The IPKat's judicial friend from Norway, Torger Kielland, has sent him this news item concerning Egypt's proposal to pass a law requiring payment of royalties whenever its ancient monuments, from the pyramids to the sphinx, are reproduced. According to Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, this move was necessary to pay for the upkeep of the country's thousands of pharaonic sites:
"The new law will completely prohibit the duplication of historic Egyptian monuments which the Supreme Council of Antiquities considers 100-percent copies. If the law is passed then it will be applied in all countries of the world so that we can protect our interests. It is Egypt's right to be the only copyright owner for these monuments in order to benefit financially so we can restore, preserve and protect Egyptian monuments".The proposed law will not however forbid local or international artists from profiting from drawings and other reproductions of pharaonic and Egyptian monuments from all eras -- as long as they don't make exact copies.
The IPKat agrees with Torger that this move does seem a little late, given that the pyramids and sphynx have been part of the public domain for some 4,000 years: they also both wonder how Egypt proposes to enforce this claim outside Egypt, notably in the United States where the Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas (above, right), receives more visitors annually than the Egyptian cultural treasure. Merpel says, hang on: the sphynx has the body of a CAT. Surely the Egyptian government should be made to support the upkeep of its country's feline population out of the proceeds!
Pyramid sales here
Coconut pyramids here
Building of the pyramids here and here