College Art Association

CAA News Today

CAA is now moving ahead with its Fair Use project, which will culminate in developing and disseminating a code of best practices intended to guide visual arts scholars, artists, teachers and museum professionals when they may use the copyrighted works of others under fair use. The project is funded by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. An announcement of the grant can be found here: http://www.collegeart.org/news/2013/01/14/caa-receives-major-mellon-grant/

Last year, CAA’s Board established a Task Force to guide the Fair Use project. The Task Force is co-chaired by Gretchen Wagner, former general counsel of ARTstor, and me. Its other members include CAA President Anne Goodyear, CAA Executive Director Linda Downs, Committee on Intellectual Property Chair as well as members of the Board, and CAA members at large. During this year’s Annual Conference, the Task Force held its first meeting and the Committee on Intellectual Property sponsored a session that described the background of the project, its goals, and the projected timeline.

CAA’s Fair Use project has four phases. First, a hundred visual arts professionals, representing the broad spectrum of CAA’s membership and the field as a whole, will be interviewed on the use of third-party copyrighted materials in scholarly and artistic works. We also will survey CAA’s membership, so, within the next week, members can expect to see an email with a survey about copyright and the visual arts. Please take the time to fill it out: your participation is critical to the success of the project. This research phase will culminate in an Issues Report, which will be reviewed by a Community Practices Advisory Committee and, prior to the next Annual Conference, will then be made public.

In the second phase, we will convene a series of discussion groups across the country to focus on the issues raised by the Issues Report. These, too, will represent a wide range of CAA members. In these discussions, CAA members will discuss the most common situations identified in the Issues Report, and how they understand fair use to be important to accomplishing the professional goals of CAA members. During the third phase, that consensus will be reflected in a draft code. The draft will be reviewed by a Legal Advisory Committee, to ensure that it is consistent with the current law on fair use, and will be presented to the CAA Board for its approval. In the fourth and final phase, CAA will disseminate the code by making presentations at visual arts conferences around the country and posting webinars on CAA’s website and those of related organizations.

Patricia Aufderheide, University Professor in the School of Communication at American University and co-director of its Center for Social Media, and Peter Jaszi, Professor of Law and faculty director of the Washington College of Law’s Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic, co-principal investigators on the project, are conducting the research. They have considerable experience in developing codes of best practice for a large number of communities, including documentary filmmakers, dance archivists, poets, research librarians, and journalists. Their methodology and experience is described in their book, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, University of Chicago Press, 2011. We are also grateful for the expert input of project advisors Virginia Rutledge, an art advisor, art historian, and lawyer who practices in the areas of both copyright and art law, and Maureen Whalen, associate general counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Throughout CAA’s Fair Use project, we will post updates in CAA News. We hope you will follow our progress.

Please take time to complete the CAA Creativity and

Copyright Survey, arriving by email on Friday, March 8.