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re: lost fossils, damaged sites



Emmy wrote:
>An alternative for some of these people is to buy high
> qualtiy fossil replicas.   I work with Skullduggery which 
manufactures and sells replicas thru mail order 
> to people all over the world. Replicas can provide people the 
opportunity to study fossils without
> adding to the frenzy of the buying and hoarding of original material.
> 
> If there is any interest I would love to read what this group thinks 
about the selling of replicas.
> I feel that it is important that the museum or individual who owns 
the original, from which
> a replica is made, be paid a royalty for each cast sold. Any 
comments?

Yes, I have a few comments.  I think that you are quite right, that 
replicas are useful in showing and educating people about 
spectacular fossils without needing to have the real thing.  I also 
produce replicas of the highest quality museum specimens (including 
the skull of a *Velociraptor*).  I think that it is very difficult to pay a 
royalty on each cast sold to the museum or individual who owns the 
original, as it is difficult to keep track of the number of casts sold if 
there are a number of moulds being cast from by various 
organisations.  The way we organise it, is that the a flat fee is paid on 
the moulding that gives the right of the moulder to produce as many 
cast he wishes.  The moulder has copyright of the mould he 
produces.  I don't believe that museums or individuals have copyright 
of specimens, but they can always say 'no' if they don't agree to the 
terms.  It is really up to the individuals concerned whether a royalty is 
paid or not, and I believe it should remain as such.  Very similar to 
book publishing really.  I think that the cast is copyrightable, so that if 
someone makes a straight copy cast without substantial alteration 
they may be liable to prosecution.  You may be able to shed some 
light on this.

Neil Clark
Curator of Palaeontology
Hunterian Museum
University of Glasgow
email: NCLARK@museum.gla.ac.uk

Some large dinosaurs had three horns and were called
triceps, others had two horns and were called biceps.
(Geological Howlers - ed. WDI Rolfe)