Since tactile models are based on artistic originals, copyright issues arise in this context each time a new model is created. As the production costs of tactile models are generally quite high, the legal requirements regarding copyright issues need to be given in advance. Otherwise, performing museums are at risk of paying damages for copyright infringements, leading to the premature termination of the project in the worst case. However, copyright infringements very often are not caused deliberately, but happen due to a lack of the respective legal knowledge.
Therefore, we will provide an analysis of the legal framework of the production and use of tactile models focusing on copyright requirements: It will be clarified as to what extent the use of tactile models requires approval by (possible) copyright-owners, and to what extent the production and use of tactile models is allowed without presuppositions regarding the copyright. Originals, which are in the public domain, may be used (in general) without approval, whereas copyright-protected originals may be used only upon approval by the copyright owner.
On the other hand, new tactile models being produced may also be protected by copyrights themselves. This does not require that the artistic original, which served as a model, is (still) protected by copyright. However, in this context the question arises, who is the copyright-owner of the newly created tactile model. As for the production of tactile models, special attention has to be given to the fact, that the previous development of special software and the programming of computers and machines is the crucial point in the development process. The subsequent milling or 3D printing of the haptic model has to be understood merely as the program execution. Against this background, we will analyse and clarify, what is exactly covered by copyright in the context of tactile models and who is the owner of the respective Copyright.