[okfn-discuss] Copyright on crosswords

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Sep 27 12:10:16 UTC 2011

This is a bit of fun, but I'd be interested in the formal (UK if it matters)

Tom Murray-Rust commissioned a birthday crossword for me from Araucaria (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galbraith_Graham ), the best known and
best-loved crossword setter in the UK/world. Tom suggested a number of
answers that represented me, including "Panton Principles" and "Open Data".
Araucaria created the grid and the clues and forwarded them to Tom. (I'll
blog it later).

In thanking Araucaria profusely I asked about the copyright position and if
I could distribute this further. He agreed but said anyway that Tom had
bought it so it was his to dispose of as he felt.

However I'd like the formal Open Knowledge and (CC) licence positions.
Presumably Araucaria continues to hold the moral right (no-one can remove
his right to be known as the creator). Can Tom acquire the copyright thorugh
it being a "work-for-hire". And can Tom licence it under any CC licence?
(This is an example where I think CC-ND has some value - it's not
OKD-compliant but it allows redistribution.

There is presumably a vast experience in copyright on personal letters,
contracted paintings, songs, etc. I note that the Guardian adds no special
copyright to the newspaper version but for the online it adds:

© 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All
rights reserved.


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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