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CAA News

Two nonprofit arts-advocacy groups, Americans for the Arts and Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), announced yesterday that they will merge their operations, creating the largest-ever advocacy group for the arts in the private sector. The partnership will further enable the organization to generate increased private-sector support for the arts and arts education by engaging and educating business leaders nationwide on the economic impact and value of the arts in business and community settings.

Americans for the Arts has issued a press release on the merger and also published two lists of frequently asked questions for its members and the general public.

Filed under: Advocacy

Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Settlement

posted by Christopher Howard

The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the United States from the collections of a number of major US libraries participating in Google Book Search. The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online, and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works.

To read more about this landmark settlement, visit the Authors Guild v. Google Settlement Resources Page and the Google Book Search Copyright Settlement. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, the New York Times, and Wired all report on the story.

October Obituaries

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA recognizes the lives and careers of the following individuals in the arts, all of whom recently passed away.

  • Albert Boime, an art historian and longtime professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who researched the social history of art, died on October 18, 2008. He was 75
  • Robert H. Chaney, a Houston business man who collected contemporary Asian and British art, died October 22, 2008
  • Patricia Faure, a Los Angeles–based art dealer, died October 21, 2008, at the age of 80
  • Jason Gleeson, an Australian artist and art critic who helped shape the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, died on October 20, 2008, a month shy of his 93rd birthday
  • Ardeshir Mohasses, an Iranian-born political cartoonist and satirist whose work was the subject of a recent exhibition at the Asia Society in New York, died on October 9, 2008. He was 70
  • Iba Ndiaye, a highly influential modern painter from Senegal who also lived and worked in Paris, died October 5, 2008, at the age of 80
  • Paritosh Sen, a pioneering and well-known Indian artist, died October 22, 2008. He was 80.

Read all past obituaries in the arts on the CAA website.

Filed under: Obituaries, People in the News

Free Digital Images for Scholarly Publications

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA reminds you that three major museums—the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York—have made digital images of works from their collections available for free for scholarly publications.

National Gallery
As part of its ongoing commitment to support scholarship and encourage research into England’s collection of old-master paintings, the National Gallery waives reproduction charges for digital images for use in academic books and journals that meet specific criteria and where orders are processed and delivered via its Picture Library website. Authors publishing academic work relating to the gallery’s collection are encouraged to use high-quality digital images available only from National Gallery Images, where charges will be waived for nonprofit, short-run publications. Discounts are also available for image use in student theses, academic presentations or lectures, and noncommercial private use.

Images are available at A4 and A5 at 300 dpi/ppi. The picture files themselves are derived from fully color-calibrated digital-image files created by the National Gallery. The color is therefore consistent across all images in the collection, meaning image users are able to make informed comparisons about color, tone, and brightness, and be assured of consistent color reproduction through to print.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Since early 2007, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London has ended charging reproduction fees for its images used in scholarly publications. Publishers will be able to download images from the museum’s collection of more than 25,000 works directly from its website.

The museum keeps a broad definition of “scholarly.” The images will be available to students and teachers, as well as to publishers, for use in their research and coursework. The museum will continue to charge commercial publications, but their termination of fees for reproduction may encourage other institutions to follow suit.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
In 2007 the Metropolitan Museum of Art formed a partnership, called Images for Academic Publishing, with the nonprofit digital-image provider ARTstor to offer high-resolution digital images of artworks in its collection for scholarly publication—free of charge. This initiative is intended to make it easier and less expensive for authors and publishers license images for reproduction. Under a special agreement with ARTstor, this service will be available to users—both individual and institutional—who are not ARTstor subscribers.

With this important step in overcoming a longstanding obstacle to scholarly art publication, the museum aims to serve its scholarly mission by disentangling many of its most frequently requested works of art from the burden of permissions paperwork—and from the confusion that often accompanies image rental, artwork copyright, photographic copyright, and licensing. Included are many works whose copyrights have expired (generally, works created before 1923 or whose creators died more than seventy years ago) are in this cluster of images. In some instances, however, third-party copyright permissions may be needed (such as where the underlying work in an image is still under copyright). Other terms and conditions also apply.

More Information
For more information on CAA’s work on digital images, publishing, copyright, and more, please see the Intellectual Property and the Arts section of the website.

CAA Member Survey Results

posted by Christopher Howard

CAA warmly thanks the 831 participants in a recent email survey, which was sent to 8,300 members whose database records indicate that their primary profession is: art/architectural historian, artist, administrator, curator, art-museum educator, or librarian. The results of the survey will be presented at the Board of Directors’ Strategic Planning Retreat on October 25, 2008, and will be incorporated into discussions on how to better serve all CAA members in the new strategic plan.

The survey contained one open-ended question: “What are the most pressing issues you face in your profession?” The following summary provides a synopsis of your responses, which are recorded in order of priority and frequency; many respondents gave multiple answers.

