posted by CAA
CAA has long been committed to enhancing understanding of copyright and fair-use issues in the field of the visual arts. Over the past year, it began a multiyear project looking toward the development of a code that reflects fair-use practices in the use of copyrighted materials in the field. The project’s methodology is based on the community-based and consensus-driven approach to developing codes of best practices in fair use that is described in Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (2011), which was authored by Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication at American University and 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.
To launch the project, Aufderheide and Jaszi, two of the principal investigators of the CAA project, began interviewing visual-arts professionals in October 2012, with the support of a start-up grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Last December, CAA was awarded a major grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the project (see http://www.collegeart.org/news/2013/01/14/caa-receives-major-mellon-grant/).
Aufderheide and Jaszi have now completed one hundred interviews, including art historians, artists, museum professionals, archivists, art librarians, critics, designers, editors, publishers, and rights holders. These interviews have yielded rich data on the experiences and views of practitioners in the field.
To supplement these views, last March CAA circulated to members a survey questionnaire asking about their views on copyright and fair use. The survey results, along with research into legal issues and a literature review, have provided valuable information about copyright-related challenges facing the field.
Aufderheide and Jaszi are now drafting an Issues Report to summarize and analyze the information from the interviews, member survey, and literature review. Later this fall, the Issues Report will be reviewed by a number of groups, including the project’s principal investigators and advisors, the Task Force on Fair Use, and CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP). CAA also has assembled a Community Practices Advisory Committee (CPAC) to review the report in December. The CPAC members are:
- Maxwell Anderson, Director, Dallas Museum of Art
- Susan Bielstein, Executive Editor, University of Chicago Press
- Martha Buskirk, Professor of art history and criticism, Montserrat College
- Paul Catanese, Chair of Interdisciplinary Arts, Columbia College, and past-chair, CAA New Media Caucus
- Kenneth Hamma, Consulting at the Intersection of Cultural Heritage and IT
- Alan Newman, Chief, Digital Imaging and Visual Resources, National Gallery of Art
- Mari Carmen Ramirez, Curator of Latin American Art and Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Timothy Rub, Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and President, Association of Art Museum Directors
- Christine Sundt, Editor of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation
After this review process is completed, the Issues Report will be presented to CAA’s Board of Directors and, after the board endorses it, it will then be published in advance of the Annual Conference. The report will be the subject of the CIP’s session at the conference, scheduled for NOON on Saturday, February 15.
Over the course of 2014, the Issues Report will be used in the project’s second phase—as the basis for discussions by small groups of visual-arts professionals around the country in meetings led by Aufderheide and Jaszi. Based on these discussions, CAA then hopes to draft a code of best practices that reflects a consensus of practitioners with respect to fair-use practices in scholarly publishing and in creating and curating artworks in the visual arts.
CAA Committee on Intellectual Property 2013 Annual Conference Session: Developing a Fair Use Code for the Visual Arts
posted by Doralynn Pines
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.
posted by Jeffrey Cunard, CAA Counsel
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.
posted by CAA
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the College Art Association (CAA) a major grant of $630,000 to develop, publish, and disseminate a code of best practices for fair use in the creation and curation of artworks and scholarly publishing in the visual arts. The initiative will examine the intersection of copyright understandings and creative practices of the visual arts community in art production, art scholarship, museum curation, and editing of work on art. The project will be completed over four years, from January 2013 through December 2016. During this period, CAA will produce an issues report documenting the effects of copyright understandings on creative choices and write a code of best practices in fair use for the communities of practice represented by its members.
In noting the importance of this work, Anne Collins Goodyear, CAA board president, observed: “The challenges and uncertainties faced by artists and art historians today in securing rights to reproduce works of art in hardcopy and electronically—and the difficulties in knowing when the law might require securing such rights—have serious adverse consequences for creative practice. Both scholarly and artistic projects are often compromised or even abandoned because of the arduous and expensive process of clearing permissions. An improved understanding of the scope of fair use and a field-wide agreement on its application will be invaluable to all practitioners in the visual arts.”
