If I sell products with the design of some ancient artifacts, like the ancient

Egypt golden mummies, will I infringe copyright?

Asked on September 6, 2016 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, those ancient artifiacts are not under copyright--even if copyright had existed in Egypt at that time, copyright does not last millenia (typically, it last around 75 years). However, you have to base your designs on the original artifacts themselves, not on someone else's photograph (which was staged, lit, may have been filtered or retouched, etc.) or drawing of the artifact, since those modern representations of the artificact, as modern creative works, could well be under copyright. Make sure to not copy any representation which could be copyrighted.

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