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REFUTATION: Image on White-Tailed Eagle Commemorative Coin is not Copy of Photo

The image on the commemorative coin White-Tailed Eagle is not a copy of a photograph by a British photographer.

The eagle on the coin derives from thousands of similar images found online and is the authentic work of an artist who has made sketches of the coin. The image on the coin shows a large bird that lives near ponds and mainly feeds on fish.

Under the Law of Ukraine On Copyright and Related Rights, a derivative work is a work that is creatively reproduced (through an abstract, an adaptation, a rendition of the work, including a rendition of folklore, and other remakes of the work) from another existing work without harming its protection. Under Article 8 part 3 of this Law, legal protection provided by this Law applies only to the form of expression of a work and does not apply to any ideas, theories, principles, methods, procedures, processes, systems, methods, concepts, discoveries, even if expressed, described, explained, or illustrated in the work. Part 1 paragraph 14 of this Article defines derivative work as an independent copyright item.

Please be advised that after determining the coin sketch that had won the competition, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) consulted the Bird Protection Society of Ukraine regarding the correct presentation of the coin’s design elements, in particular those of the white-tailed eagle. The perspective from which the image of the white-tailed eagle is presented on the coin is traditional and widespread, according to the society.

Please note that differences in systematic traits of the bird indicate that the image on the coin is not a direct transfer of the photograph to the sketch.

Furthermore, be advised that coin sketches are developed on a competitive basis. Professional artists the NBU invites to participate in the competition come from relevant professional backgrounds.

The NBU’s Expert Council on the Design of Commemorative Coins determines the winning sketch. The council includes specialists from the NBU, the Union of Artists of Ukraine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, etc.

Artists submit their topic-specific sketches for consideration by the Expert Council, which determines the best sketch that is fully consistent with the theme of the coin. Typically, every artist will submit between five and seven sketches for every commemorative coin denomination.

The NBU signs an agreement with the author of the winning sketch, and hands the sketch over to the Mint for coinage.

Under the agreement, the author of the winning sketch transfers the copyright to the NBU and receives an appropriate royalty. Furthermore, under the agreement, the artist guarantees the authenticity of the sketch.

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