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Register now for the next webinar in CAA’s series on fair use in the visual arts, meeting this Friday, May 29 at 1 PM EDT and the final review on Friday, June 5 at 1 PM EDT. Join the lead principal investigators of CAA’s new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, for an in-depth look at the Code’s section on fair use in museums and archives and a final review of the entire series. Registration for the live events is free and open to the public thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Video recordings of the webinars in this series are available for CAA members. To access, log into your account on collegeart.org and click on the “Webinars” tab in the left-hand navigation column. Recordings of each webinar in the series will be made available to members the week following the event.

CAA will issue Certificates of Participation to those who attend all five webinars in the series. Registration secures you a spot in all remaining webinars, however you may attend any number of the remaining webinars through this registration. The webinars will cover the following topics:

May 29, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Museums and Archives
June 5, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in the Visual Arts: A Review




Register now for the next webinar in CAA’s series on fair use in the visual arts, meeting this Friday, May 15 at 1 PM EDT. Join the lead principal investigators of CAA’s new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, for an in-depth look at the Code’s sections on fair use in teaching and art practice. Registration for the live event is free and open to the public thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Video recordings of the first two webinars in this series are now available for CAA members. To access, log into your account on collegeart.org and click on the “Webinars” tab in the left-hand navigation column. Recordings of each webinar in the series will be made available to members the week following the event.

CAA will issue Certificates of Participation to those who attend all five webinars in the series. Registration secures you a spot in all three remaining webinars, however you may attend any number of the remaining webinars through this registration. The webinars will cover the following topics:

May 15, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Teaching and Art Practice
May 29, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Museums and Archives
June 5, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in the Visual Arts: A Review



Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Detroit Happenings

posted by Patricia Aufderheide


The visual arts community is already putting the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts to work in Detroit. At a late-April meeting at the Cranbrook Art Museum, speakers showed fair use can enable work in five areas.

After a presentation on the Code by Janet Landay of the College Art Association and myself, a panel of experts explained why fair use matters to them:

Publishing. At Wayne State University Press, explained its director Jane Hoehner, fair use is essential to publishing work on film studies, one of the press’ major lines. Until now, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies code of best practices in fair use has been useful, but this new code opens more opportunities. The press does not depend on fair use for covers of the books, which function more like advertisements and are much harder to justify as a transformative use because of that.

Teaching. Diana Y. Ng, who teaches art history at University of Michigan-Dearborn, was pleased to see that current practice in her department agrees generally with the field’s consensus on using teaching materials. Fairly-used materials are, among other things, limited both to a particular course and to the students, teachers and staff in that course, and images are used at an appropriate resolution for teaching.

Art. Mark Newport, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the fiber department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, recalled an earlier project in which he created an artwork incorporating a DC Comics character. His rationale for doing so fell squarely within the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. But when DC Comics sent a letter asking him if he would like to license the work, he found himself having to take sole responsibility for his copyright choice. He hopes that the Code would provide guidance for institutions on what level of risk is involved in a fair use decision, since working within a field consensus generally significantly lowers the risk. “As an artist, I think you should use your fair use rights,” he said, “and be a problem for anyone who believes you should not.”

Collections. At the Henry Ford Museum, Nardina Mein, who manages the archives and library at the Benson Ford Research Center there, a number of policies encourage access to archival materials. Her museum provides digital access to some collections, and “the Code will help us tremendously with this work, especially in cases where we cannot find the copyright holders.”

Museums. Terry Segal, a registrar for the Detroit Institute of Arts, sees fair use as a way of expanding access and also streamlining work. She took heart from the simplicity of CAA’s fair use code. As someone who has spent a lot of time granting and getting permissions, she found the fact that fair use is so simple to execute heartening. “When we’re using fair use, we don’t have to worry about what all the rights in the piece are,” she noted.

Librarians, museum staff, scholars, artists, and teachers at the event seized upon copies of the Code to share with their colleagues. We look forward to stories of how the Code was received and used; stay in touch at nyoffice@colleageart.org.



Fair Use in the Visual Arts: The News Spreads

posted by Patricia Aufderheide


Since the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts launched in February, it has begun conversations in libraries, museums, archives, editorial offices, and classrooms. (Need a refresher on that code? Check out this video!) Now, it’s picking up fans.

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have just endorsed the Code and other organizations have also expressed their enthusiasm. The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) sent a letter of support to CAA in February, as has the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), which also posted it on their resource page.

