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The Samuel H. Kress Foundation has awarded CAA a start-up grant to support the development of a Code of Best Practices for Fair Use of Copyrighted Images in the Creation and Curation of Artworks and Scholarly Publishing in the Visual Arts. The project will address all areas of the visual arts and involve participants from the fields of art history, studio art, print and online publishing, art museums and related areas.

CAA’s Board of Directors recognized the need for the development of a Code of Best Practices by establishing a Task Force on Fair Use at the May 7, 2012 meeting. The rationale for this undertaking is to address what amounts to a crisis in the visual arts field. At this time, there is significant evidence that concerns around the implications of copyright—and especially uncertainty surrounding the fair use doctrine (currently codified under section 107 of the Copyright Act)—is substantially inhibiting the ability of scholars and artists to develop new work requiring the use of images and other third-party copyrighted works. The visual arts field needs the opportunity to explore and better understand copyright and fair use law, come to a consensus on best practices in the use of third-party images, and adhere to a code that is within the law and practicable for visual arts scholarly publications and creative work.

This fall, with the support of the Kress Foundation, CAA will establish a research plan and administrative framework for developing a comprehensive Code of Best Practices for Fair Use. CAA’s newly-created Task Force on Fair Use will begin work with two recognized authorities on the subject: Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law, Washington School of Law, American University and Pat Aufderheide, Director, Center for Media Studies, American University. Jaszi and Aufderheide, the authors of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back into Copyright (Chicago University Press, 2011) have worked with numerous disciplines—including documentary film makers, dance archivists, research librarians, and journalists—to develop best practices in fair use. CAA’s Task Force will be co-chaired by Jeffrey P. Cunard (CAA Counsel and Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton) and Gretchen Wagner (CAA Committee on Intellectual Property and ARTstor General Counsel); its other members include Anne Collins Goodyear (CAA President and Associate Curator, Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute); Linda Downs (CAA Executive Director and CEO); Suzanne Blier (CAA Board Member and Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University); DeWitt Godfrey (CAA Vice President for Committees and Director, Institute for Creative and Performing Arts, Colgate University); Randall C. Griffin (ex-officio as CAA Vice President for Publications, Professor, Division of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University); Paul Jaskot (CAA Past President and Professor of History of Art and Architecture, DePaul University); Patricia McDonnell (CAA Vice President for External Affairs and Director, Wichita Art Museum); Charles Wright (CAA Board Member and Chair, Department of Art, Western Illinois University). Throughout the project, CAA will involve its members and the larger visual arts community in building a comprehensive Code designed to serve all members of its constituency. CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property will address CAA’s work on Fair Use at its upcoming public session at the Annual Meeting in February 2013 (Saturday, February 16, at 12:30 pm).

 




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