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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).

 



Intellectual Property and the Arts

posted by Betty Leigh Hutcheson


The Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP) is pleased to announce the posting of the revised and expanded Intellectual Property and the Arts pages on CAA’s website. CIP monitors and interprets copyright legislation for the benefit of CAA’s various constituencies. In so doing, it seeks to offer educational programs and opportunities for discussion and debate in response to copyright legislation affecting educators, scholars, museum professionals, and artists.

The section is divided into the following eight categories: US Copyright: Fundamentals & Documents; Visual Art/Visual Artists; Publishing in the Visual Arts; Libraries, Archives, and Museums; Image Sources and Rights Clearance Agencies; Fair Use Guidelines, Practices, and Policies; Copyright Outside the United States; and Legal Assistance.

Education is essential for informed communication. The committee hopes that the resources presented in the updated pages will answer your questions about intellectual property and inform your discussions and debates.




In accordance with CAA’s practice to regularly update its Standards and Guidelines in the fields of art and art history, the Board of Directors adopted two documents at its meeting on February 26, 2012, that address fair use of visual resources in teaching, scholarship, and libraries.

Christine Sundt, editor of the journal Visual Resources and cochair of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property, presented the Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study, authored and published by the Visual Resources Association (VRA) in 2011, and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, produced by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 2012.

Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study

Visual Resources Association: Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study is a helpful tool for educators and scholars who rely on images for teaching, research, publishing, and other academic work. The statement describes the six uses of images that fall within the doctrine of fair use according to United States copyright law: the use of images for the purpose of teaching; the preservation and transferring of images from one format to another; the creation of online image resources for students; the use of images by students in the context of the classroom; the sharing of images among cultural or educational institutions; and the inclusion of images in theses and dissertations.

The statement is intended to instill confidence in the scholarly community by clarifying the many educational and academic contexts to which fair use can be applied. The statement, reviewed by a committee of legal experts and copyright scholars who have determined the accuracy of each example of fair use, is by no means exhaustive on the subject of fair use, and it only addresses copyright laws within the United States.

Fair Use of Images for Academic and Research Libraries

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (2012) describes eight examples of common library practices that are affected by the rules of copyright and fair use. Because the prevalence of digital technologies in higher education has changed the way in which students and faculty use libraries and offer access to academic coursework, the code urges institutions to clarify and update research database systems and to transfer archive material deemed as “at risk items” into a digital format. The code also discusses the need to reproduce library material for disabled students and faculty without bias.

Like the VRA statement, the ARL code does not claim to cover the topic of fair use exhaustively. Rather, its objective is to expand understanding and engagement with copyright laws for librarians and library users. The code was created through the process of interviewing sixty-five librarians across the United States who represented a wide spectrum of academic and research libraries.




Professional liability insurance is essential for art authenticators, appraisers, scholars, artists, curators, and other practitioners in the field of visual art and art history. In today’s increasingly litigious environment, professionals are often subject to lawsuits brought by unhappy clients or other parties who feel they have been harmed by the actions—or inactions—of individuals who worked for them. The financial consequences of such suits, including the costs to defend them, can be devastating. As a result, it is critical that professionals recognize their exposures to financial losses and adopt effective means to deal with them.

Herbert L. Jamison & Co. LLC, a provider of professional liability programs, and Philadelphia Insurance Companies are now offering a comprehensive, affordable professional liability insurance solution to art authenticators to help defend against a damaging financial loss that could occur from alleged mistakes or negligence in conducting professional, fee-based services. Though premiums vary depending on circumstances, the annual premium of one policy—which insures an individual engaged in authenticating works up to $500,000 in value—is $1,000 with a $2,500 deductible.

Several key benefits of this program are:

  • Automatic independent-contractor coverage for professional services while acting on the insured’s behalf
  • Defense costs in addition to the limit of liability for eligible risks
  • Policy coverage for a lawful spouse or domestic partner of the insured, but only for actual or alleged wrongful acts of such individual insured for which said spouse or domestic partner may be liable as the spouse or domestic partner of such insured
  • Tailored policy to meet the specific need(s) of clients
  • Free sixty-day discovery clause
  • Worldwide coverage

Sometimes insurance protection is not enough. The art professional must establish and maintain a loss-prevention program that will help minimize the chance of a professional liability claim being brought in the first place. Examples of effective loss-prevention techniques that can be adopted include:

  • Establishing the fees and/or billing practices at the beginning of a client relationship
  • Using engagement letters, contracts, and other means to precisely identify the scope of the services to be performed
  • Keeping written documentation of all activity, including telephone calls, billing calculations, and the like
  • Participating in peer reviews, when feasible
  • Avoiding situations that present conflicts of interest
  • Obtaining appropriate credentials and certifications and taking continuing-education courses to remain current regarding developments in the profession
  • Screening new clients carefully and keeping existing clients informed at all times
  • Avoiding giving specific warranties and similar performance guarantees

A well-designed combination of insurance and loss prevention will go a long way in managing the potential liabilities that art professionals must face as they deliver their services to their clients.

