Finally, in 1985 the distinction beween the two categores was abandoned and photographs were simply said to be eligible for copyright protection provided the standard requirement of originality was satisfied, an original work being one in which the author has “stamped his personality”. This approach leads to the exclusion from protection of photographs that merely reproduce reality (e.g., a picture of a painting that merely renders the painting as is).
An interesting issue that sometimes comes up is whether the photograph is an original work or merely the result of know-how on the part of the photographer (this distinction between originality and know-how is also evident in cases dealing with potential copyright protection for perfumes). In a recent ruling by the Cour de cassation (Supreme Court), protection was denied, with the Court approving the lower court’s finding that the photograph was not a protected work in the following terms:
« … the photograph at issue did not reveal, in its various constituent elements, any esthetic pursuit and that it was merely the result of know-how underlying a technical service… »
Zur angesprochenen Entscheidung:
Zum Schutz der Reproduktionsfotografie siehe hier