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Delete those photos of Stonehenge from your site

by on21 October 2010

Stupid copyright enforcement of the day
English Heritage, which is supposed to be protecting Stonehenge for humanity, has been taking it upon itself to serve up cease and desist notices on photosharing and stock photo sites.

The big idea is English Heritage, which is backed by the UK government, claims that any picture of Stonehenge breaks its copyright. Any use of the snaps “for commercial interest” have to be approved by English Heritage which we guess also means money changing hands.

One recipient of a cease and desist letter, the site FotoLibra, is trying to figure out on what legal basis English Heritage is making this claim, noting that English Heritage "has been their responsibility for 27 of the monument's 4,500 year old history.”

We would have thought that after 4,500 years after its creator's death Stonehenge would be public domain and almost certainly prior art. We know that that English Heritage is probably having a bit of trouble struggling with a Government which wants to cut back a bit on spending, but making a swift buck out of websites who run pictures of ancient monuments is fairly daft.

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