CAA recommends that interested individuals contact Kevin J. Hill, vice president at Herbert L. Jamison & Co. LLC, at 973-669-2388 or 800-5264766, ext. 2388.



Filed under: Legal Issues

This week CAA filed an amicus brief in the case of Golan v. Holder, which the United States Supreme Court will likely hear later this year. The issue raised in Golan v. Holder is whether Congress could, consistent with the First Amendment, remove certain foreign works from the public domain and bring them back into copyright after enacting the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) of 1994. A lower court, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, held that the URAA was constitutional. When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Jeffrey P. Cunard, CAA’s counsel, was asked if CAA would join several like-minded organizations and individuals in signing onto a brief that would support the importance of the public domain.

The Executive Committee of the CAA Board of Directors considered the importance of the public domain (works no longer in copyright) as a wellspring of resources for artists, scholars, and other creators while discussing the detrimental effect of removing works from the public domain. The committee also noted that a filing by CAA in Golan v. Holder would be consistent with the organization’s filing of an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Eldred v. Ashcroft. In that 2003 decision, the court determined that Congress did not violate the First Amendment when it extended the term of copyright through the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. After reviewing drafts of the current brief, the Executive Committee authorized the filing of the Golan v. Holder brief on June 20, 2011.

To learn more about Golan v. Holder and the issues at stake, please review the following articles, published online in March and April 2011:

The principal author of the brief, Jennifer Urban of the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California’s School of Law in Berkeley, received assistance from Cunard and his firm, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Others signing onto the brief include individual writers, musicians, and scholars as well as other organizations. Cunard extends his thanks to Anne Collins Goodyear, curator at the National Portrait Gallery and CAA vice president for Annual Conference, for providing the excellent example of a visual artist, Marcel Duchamp, using a public-domain work, the Mona Lisa, to create a new one (pp. 14–15). The brief also cites other artists, from Pablo Picasso and Jasper Johns to Banksy and Shepard Fairey. In addition, Cunard has noted the extensive reference to CAA’s involvement in the orphan-works proceeding (pp. 33–35), which helps the brief support the proposition that the URAA’s copyright restoration of many foreign works had exacerbated the orphan-works problem.

CAA’s involvement in Golan v. Holder is the latest event in its long history of advocacy efforts regarding freedom of speech and copyright issues. On behalf of all CAA members, the board is grateful to Cunard, one of the nation’s leading experts in copyright law, for the work he has put into the brief and for his continued support of the organization.



Human Rights and Cultural Heritage: A Conference Report

posted by Christopher Howard


Lucille A. Roussin, an attorney with a background in art history, reports on a recent daylong program that took place at the Cardozo School of Law in New York on March 31, 2011. The first two paragraphs are below; you may also read the full article.

Human Rights and Cultural Heritage: From the Holocaust to the Haitian Earthquake

The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York hosted an all-day conference, entitled “Human Rights and Cultural Heritage: From the Holocaust to the Haitian Earthquake,” on March 31, 2011. The program brought together experts in both human-rights law and Holocaust-era restitution law. Its organizers also invited specialists in the same areas who had not previously engaged this important topic.

The program commenced with opening remarks by Allan Gerson, chairman of AG International Law PLLC, a Washington, DC–based law firm specializing in complex issues of international law and politics. During his talk on “Civil Litigation to Secure Cultural Property as a Human Right,” he spoke of the continuing debate over the existence of a recognized human right to secure restitution of cultural property and, when a victim is deprived of actual possession, the right to just compensation. Gerson included news about his current litigation against the Metropolitan Museum of Art over Paul Cézanne’s Madame Cézanne in the Conservatory (1891) and Yale University over Vincent van Gogh’s The Night Café (1888). Both cases involve major issues in international law, including the Act of State Doctrine and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Read the full article in the Features section.



Filed under: Cultural Heritage, Legal Issues

Federal Judge Rejects Google Book Settlement

posted by Committee on Intellectual Property


Federal Judge Denny Chin rejected the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement, better known as the Google Book Settlement, on March 22, 2011. Citing copyright, antitrust, and other concerns, he stated that the settlement went too far and would have granted Google a monopoly over information without the permission of copyright owners. The US Justice Department and other groups were similarly concerned that the settlement would have given Google exclusive rights to profit from so-called orphan works, books whose right holders are unknown or cannot be found. Download a PDF of Chin’s ruling.