Art/Architectural Historians – 455 respondents
33% – Decrease in positions; increase in PhDs; reduction of tenured positions and increase in part-time and adjunct positions
17% – Difficulty finding publishers; insufficient number of art journals; decrease in presses publishing art history; tenure requirement for monographs vs. few presses publishing monographs
16% – Limited research funds and high cost of travel
13% – Work load vs. keeping up with the field and quality of life
11% – High cost of image reproduction; copyright restrictions
7% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
7% – Issues regarding resources and attention devoted to historical art vs. contemporary art; Western vs. non-Western art; national vs. global; traditional curriculum, research, and pedagogy vs. interdisciplinary curriculum, research, and pedagogy
7% – New technology demands: cost, training, accessibility
5% – Need for American public understanding of art and combating anti-intellectualism
4% – Viability, credibility, and relevance of art history to other disciplines

Artists – 305 respondents
40% – Earning enough to support creative work; finding jobs and job security
23% – Finding reliable galleries; support for exhibitions; support for creative work and research
19% – Need for exposure of work, networking, and negotiating the art world
17% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
13% – Reduction of tenured positions and increase in part-time and adjunct positions
5% – Maintaining art as a critical discipline on all levels of education
5% – Need for health insurance
5% – Heavy teaching load and higher expectations for productivity
5% – Need for greater preparation of entering students

Administrators – 47 respondents
45% – Decrease in federal, state, and private funding for research, travel, faculty, staff, and technology
10% – Decrease in scholarships and fellowships
10% – Reduction of full-time faculty and increase in part-time faculty
10% – Recruitment of qualified candidates for faculty positions given the expansion of disciplines and need for pedagogical expertise
7% – Decreased enrollment
6% – Need for pay equity between art historians and artists
5% – Work load vs. keeping up with the field
4% – Blurring of disciplines and need for curriculum revision; new forms of assessment

Curators – 14 respondents
44% – Financial stability of art museums; decrease in funds for research and scholarly exhibitions
19% – High stress, long hours, and diminished staff positions
15% – Devaluation of research
10% – How to communicate with the public
10% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
5% – Demands of exhibition funders

Art-Museum Educations – 6 respondents
25% – High stress, long hours, and diminished staff positions
10% – Maintaining links between museum educators and art historians
10% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
5% – Decrease in funds for public programs

Art Librarians – 4 respondents
30% – New technology equipment costs, training, and research
25% – Decreased funds for purchase of books and periodicals
10% – Recruitment of qualified candidates for staff positions

Because many respondents gave more than one answer, the percentages do not always add up to 100 percent.

Filed under: CAA News, Membership, Surveys, Workforce

HR Administrator Advocates for Adjunct Professors

posted by Christopher Howard

“Higher education—especially public higher education—would face major disruptions within five or six years if it doesn’t come up with some way to change the way adjuncts are treated.” So writes Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed, summarizing the words of A. G. Monaco, a senior human-resources official at the University of Akron, speaking at the annual meeting of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. In his article “Call to Arms for Adjuncts . . . From an Administrator,” Jaschik reports that Monaco offered an outline of steps that colleges should take to bridge the gap between the way tenure-track professors and their adjunct and part-time colleagues are treated. If not, colleges and universities could face increasing unionization, for better or worse, from what Monaco calls “a highly educated working poor.”

Filed under: Education, Workforce

2009 Annual Conference Website Goes Live

posted by Christopher Howard

The website for the 2009 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, which contains registration information, travel and hotel details, Career Services features, reception and meeting listings, special events, and more, has been launched. You can also register for the conference online.

The conference website expands the Conference Information and Registration booklet that was mailed to all members earlier this month. A new feature is a list of frequently asked questions about the conference; more details will be added between now and February.

Complete session listings, including those held in ARTspace, will be posted soon. You will be able to sample the approximately 150 sessions in detail, search by keyword and browse by conference day, and find out who is speaking and the titles of their papers.

Online registration has begun. You can also buy tickets for other events, such as the Gala Reception, Professional Development Workshops, and postconference tours. Alternatively, you may use the printed forms in Conference Information and Registration.

Filed under: Annual Conference

Orphan-Works Legislation Dies in the House

posted by Christopher Howard

After a flurry of Congressional activity last week and the passing of the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act in the Senate, Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge (PK) notes, orphan-works legislation has died in the House of Representatives. She writes:

The negotiations went on for hours and hours on [October 2–3], but in the end, PK, working with the user community (libraries, documentary filmmakers, educational institutions and the College Art Association) could not agree with on language with the House staff…. Time had run out.

Though several matters remained unresolved, which Sohn discusses, she was proud of the progress made so far and is pleased that the issues surrounding the documentation of a good-faith search have been narrowed so that future legislative efforts may be more fruitful.

Federal Agencies Collaborate on Digitization Guidelines

posted by Christopher Howard

A dozen federal agencies are launching an initiative, the Federal Agencies Still Image Digitization Working Group, to establish a common set of guidelines for digitizing historical materials. Basing its efforts on a combination of collaborative research and combined experience, the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative will address a variety of issues related to the complex activities involved in the digitization of cultural-heritage items.