The Code’s facilitators have been busy with workshops and presentations at the San Francisco Art Institute, the Art Libraries Society of America annual conference in Dallas, a meeting of the Legal Issues in Museum Administration in Washington, D.C., the University of Chicago and Western Illinois University among others. The College Art Association has also sponsored several webinars, including a five-part series that continues into May.

If you’re interested in hosting an event on fair use in the visual arts, contact nyoffice@collegeart.org.




The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a second grant of $60,000 to the College Art Association (CAA) to administer the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award for one year. The award was first given to CAA in 2013 as a temporary measure to provide financial relief to early-career scholars in art history and visual studies who are responsible for paying for rights and permissions for images in their publications. The Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award will provide grants directly to emerging scholars to offset the costs of securing images for their first books. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the quality and financial need of their project, and awards will be made twice during the year (in the summer and fall). CAA anticipates awarding between ten and twelve Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Awards in 2015.

Scholars may submit applications for the summer round of the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award before the June 12, 2015 deadline. The fall deadline is September 15, 2015. CAA will administer the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award according to guidelines developed for the Millard Meiss Publication Fund grant, an award established in 1975 by a generous bequest from the late Professor Millard Meiss. The jury for the award, comprising distinguished, mid-career or senior scholars whose specializations cover a broad range of art scholarship, has discretion over the number of and size of the awards. For further information about the award and to apply, please visit www.collegeart.org/meissmellon.

CAA seeks to alleviate high reproductions rights costs related to publishing in the arts. With funding from a separate, generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a start-up grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, CAA recently published its Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. Part of a multi-year effort led by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, the Code presents a set of principles addressing best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials based on a consensus of opinion developed through discussions with visual-arts professionals.

For specific questions about applying to the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award, please contact Sarah Zabrodski, CAA editorial manager, at szabrodski@collegeart.org or 212-392-4424.




Register now for the next webinar in CAA’s series on fair use in the visual arts meeting this Friday, April 10 at 1 PM EDT. Join the lead principal investigators of CAA’s new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, for an in-depth look at the Code’s section on fair use in analytic writing. Registration for the live event is free and open to the public thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

A video recording of the first webinar held on March 27th, “An Introduction to CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts,” is now available for CAA members. To access, log into your CAA account and click on the “Webinars” link in the left-hand navigation. Recordings of each webinar in the series will be made available to members the week following the event.

CAA will issue Certificates of Participation to those who attend all five webinars in the series. Registration secures you a spot in all four remaining webinars, however you may attend any number of the remaining webinars through this registration. The webinars will cover the following topics:

April 10, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Scholarship
May 15, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Teaching and Art Practice
May 29, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Museums and Archives
June 5, 2015, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in the Visual Arts: A Review




Want to know more about fair use in the visual arts? Have questions about how you can use fair use in your work? Join the lead principal investigators of CAA’s new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, for a series of webinars offering in-depth tutorials on the Code. CAA will issue Certificates of Participation to those who complete the entire series of webinars. The series will include the following topics:

March 27, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): An Introduction to CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

April 10, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Scholarship

May 15, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Teaching and Art Practice

May 29, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Museums and Archives

June 5, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in the Visual Arts: A Review

You may register for the first webinar (March 27) here. Registration for the remaining four webinars is available as a series here. Regardless of the number of these sessions you wish to attend, please register for the entire series and participate in whichever sessions you would like.

Registration is free and open to the public thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The webinars will be available at a later date as archived videos for CAA members.

Questions? Email CAA at nyoffice@collegeart.org.




Want to know more about fair use in the visual arts? Have questions about how you can use fair use in your work? Join the lead principal investigators of CAA’s new Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, for a series of webinars offering in-depth tutorials on the Code. CAA will issue Certificates of Participation to those who complete the entire series of webinars. The series will include the following topics:

March 27, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): An Introduction to CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

April 10, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Scholarship

May 15, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Teaching and Art Practice

May 29, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in Museums and Archives

June 5, 2015, 1:00–2:00 PM (EDT): Fair Use in the Visual Arts: A Review

You may register for the first webinar (March 27) here. Registration for the remaining four webinars is available as a series here. Regardless of the number of these sessions you wish to attend, please register for the entire series and participate in whichever sessions you would like.

Registration is free and open to the public thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The webinars will be available at a later date as archived videos for CAA members.

Questions? Email CAA at nyoffice@collegeart.org.




In a letter sent to Linda Downs and DeWitt Godfrey on February 9, 2015, the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) expressed its support of CAA’s newly published Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts.