The original lawsuit, Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., had been settled in November 2008 with an amendment approved in November 2009, but this Amended Settlement Agreement will not go forward as stated. Chin left open the possibility for a revised settlement, suggesting that authors opt in rather than opt out. A second class-action suit for copyright infringement brought by visual artists, who had been excluded as plaintiffs in the first suit, is still pending.

Many print and online publications have discussed the decision, its effects, and possible next steps. A selection of recent news and opinion pieces published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, and Inside Higher Ed, among others, can be found below. Several articles note that the judge’s decision gives Congress the opportunity to reconsider orphan-works legislation, which CAA has supported in the past. In addition, Roger Darnton, a librarian and professor at Harvard University, and others encourage the creation of a universal digital library, available to all.

Articles and Editorials

Jonathan Band, “A Guide for the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement,” Library Copyright Alliance, March 31, 2011, http://www.librarycopyrightalliance.org/bm~doc/guideiv-final-1.pdf.

Robert Darnton, “A Library without Walls,” NYR Blog (blog), New York Review of Books, October 4, 2010, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/oct/04/library-without-walls/.

Robert Darnton, “Six Reasons Google Books Failed,” NYR Blog (blog), New York Review of Books, March 28, 2011, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/mar/28/six-reasons-google-books-failed/.

Editorial, “Google’s Book Deal,” New York Times, March 30, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/opinion/31thu2.html.

Amir Efrati and Jeffrey A. Tractenberg, “Judge Rejects Google Books Settlement,” Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576216923562033348.html.

Miguel Helft, “Judge Rejects Google’s Deal to Digitize Books,” New York Times, March 23, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/23/technology/23google.html.

Miguel Helft, “Ruling Spurs Effort to Form Digital Public Library,” New York Times, April 3, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/technology/04library.html.

Jennifer Howard, “Judge Rejects Settlement in Google Books Case, Saying It Goes Too Far,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 22, 2011, http://chronicle.com/article/Judge-Rejects-Settlement-in/126864.

Steve Kolowich, “Google Who?”, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2011, http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/28/usag.

Steve Kolowich, “Please Refine Your Search Terms,” Inside Higher Ed, March 23, 2011, http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/23/judge_rejects_google_books_settlement.

Claire Cain Miller, “Book Ruling Cuts Options for Google,” New York Times, March 23, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/business/media/24google.html.

Jeffrey A. Tractenberg, “Google Book Deal Faces Big Hurdle,” Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703362904576218951641845230.html.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Google Block,” Slate, March 23, 2011, http://www.slate.com/id/2289155.



Google Book Settlement Filing Deadline Extended

posted by Betty Leigh Hutcheson


The official Google Book Settlement website recently posted an update that extends the deadline to file for an upfront payment in the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement. Authors whose works were scanned by Google on or before May 5, 2009, may be entitled to claim a cash payment once the amended settlement is approved. The former deadline was March 31, 2011. The new deadline is one year after the approval of the settlement—a date yet to be determined.

The lawsuit, titled Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. Google Inc. (Case No. 05 CV 8136, S.D.N.Y.), was brought by authors and lawyers who claim that by scanning books still under copyright for the Google Books Library Project, Google violated the creators’ rights. The federal court originally approved a settlement to the lawsuit in November 2008, and then preliminarily approved an amended settlement in November 2009.

A second class-action suit for copyright infringement was brought against Google in April 2010 by visual artists excluded as plaintiffs in the first suit, including the American Society of Media Photographers, several other photography associations, the Graphic Artists Guild, and independent photographers and illustrators. The outcome of this case (No. 10 CV 2977, S.D.N.Y.) will be determined after the settlement of the first case.

What does the extended deadline mean for authors and publishers? According to the Google Book Settlement website, if “you did not previously opt out of the Original Settlement and do not opt out of the Amended Settlement, you are ‘in’ the Amended Settlement,” and you can claim your copyrighted material. The website contains all documents related to the settlement and forms and instructions for registering your work. The Authors Guild also publishes updates about the settlement.

CAA will publish an additional notice once the new deadline is established.




Over the last decade, artists and educators have become acutely aware of the environmental and health repercussions of their studio endeavors. How have the serious consequences for personal health and the environment, as well as the legal and ethical responsibilities of institutions of higher education, shaped individual studio practice and the teaching of visual art? This session will examine the wide-ranging responses of artists working today and offer practical solutions for artists to safely create work without sacrificing their vision. We invite proposals for twenty-minute presentations about individual experiences, personal or institutional, dealing with these pressing matters.

