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On 20-Dec-96, Mark Peddie wrote about Legalities in the Jewellery

MP> I am constantly irritated by the
MP> laws that we have relating to the working of gold and other
MP> precious metals…
MP> I wondered what the laws were like around the world, and would
MP> love comments that might help us to reform the system in use
MP> here.

G’day Mark; It would appear that the excessively punitive laws
on gold in your country must have come from your old established
and very powerful gold mining corporations with tame politians in
their pockets. We still have quite a bit of gold left in this
country, despite the gold rush period beginning in the 1840’s,
when there were literally tons on gold removed from rivers and
quartz reefs. (Places called Reefton, Crushington, Goldsborough
and many others) In fact my mate - he’s 80 - gets all his gold to
make rings, etc from the local Motueka River, though it takes him
a whole day to get 5 grams, using a home-made suction dredge.
HOWEVER: the law says that one must first get a prospectors
license, then eventually a mining license, and an Environmental
Permit, together with a whole swag of restrictions about what
must not be discharged into rivers, etc, and how you have to
leave your claim, and so on and on. BUT we don’t have to get
permits to hold unworked gold - in fact almost all professional
jewellers in the Nelson district (where I live) will happily
accept alluvial gold from anyone to make rings and other
jewellery for the client, although professional gold buyers do
have to have a license. Most South Islanders of NZ will show you
small jars of alluvial gold if you ask them if they ever go
panning, and very very few (like me) bothered to get a permit.
I haven’t heard of anyone being prosecuted for illegal
prospecting - they’d have to build a whole town full of jails!
So there you are: we do have laws, the professionals do have to
abide by them but the ordinary hoi-polloi aren’t bothered. All
the easy gold has long gone though! If you are really
interested I could probably get you a copy of the NZ Government
Regulations on gold. Cheers,

   / /    John Burgess
  / /
 / //\
/ / \ \

/ (___)

If someone takes a unique picture of something that absolutyely no
one else has, and it is copywrited, what would be the legalities
in making a very close rendition of it in say enamel?

ONLY a judge and/or jury can decide that. And it will only happed
AFTER you have been sued. It depends on the vagaries of law, and how
close is “a very close rendition.”

There is a case of a very realistic sculpture by Jeff Koons, which
copied a PHOTO of people on a bench. The photographer sued and won
damages. David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings

In the US, without permission of the copyright holder, don’t do it.
The legal fees would be a killer, and the finished enamel piece would
probably become the property of the original copyright holder.

I think the same may be true with international copyright law, but
not as sure.

Gale Childers

A copyrighted work is exactly that - A work which the right to copy
(in any way) belongs solely to the holder of the copyright. A
reproduction without expressed permission of the copyright holder
would be an infringement.

Michael David Sturlin