Wait, so this bust was made by Egyptians over 3000 years ago and the Germans are not happy someone made a scan of it!? It's almost disgusting that anyone can lay claim to this work of art! It should "belong" to ALL of us at this point.
rm -rf /publicdomain
There is stolen stuff appropriated and variously recycled in many cathedrals/chapels/basilicas, I just don't remember it in the vatican.
render from artist's data, with crevice circled: https://www.dropbox.com/s/klu2yhupawg7bqf/right%20ear%20clos...
compare with right ear from first image from https://www.ancientsculpturegallery.com/egyptian-queen-nefer...
Regarding the first link, the smaller stone statue is completely different, note that the left ear is complete as opposed to the real thing.
In another article, a scanning professional mentioned a laser scan of that same bust was created in 2000/2001
PS The statue in link 1 does show the ear crevice.
Crop from link  to save you the click:
Of course there's a much more likely explanation.
Most likely it's a scan of a replica created under carefully controlled conditions, or they were able to acquire a scan created by the museum.
From the news article:
> The researchers’ experimental setup consisted of a Microsoft Kinect — which gauges depth using reflection time — with an ordinary polarizing photographic lens placed in front of its camera. In each experiment, the researchers took three photos of an object, rotating the polarizing filter each time, and their algorithms compared the light intensities of the resulting images.
> On its own, at a distance of several meters, the Kinect can resolve physical features as small as a centimeter or so across. But with the addition of the polarization information, the researchers’ system could resolve features in the range of tens of micrometers, or one-thousandth the size.
Not a hard hack to accomplish! It's just a piece of plastic, and then a compressed sensing algorithm (which you can run at your leisure on your scan data after leaving the building) to merge the UV maps. And it doesn't even require a thousand scans or anything—just three!
ETA: and the 2015 paper isn't even novel. Here's a 2014 paper (PDF: http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5372&contex...) on using multipolarized compressive sensing to enhance the resolution on through-wall radar. (I assume to target drone strikes or something.) This technique has been in the wild for a while. I assume archivists—those who would most benefit—are well-aware of it.
Also if you look closely at the video footage the capturers use an Xbox 360 Kinect, not an Xbox One Kinect (which is used in the paper you cite) which have entirely different working principles.
One other thing that's very fishy: The Xbox 360 Kinect has an infrared projector that's very visible when running. What the activists show in their video is definitely a Kinect that's not running.
Finally, keep in mind the paper you quoted is basically lab results. To get it to a level of reliability so it would work as you described a lot more research will have to be done.
Erm, even if it's scanned, it's a scan of an object that is pretty much in public domain. Not sure the use of the word "stolen" is appropriate here (as usual) - it's more like they got access to it.
So one argument goes that making the scan is a creative process and it gets its own copyright, and using that scan to produce a copy of a piece of art goes to a different copyright. But is that printed copy a derivative work? or a copy? Was the scan "new art"? or was it "technical recreation?"
There are a lot of interesting angles. I heard a discussion on NPR about paintings that had been severely damaged due to natural disasters and museums hired artists who were familiar with the style, and with materials similar to the original artists, work to restore the painting from pictures of its previous state. Of course the restoration artists can't exactly reproduce the painting and they bring their own talent and creativity to the process. So are they now part owner of the copyright? Is it a partnership work? One artist dead, the other alive? Clearly if it was a work for hire with copyright assignment that is moot for the artist but does the museum now have some claim of copyright?
Some of the more interesting rabbit holes you can get lost in when you take a very technical approach to copyright.
I always find it fascinating amazing what 2000-year old questions still have bearing on technology recently created.
>But is that printed copy a derivative work?
There was a case on this topic recently.
If you intentionally altered the bust to convert the crown into a bundle of hot dogs, that would be a derivative work. No one would care much about it, though, as the original is what's famous, and they would prefer a faithful reproduction of that to anything you might do to your copy to make it uniquely yours.
Similarly, a photograph of a painting that has been digitally retouched to fix the colors is not a derivative work.
You have to intentionally do something to make your copy uniquely distinguishable from the original. It can be anything. Put a hairy mole on David's buttock. Change the Creation of Adam such that the creator is the FSM. Sneak the TARDIS into Starry Night. Replace all the human heads with Kooikerhondje heads in The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.
The Utah Teapot digital model is a derivative work of the original physical teapot, because it was scaled vertically by 3/4. That's enough. Were it not for that one difference, you wouldn't be able to tell whether someone copied the digital model directly, or remeasured the parameters of the physical model.
(Note that my opinions on this matter are not necessarily going to match those of judges actually able to decide intellectual property disputes.)
That is what I meant by transformative: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/four-factors/#...
And I also wonder what the effect of tempered glass is on the scan (as most glass will block near uv and ir, since they might want to keep the original in good condition.
