Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Virginia

The following image can be found all over the internet especially at the following site (in which I hold no affiliation).

The image does not appear to have a copyright: and it seems that the statue of liberty can be shot by any camera and uploaded by anyone in the United States of America during such a fireworks display in which naturally many would take pictures of such an extravagent event. Now please, this is a yes or no question. If someone found an image online that indicated no copyright whatsover, and knew that millions could take the same picture on the same night, pictures just the same and uploaded them all over the internet of the statue of liberty at the same fireworks display including in contests, hundreds of the same images on the same night and the image one found was uploaded and then was taken by the casual surfer and entered into a contest with their name, even though their could be millions of copies of the smae night floating around being entered in contests and it was not their own would that be a violation of copyright law, could that person be sued if someone ever attempted to make their picture "copyrighted" knowing millions would snapshot and send in same picture on same night to contests or would it be protected under any type of law, fair use or otherwise.

Asked on 6/08/10, 4:19 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

No, no, very unlikely (in my opinion).

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Answered on 6/09/10, 11:00 am

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