Two working groups have been formed, one addressing content that can be captured in still images, the other involved with content categorizing sound, video, or motion-picture film. The initiative includes a just-launched website.

The Federal Agencies Still Image Digitization Working Group will focus its efforts on content such as books, manuscripts, maps, and photographic prints and negatives. Its members include the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, the National Agricultural Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the National Technical Information Service, the National Transportation Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the US Geological Survey, and the US Government Printing Office. An advisory board of technical experts from industry and academia will also contribute to the initiative.

The Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group, which will address standards and practices for sound, video, and motion-picture film, includes the Defense Visual Information Directorate of the Department of Defense, the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Library of Medicine, the Smithsonian Institution, the Government Printing Office, and the Voice of America.

The agencies began meeting in 2007 to identify common practices for digitizing cultural-heritage materials in a sustainable way. Establishing guidelines is expected to increase the quality and consistency of digitized documents and media that are made available to the public, streamline workflows and reduce costs, promote the exchange of research, and encourage collaboration across agencies. The guidelines will also provide common benchmarks for digitization service providers and manufacturers.

The website currently features two documents developed by the Still Image Digitization Working Group that are open for comment until mid-November. The first proposes a minimal set of embedded TIFF metadata for use in historical and cultural-heritage digital imaging. The second two-part document presents a taxonomy of digital-image characteristics and provides corresponding metrics and criteria to describe and validate imaging performance and quality. The website also provides a glossary of digitization terms and concepts and presents digitization-related news and events on the subject from the participating agencies.

This collaborative effort initially formed under the sponsorship of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), a Library of Congress–led program initiated by Congress in December 2000 to develop a national strategy to collect and preserve digital content.

CAA Statement on Orphan-Works Legislation

posted by Christopher Howard

For several years, Congress has been considering legislation to address issues raised by orphan works. Orphan works are works that are still in copyright, but where the copyright holder cannot be found and the rights cleared. Most recently, in September 2008, the Senate passed S.2913, the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008. CAA has been supporting this legislation, as a boon for both CAA’s artist and scholar members.

CAA is the nation’s largest organization representing the visual-arts communities. With its wide-ranging membership, including artists, scholars, museums, and other visual-arts professionals, CAA has been involved in discussions on orphan-work legislation from the beginning. With the assistance of anecdotes from scores of its members CAA filed substantial comments with the US Copyright Office in March 2005, identifying circumstances in which current copyright law impairs the use of orphan works in artistic and scholarly works alike and proposing a legislative approach that would balance the legitimate interest of creators, copyright owners, and users. CAA also participated in roundtable discussions held by the Copyright Office. In January 2006, the Copyright Office issued a report that cited the CAA’s comments and recommended adoption of orphan-works legislation, including conditions that would appropriately balance the interests of contemporary artists and other copyright owners with the interests of users of orphan works.

From the time that such legislation was first introduced, in May 2006, to implement the recommendations of the Copyright Office and, throughout the 110th Congress, CAA has been working with other organizations—including museums, universities, libraries, and commercial publishers, as well as the Copyright Office—in crafting orphan-works legislation. The purpose of the legislation is to amend the copyright law to allow orphan works to be used without an undue risk to the user—of statutory damages or an injunction—assuming that the user conducted a diligent search for the copyright owner and properly attributed the work as an orphan work. At the same time, CAA, with its membership of artists, designers, and photographers, has taken full account of their concerns that orphan-works legislation, if enacted, would allow bad-actor copyright infringers to avoid copyright liability. In particular, CAA is aware of fears that artists whose works cannot easily be signed, or have other identifying information attached to them, might readily become orphaned and, in this way, be used unfairly and unscrupulously, without appropriate compensation and attribution.

CAA supports legislation that would require users of orphan works to conduct diligent searches to identify and locate copyright owners as a precondition of works becoming eligible for orphan-works treatment. The search requirements that CAA supports are detailed and meaningful, but they also are not unduly burdensome. They include searches of Copyright Office records and the use of other appropriate databases and other resources. The requirement that the user conduct a diligent search, with the parameters of such a search elaborated in the legislation itself, is intended to ensure that copyright owners would not be at risk from bad-faith searches. CAA also has been working hard to ensure that, should there ever be litigation surrounding the use of an orphan work, the burden would be on the user to demonstrate that his or her search was diligent. In addition, CAA supports legislation that would permit courts to pay heed to best practices for searches that would be crafted by professional organizations, such as CAA. If the legislation is enacted, then CAA will be uniquely well-suited to develop and promulgate guidelines on best practices for searches, given the wide range of interests of its members and the wide spectrum of copyrighted works that they create and use.

Finally, CAA encourages artists to consider the advantages of registering their works with the US Copyright Office. Under the legislation supported by CAA, in coalition with other visual-arts organizations, ordinarily, for a search of an orphan-work copyright owner to qualify as diligent, the user generally should search the Copyright Office’s registration records, as reasonable under the circumstances. By registering their works, CAA’s members will be better able to protect their creative property while allowing for appropriate and lawful use under the copyright law.

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