College Art Association

CAA News Today

The CAA Committee on Intellectual Property sponsored a well-attended session at the 2013 Annual Conference,  “Developing a Fair Use Code for the Visual Arts,” in support of CAA’s recently inaugurated fair-use project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.  Chaired by Christine Sundt (also the Committee’s chair), this panel included the two principal investigators engaged by CAA to research, write, and disseminate a code of best practices in the use of third-party copyrighted material by practitioners across the arts. Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at the American University Washington College of Law, and Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication and co-director of its Center for Social Media, American University, were joined on the panel by Jeffrey Cunard, CAA Counsel and Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

The discussion among panel members focused on the history of fair use and the background and schedule of CAA’s fair use project. The forthcoming code of best practices will assist individual scholars, artists, teachers, museum professionals, and other creators in analyzing what constitutes fair use of copyrighted works that they wish to employ. Answers to questions from the audience further delineated the scope of the project, which will address two types of users: scholars and museum professionals and those who use third party material in the making of art. The completed code will not constitute legal guidelines, but will document practice as it exists and will help the arts community understand the law regarding fair use. The code will provide a definition of a work of art as far-reaching and as including time-based and other multimedia forms.

Panelists for the session are also members of a Task Force on Fair Use, which oversees the project and is co-chaired by Cunard with Gretchen Wagner, former general counsel of ARTstor. Advisors on this project include Virginia Rutledge, art historian, and lawyer, and Maureen Whalen, associate general counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Committee on Intellectual Property will continue to support the project by hosting a session at the 2014 CAA Annual Conference on Jaszi and Aufderheide’s Issues Report, developed through interviews and focus groups, and a session to discuss the completed code at the 2015 Annual Conference in New York.

Additional work by the Committee on Intellectual Property included a restructuring of the Intellectual Property section of the CAA website, and presentation to and endorsement by the CAA Board of Directors of fair use guidelines written by the Association of Research Libraries and by the Visual Resources Association.