Egypt to copyright Pyramids

Oh yes. Zahi Hawass, our favorite media-whore, has brain-farted again. Yay:

In a potential blow to themed resorts from Vegas to Tokyo, Egypt is
to pass a law requiring payment of royalties whenever its ancient
monuments, from the pyramids to the sphinx, are reproduced.

Hawass, the charismatic and controversial head of Egypt's Supreme
Council of Antiquities, told AFP on Tuesday that the move was necessary
to pay for the upkeep of the country's thousands of pharaonic sites.

new law will completely prohibit the duplication of historic Egyptian
monuments which the Supreme Council of Antiquities considers
100-percent copies," he said.

"If the law is passed then it will be applied in all countries of the world so that we can protect our interests," Hawass said.

So, before you start thinking they will start charging royalties from artists, or maybe even the Luxor Hotel in Vegas, well, they won't.

However, the law "does not 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

"Artists have the right to be inspired by everything that surrounds them, including monuments," he said.

about the potential impact on the monumental Luxor Hotel in the US
gambling capital of Las Vegas, Hawass insisted that particular resort
was "not an exact copy of pharaonic monuments despite the fact it's in
the shape of a pyramid."

On its website, the luxury hotel
describes itself as "the only pyramid shaped building in the world,"
but Hawass said its interior was entirely different from an ancient
Egyptian setting.

So..ehh..what's the point again? We only forbid exact replicas of the Pyramids and the Sphinx in and out? Is this the case? Does this make any kind of sense? Am I wrong to think that this guy just wants to be in the media wearing his "Indiana Jones" hat?


0 comment on Egypt to copyright Pyramids

  1. John Cunningham
    December 27, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    Interesting spin. In the music world there are royalties that have to be paid by other artists that want to play that music still protected by copyright laws. After so long the music becomes public domain. The composer is dead and perhaps his immediate heirs. The Philadelphia Orchestra can play Beethoven’s Ninth to death and they don’t have to pay Beethoven’s present descendents a dime. Soon they’ll get tired of the pyramid in Las Vegas and they’ll take it a part or blow it up and the pyramids in Egypt will still be there. Somebody did a computer generated job on the pyramids to see how long if the wind erosion continues as it has for the past three thousand years. I can’t remember the exact figure,but it was like it would take another ten to fifteen thousand years for the pyramids to disappear. I don’t think anyone is confused about where the pyramids are from. Nice try, Mr. Hawass.

  2. leo
    December 27, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    “Zahi Hawass, our favorite media-whore”

    Hey, hey, hey!!!

    I happened to like the guy. He is always interesting to listen to and watch on Discover or History.

    So what? He got carried away for a moment. It will pass soon enough.

  3. Xylo
    December 27, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Copyrights/patents expire after a while and the item becomes public domain. That means no more royalties.

    After 3000 years or so, Mr Hawass doesn’t have much of a case.

    “the only pyramid shaped building in the world,”
    but Hawass said its interior was entirely different from an ancient
    Egyptian setting.

    I don’t think the ancient Egyptians had craps tables inside theirs.

  4. Nomad
    December 27, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    they are in public domain as the effel tower 😆

  5. Mavis
    December 27, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    Hawass is always saying the pyramids belong to the world, it is the worlds heritage, now he’s nationalizing them for money?

  6. Zvi
    December 28, 2007 at 2:20 am

    You can’t copyright something retroactively. The pyramids etc. have been in the public domain for 5000 years, and no reasonable court could possibly uphold this.

    What Egypt COULD do would be to license “official” copies in exchange for cash, and try to create add-on value for creators of the “official” copies that would not be available to “unofficial” copycats. For example, if the owners of the Luxor Hotel in Vegas were to acquire an official license, maybe the Egyptian government would include the Luxor in world tours of artifacts (seems like a cheapening and commercialization of archaeology and Egyptian history, but so does this new law). That might be a win for both parties.

    As things stand, this law seems pretty silly.

  7. brooklynjon
    December 28, 2007 at 9:44 am

    I wonder if the Chicago Cubs could get a trademark on losing.

  8. elengil
    December 28, 2007 at 5:59 pm


    *goes and starts to dismantle the big stone blocks in the backyard*

  9. leo
    December 29, 2007 at 4:37 am

    “The pyramids etc. have been in the public domain for 5000 years”

    May be even longer but I do not think you should count millennia. One could successfully argue that it should start from the moment pyramids were rediscovered less than two centuries ago. Although, I do not think it would’ve helped the case anyway. 🙂

  10. Madouc
    January 3, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Ok, does he want to start playing this game? What if country by country, we all just started copyrighting stuff like cars, planes, radios, tv’s, jeans, computers, internet?! Is this man mentally retarded, did he get his position because he knew someone?

  11. Tantor
    January 3, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I’m putting papers in to copyright the cube. Once established, I expect every Muslim who visits the Kaaba to pay me a buck.

  12. KC
    January 25, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Egyption law only applies _in_ Egypt.

  13. Sam
    January 28, 2008 at 6:47 am

    For those out of the content creation arena it sound weak, but there are very strange copyright laws right in N.Y.

    Certain Architectural signs and places in Vegas cannot be photographed and sold……


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