By undertaking this critical and timely project, CAA aims to provide much-needed clarification of best practices in the use of third-party copyrighted material, and establish a practicable code of conduct for members of the visual-arts community. In order to create a code that functions across all areas of the visual arts, CAA’s fair use project will involve participants from the fields of art history, studio art, print and online publishing, art museums, and related areas.
Linda Downs, executive director and CEO of the College Art Association emphasized the association’s capacity to lead this effort: “As the premier association in the visual arts, CAA is uniquely positioned to address these challenges. CAA’s membership represents a broad range of stakeholders—including artists, art historians, photographers, curators, writers, and educators, as well as museums, editors, and colleges and universities—who will benefit from the issues report and code of best practices. The organization has a strong record of advocacy on a variety of issues involving intellectual property. Moreover, as a scholarly publisher in the visual arts, CAA is familiar with the challenges associated with the uncertainty surrounding the application of fair use.”
The efforts funded by the Mellon grant will be overseen by a Task Force on Fair Use established by the CAA board in May of last year. The cochairs of the task force are: Jeffrey P. Cunard, long-standing CAA counsel and a managing partner in the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; and Gretchen Wagner, a member of CAA’s Committee on Intellectual Property and general counsel of ARTstor. In addition to the cochairs, task force members include: Anne Collins Goodyear, CAA board president and associate curator of prints and drawings at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Linda Downs, CAA executive director and chief executive officer; Randall C. Griffin, CAA vice president for publications and a professor in the department of art history at Southern Methodist University; and other CAA members with professional experience in studio art, art history, curatorial work, and copyright law.
CAA has engaged two principal investigators to lead the four-year project: Patricia Aufderheide, university professor in the School of Communication 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. Aufderheide and Jaszi, who have significant expertise in successfully developing fair use codes for documentary filmmakers, dance archivists, research librarians, and journalists, will be responsible for conducting the investigatory work that will inform the report and code. Aufderheide and Jaszi will also work with a Community Practices Advisory Committee to review the report and a Legal Advisory Committee to review the code. Two 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—will contribute expertise during all phases of the project. The task force cochairs, Cunard and Wagner, together with Goodyear, Downs, Aufderheide, and Jaszi will also serve as principal investigators.
CAA approaches this project with an established history of engagement on the issues of copyright and fair use, and gratefully acknowledges the work done in this area by allied scholarly societies including the Visual Resources Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the New York City Bar Association Art Law Committee (ALC). With the assistance of a start-up grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, awarded in September 2012, CAA recently completed a preparatory phase of the fair use project that will inform the activities now funded by the Mellon Foundation. During this preparatory phase, the task force met with Aufderheide, Jaszi, and CAA’s board of directors to discuss the research methodology and select thought leaders to be interviewed about copyright and fair use practices. Additionally, Aufderheide and Jaszi conducted twenty-five exploratory interviews with some of these thought leaders to help identify the key topics that the issues report and code should address. With this work completed, the task force and principal investigators are in a strong position to move forward with the formal investigative phase of the project.
For more information about the fair use project, please contact Janet Landay, project manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org (212-392-4420) or Virginia Reinhart, CAA marketing and communications associate, at email@example.com (212-392-4426).
posted by Christopher Howard
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).
posted by Christopher Howard
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.
posted by Christopher Howard
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.
posted by Michael Fahlund
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.
posted by Christopher Howard
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:
- Lyle Denniston, “A Major Test of Copyright Power,” SCOTUSblog, March 7, 2011
- Edward Lee, “Golan v. Holder: Supreme Court to Review Copyrighting Works in Public Domain,” Huffington Post, March 9, 2011
- Shannon Mo, “Cert. Granted in Golan v. Holder,” Re:Marks, April 1, 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.
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.