This session will be part of ARTspace at the 2011 CAA Annual Conference in New York. Initiated in 2001, ARTspace has grown into one of the most vital and exciting aspects of the annual meeting, with programming is designed by artists for artists that is free and open to the public. Working in tandem with its affiliated programs, the Media Lounge and ARTexchange, ARTspace promotes dialogue about visual-arts practice, its relation to critical discourse, professional-development programming, and opportunities for the creative exchange of ideas.

Interested parties should submit a one-hundred-word abstract and a fifty-word autobiography in a single Word document to session cochairs Brian Bishop and Mark Gottsegen. Deadline: October 1, 2010.




CAA joined with artists and other arts-support organizations in filing an amicus brief asking the US Supreme Court to grant a petition to review a case involving an artwork removed from public view in San Marcos, Texas. In that case, Kleinman v. City of San Marcos, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the First Amendment only protects “great” works of art.

The brief explains how this new, “great” art standard is inconsistent with the First Amendment and would give governments the ability to ban disfavored art and contemporary art that has not yet become iconic. It points out that whether art is “great” art is not susceptible to an objective, value-neutral determination, but would require courts to act as art critics based on expert evidence of what constitutes “greatness” in art. The brief also highlights a number of examples of artists and art whose work was not initially regarded as “great,” but only became so over time. For all of these reasons, the brief argues, the new and unprecedented “great” art standard of the Fifth Circuit is troubling, and the Supreme Court should review and reverse the appellate decision.

Background

In the city of San Marcos, Texas, participants at a charity event for the opening of a store, Planet K, were invited to smash up an old car. The car was then converted into a cactus planter and painted on the exterior by two local artists, with scenes from San Marcos, abstract designs, and the phrase “Make Love, Not War.” The stated intention of one of the petitioners, Michael Kleinman, organizer of the event and owner of the store, was always to turn the wrecked car into an artwork. The resulting artwork was displayed on private property (the Planet K parking lot) and was easily visible to the public from thoroughfares.

A San Marcos ordinance prohibits, as a public nuisance, any display of a “junked vehicle” that can been seen by the public. Based on the First Amendment—that their artwork is protected speech—Kleinman and the artists sued the city, to enjoin it from applying the ordinance to their artwork. The US District Court for the Western District of Texas found for the city. The court held that the ordinance did not violate the First Amendment, as applied to plaintiffs’ artwork, because they had alternative avenues of communicating their message.

This past February, the Fifth Circuit affirmed that decision. It first questioned whether the wrecked car/planter/artwork could be considered constitutionally protected expression. In particular, the appeals court read a prior Supreme Court decision to indicate that the First Amendment protects only “great” works of art, and that the Supreme Court has not otherwise set out the First Amendment framework to be applied to visual works of art. The Fifth Circuit also went on to hold that even if the First Amendment did apply in this case, under prevailing standards the city’s nuisance law could apply to the artwork. After the decision of the Fifth Circuit, the city seized and removed—but has not yet destroyed—the artwork.

The artists filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, requesting that the court review the decision of the Fifth Circuit. There are several grounds for the petition, one of which is that “great art” should not be the test for whether an artwork is protected by the First Amendment.

First Amendment protection for works of art has long been a core concern of CAA and important to its advocacy program. In the last Supreme Court term, CAA joined the National Coalition Against Censorship in filing an amicus brief in the case of United States v. Stevens. In that case, the Supreme Court ultimately held, 8–0, that the federal statute criminalizing depictions of animal cruelty violated the First Amendment, agreeing with the position taken by CAA in its brief. Earlier, CAA joined an amicus brief in the NEA Four case (National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley), in which the Supreme Court ultimately held, in 1998, that it was not unconstitutional for Congress to mandate that the National Endowment for the Arts take into account “general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public” when funding artists.

Other Signers to the Brief

The amicus brief to which CAA is a party was filed on July 8, 2010. The other signers are: Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts; Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts (formerly Tennessee Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts); Northwest Lawyers and Artists (Portland, Oregon); Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; ArtCar Fest; the artist historian Douglas Nickel; and artists Butch Hancock, Kelly Lyles, Leo Aston, Alan Pogue, Jan D. Elftman, Philo Northrup, Harrod Blank, Emily Duffy, and Graydon Parrish.

Downloads

Download a PDF of the Kleinman amicus brief. A second PDF contains the petition for certiorari, the District Court and Fifth Circuit opinions, and, at the end of the file, photographs of the artwork in question.




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