Christine Anagnos, AAMD executive director, and Susan Taylor, AAMD president and Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art in Louisinan, write: “AAMD believes the code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts is an excellent contribution to the field and a great point of departure for best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials. We are thankful to those who helped to develop the guide over the past two years and recognize the hard work of Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide.”




The College Art Association (CAA) has published the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, a set of principles addressing best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials based on a consensus of opinion developed through discussions with visual-arts professionals. It will be a vital resource for everyone working in the field, including artists, art historians, museum professionals, and editors. Initiated by CAA in 2012, the multi-year effort has been led by the Code’s authors, Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide, professors of law and communication studies respectively at American University and the leading experts on the development of codes for communities that make use of copyrighted materials in their professional practices.

Linda Downs, CAA executive director, said, “The Code is a crucial contribution to the field as a clear statement on best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials that directly reflects a consensus from the visual-arts community. CAA is grateful to all of the artists, art historians, museum professionals, and editors, among others, who participated in the project so generously with their time and collective knowledge.”

The Code describes the relevance of fair use in five broad areas of the visual arts field:

  • Analytic Writing: When may scholars and other writers about art invoke fair use to quote, excerpt, or reproduce copyrighted works?
  • Teaching about Art: When may teachers invoke fair use in using copyrighted works to support formal instruction in a range of settings, including online and distance teaching?
  • Making Art: Under what circumstances may artists exercise fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium?
  • Museum Uses: When may museums and their staffs invoke fair use in using copyrighted works—such as images, text, and time-based and born-digital material—when organizing exhibitions, developing educational materials (within the museum and online), publishing catalogues, and other related activities?
  • Online Access to Archival and Special Collections: When may such institutions and their staffs claim fair use to create digital preservation copies and/or enable digital access to copyrighted materials in their collections?

DeWitt Godfrey, CAA president and professor of art and art history at Colgate University, said, “The research undertaken in this project demonstrated that a significant amount of creative and scholarly work has been stunted by a lack of understanding or clear consensus on fair use. This Code provides a straightforward set of principles that will allow those working in the visual arts to determine when they can assert fair use in their work with confidence.”

In January 2014, CAA published Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report, a summary of one hundred interviews with art historians, artists, museum curators, editors, and publishers describing issues related to the use of third-party images in creative and scholarly work. The Issues Report—which revealed significant challenges to creating and disseminating new work because of actual and perceived limitations of copyright—was the subject of ten discussion groups held last summer throughout the country with visual-arts professionals who deal with fair use and copyright issues on a daily basis. The Code is a result of this extensive research.

Peter Jaszi, professor of law in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University’s Washington College of Law, explained that “Although the visual-arts community is impressively diverse, including art-makers, individual scholars, and institutional users, its members came together determined to reach a useful consensus. The Code reflects the range of perspectives and expertise the participants brought to the process.”

Coauthor Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and director of the Center for Media & Social Impact, said, “Codes of best practices have proven enormously successful in enabling members of other creative communities to do their work well and effectively. They allow individuals to make judgments knowing where they fall in relation to the thinking of their peers—and that lowers risk. Further, codes give museums, broadcasters, insurers, publishers, educational institutions, and their lawyers a new and valuable tool to use in making better, more reasonable assessments of risk.”

During CAA’s 103rd Annual Conference in New York (February 11–14, 2015), the principal investigators of this project and authors of the Code, Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, will speak publicly with Judy Metro, editor-in-chief at the National Gallery of Art and chair of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property; Jeffrey Cunard, cochair of CAA’s Task Force on Fair Use; and Christine Sundt, editor of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation and former CAA board member. The session, which will take place on Friday, February 13, from 12:30 to 2:00 PM at the New York Hilton Midtown, is free and open to the public.

CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

About CAA

The College Art Association is dedicated to providing professional services and resources for artists, art historians, and students in the visual arts. CAA serves as an advocate and a resource for individuals and institutions nationally and internationally by offering forums to discuss the latest developments in the visual arts and art history through its Annual Conference, publications, exhibitions, website, and other programs, services, and events. CAA focuses on a wide range of advocacy issues, including education in the arts, freedom of expression, intellectual-property rights, cultural heritage and preservation, workforce topics in universities and museums, and access to networked information technologies. Representing its members’ professional needs since 1911, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, criticism, and teaching.

For more information please contact Janet Landay, CAA fair use initiative project manager, at 212-392-4420. To contact Patricia Aufderheide or Peter Jaszi, please contact Kelly L. Alexander, director of public relations, American University, at 202-885-5952.




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