-- update to clarify
Composing, framing, and timing a shutter release is considered "authorship" so far as photography is concerned. Not sure a scan meant to be fully faithful to an original would be.
The obvious answer (to me) is that they are public domain and are humanities public record. Now the item may be owned but cannot copyright the image. This should be the answer.
Not if it's a slavish reproduction.
The scanning process may damage the object in some small way, which could accumulate over the course of multiple scans.
The queue for making volume scans may be packed with amateurs, who will make low-quality scans, with limited distribution. These might prevent the timely creation of a high-quality scan.
So it is really in the interest of the public to allow the most competent scanner to jump the queue, make the best possible scan with available technology, and distribute that to everyone who wanted a scan in lieu of allowing them to make their own.
If a work of art is removed from exhibit once every decade or so for a new scan that is better than the last scan, and that is distributed libre to any visitor that wants a copy, there is no argument to be made for anyone to make another scan, unless it can add information that is not already in the existing files. For instance, if the usual scan relies on reflected visible light, a magnetic scan or transmitted light could reveal other information, such as perhaps a previous image that was painted over.
For the latter, if the photos were taken on film, reproduction prints could be made in the same fashion as the exhibited print, and any scanning should take place using the negatives. On-plate photography is more appropriately digitized using a scanning machine, rather than with a handheld photographic camera.
As for taking pictures of a museum piece, as long as you are no more disruptive than someone using their eyeballs, I have no problem with taking photographs, even if the displayed work is still under copyright. A blanket ban on photography puts an unfair burden on the photographer to prove fair use a priori. If there is a problem with copyright, the work in question can always be blurred or blacked out with digital editing, leaving the remainder of the photo intact.
But I don't believe any public museum can ethically prevent visitors from using recording devices of any kind unless they provide libre digital copies of the protected work that are objectively better than anything that could be produced by an amateur in situ.
So by all means, charge 8000 euro for a volume-printed reproduction of the bust. But if you want to prevent people from "scanning" the original, you had best make the high-resolution scan the museum already possesses available for download first.
> In order to get coverage of the top of the headdress, the scanner would have to be held high above the statue, and not at waist level as the video indicates.
The hacker theory is interesting, but I wonder if someone with access to this statue during off-hours performed this with a proper laser scanner and the kinect story is cover to make sure he doesn't get caught. Sounds like someone might be in trouble now. Of all the countries to have an intellectual freedom debate/trial, it seems that politically unstable Egypt would be one of the worst for any positive outcome here.
Its all a shame. We should have good 3D scans of every museum item of note by now and available for free for the public. How can we sell this concept to the boards, trustees, curators, and bureaucrats who control these items? Wasn't there a big controversy when high-quality color film came out way back when about publishing photos of art pieces and museum pieces? Seems like we're destined to re-invent this conflict over and over as technology advances.
edit: This bust is permanently housed in Germany, I just assumed it was on temporary loan. Thanks for the correction below.
Well, in this case, the original bust is in Germany, and it's Egypt that wants the copy (really, wants the original back, but). So in a case like this, (a) I don't think any trial would be in Egypt, but rather in Germany, and (b) if the trial were in Egypt, I don't think the court would rule against the scanners, who are merely trying to repatriate the object as best they can.
Why not convince legislators instead?
That would mean no one owns the house they live in.
Because one of the greatest source of funds to museums and libraries are their licensing of images and objects in their possession.
We ought to be very cautious when using public laws to enable otherwise non-viable business models to exist.
There is a large variation in museum attitudes toward amateur reproduction, largely because there is no international consensus on the correct balance between a museum's duty to remain financially solvent as curator of valuable antiquities and its duty to maintain the broadest possible access to the public for works in the public domain.
It is likely that a public law having nothing to do with copyright could encourage quality professional digitization of works in the public domain, by extending limited monopoly privilege on the digital copy until the cost of creating it can be reasonably recouped. If a museum cannot recover the costs of making quality scans, it won't make them. But copyright is the wrong way to go about recovering costs.
Whether or not this makes the scanning more plausible, I am not sure. However, some of the 3D models generated with the Kinect 2  do seem to contain a decent amount of detail.
There are some rumours that they scanned plaster cast instead: http://heise.de/-3117841
Makes me think of the book https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Look_Who%27s_Back
Of course we will know. If the data is from a scan the museum made, there exists a way to compare the two data sets and give a certainty one came from the other.
That is the nature of entanglement, after all.
Primarily because a Kinect isn't capable of producing the data in question
They admitted that they "knew nothing about the device and that some hacker types had set up the hardware for them". Getting such a good scan with a Kinect + photogrammetry setup would definitely require a more experienced operator.
As Best I think they had somebody do a hand-sculpted 3d sculpt using z-brush, maybe nominally based on the photos and lot rez scan data.
HandySCAN, Polhemus, Artec, all 3D scanner brands with a very good resolution.
But then again it seems very unlikely that they took the time to scan an object without being noticed.