MikeNoLastName - 12:18 am on Jul 3, 2007 (gmt 0) [edited by: MikeNoLastName at 12:24 am (utc) on July 3, 2007]
From research we did many years ago, I believe we determined that ANYTHING produced by any government agency (although we were just concerned with USA) with tax payer money is automatically considered in the public domain. In our one instance it involved reproducing tables of statistics, and lists. If I recall correctly even images of US postage stamps and coins issued (as long as they clearly aren't intended to defraud, as in counterfeiting) by a goverment are non-copyrighted, as the art was bought and paid for with public funds, although I understand this is NOT the case in every country. I'm not sure about how it works if the stamp bears an image of a prior work of copyrighted art, such as Disney characters, or such. We also researched public statues and art, and basically the same held, that as long as it was part of a goverment building it was free and clear to reproduce. Also names of cities cannot be trademarked or copyrighted unless they are combined with another word, in which case the trademark can belong to whoever combined the words (i.e. "abcdtown donuts").
For more detailed info G-search for "copyrights postage stamps" and select the result entitled "US CODE: Title 17105. Subject matter of copyright: United States" from Cornell Law School.
[edited by: MikeNoLastName at 12:24 am (utc) on July 3, 2007]