Egypt to attempt to copyright Pharaonic antiquities

Egypt is considering copyrighting its ancient pharaonic antiquities, from the pyramids to scarab beetles in an attempt to get a cut from trinkets sold around the world, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said Thursday. It was unclear whether such a copyright would be recognized internationally _ and Hawass said it would apply only on exact replicas of antiquities, including scale, meaning someone would have to build a full-scale replica of the giant pyramids for it to violate the copyright. "If you (want to) build an exact copy of the Great Pyramid we will stop you," Hawass told The Associated Press. The provision is part of a new draft antiquities law that Hawass has put before the Egyptian parliament that would also mandate life imprisonment for antiquities smugglers, an attempt to crack down on theft of Egypt's heritage. Under the law, anyone seeking to make an exact replica of a copyrighted pharaonic artifact would have to seek permission - and pay a fee to - Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.