publics français, éta administratifsau documents public. CADA considered that neither the considerations deriving from the mode of financing the public institution, nor the quality of the beneficiary of the Rodin Museum would likely find a refusal to communicate, so long as the continuity of their moral right would be emptied of its essence. The principle of public information reuse.

In the face of museum resistance, Cosmo Weinman finally summoned the institution. The ruling of the Paris Administrative Court is therefore eagerly awaited as this dispute raises important issues for cultural institutions. Between crafting their public service missions and pursuing their commercial missions, it would be an illusion to think that museums have an exclusive monopoly on the works in their collections. If the legislator makes an exception for the free reuse of public data in cultural matters, then this view is no longer defensible at a time whenopen data Culture plays a crucial role in artistic and cultural education, science, cultural heritage, and public information. The game of cultural freedom of trade must be allowed to flourish: the art worlds have everything to draw from.

The Parthenon Sculptures also known as the Elgin Marbles on display in the British Museum.
The Parthenon Sculptures also known as the Elgin Marbles on display in the British Museum.
Photo by Walter Bibikov / Hemis.fr.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), " the kiss "  Circa 1882, in marble executed by Jean Turquin, Rodin Museum, Paris.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), “The Kiss” circa 1882, in marble executed by Jean Turcan, Musée Rodin, Paris.
Photo Flickr @ Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), " the thinker " 1903, bronze, Rodin Museum, Paris.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), “The Thinker”, 1903, bronze, Rodin Museum, Paris.
Photo Flickr @ Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.
Cosmo Weinman.
Cosmo Weinman.
Digital rendering of 3D scanning of a file " Kiss"  by Rodin, by Cosmo Weinman.
Digital rendering of 3D scanning
From the movie “Baiser” by Rodin by Cosmo
Courtesy Cosmo Weinman.
Rodin Museum in Paris.
Rodin Museum in Paris.
Photography by Pierre Lannis.


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