College Art Association

CAA News Today

The Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), a federal agency in the Executive Office of the President, seeks opinions on how the federal government should enforce copyrights and handle infringements. In a two-part survey, IPEC not only solicits written submissions about economic costs associated with intellectual-property violations, but also requests specific recommendations on how such violations can be dealt with. All comments should be sent by email.

Public Knowledge, a digital-issues interest group based in Washington, DC, writes, “The request for comments seems geared to take in complaints from big media companies and other major holders of copyrights, patents, and trademarks,” but also that it is “open to everyday consumers, citizens, and members of the public.”

An area that art historians may wish to address, for example, is the way that copyright controls on images have made it difficult for electronic texts to include copyrighted art images. For artists, an area of concern is the high cost of registering copyright in a visual image, and lack of good bulk registration tools at the US Copyright Office for visual-image rights holders.

Read more about the issue on the Public Knowledge website, which also includes a sample letter that you can tailor to your needs. Deadline: 5:00 PM on March 24, 2010.

The Association for Information and Media Equipment, a group of educational film and video producers and distributors dealing with copyright issues related to libraries, universities, and media centers, has threatened to sue the University of California, Los Angeles for streaming copyrighted video content on course websites. UCLA is claiming fair use, but the issue—involving royalty payments, academic-subsidized research, and current copyright law—is much more complex.

Steve Kolowich of Inside Higher Ed reports that negotiations between the organization and the school are private, and a debate about the legality of libraries making digital copies of DVDs it owns for wider dissemination to students has arisen. In his article Kolowich talks to librarians, professors, and media-industry experts to provide a larger, if not clearer, picture of what is at stake.

February 5 update: J. B. DeVries of Academic Impressions discusses policy issues when dealing with streaming video.

Following the submission of the amended Google Book Settlement in November 2009, the deadline for opting out was extended. The new deadline is January 28, 2010 (postmarked or submitted online on or before that date).

Those who had not opted out of the settlement may still do so, and those who had opted out may now opt in, if they so wish. If you wish to maintain your previous status, you need not do anything. (Under a class-action settlement, all class members remain in the class unless they opt out.)

Opt-out forms (to mail in) and instructions for opting out online are available at the settlement website. You may also read the settlement FAQ for more information.

Today the US State Department announced the removal of a ban on two foreign Muslim scholars, Adam Habib from South Africa and Tariq Ramadan of Switzerland, from entry into the United States. The American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other groups, had lobbied for several years to allow Habib and Ramadan into the country for various activities, including a position at the University of Notre Dame for the latter.

Peter Schmidt of the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has the full story, writes: “Secretary Clinton’s orders did not tackle the broader question of whether the Obama administration planned to end ‘ideological exclusion,’ the controversial practice, adopted by the federal government after the 2001 terrorist attacks, of denying visas to intellectuals based on their viewpoints.”

The Appraisers Association of America and CAA cordially invite you to a presentation of “Authenticating Art: Current Problems and Proposed Solutions,” which will include a discussion of CAA’s recently published guidelines on Authentication and Attributions. The panel will be held at the Levin Institute in New York (116 East 55th Street in Manhattan) on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 6:00–9:00 PM; it can also be seen via live webcast.

When it comes to art, “Is it real?” is a question that interests everyone from casual museum-goers to arts professionals. Answering the question can involve historical research, connoisseurship, sophisticated scientific analysis, and more. The question, however, is not only an academic or philosophical one. (Is a Warhol a “Warhol” if the artist himself never touched it?) In an art market where millions—and sometimes tens of millions—can hang in the balance, who is willing to risk being wrong in offering an opinion about authenticity? For those who do offer opinions and even warranties, what are they risking, and what—if anything—should they be risking? What of those who create fakes?

Please join our expert panel of appraisers, attorneys, conservators, and scientists in a frank and lively discussion of these issues. Speakers include: John Cahill of Lynn & Cahill; Jane C. H. Jacob of the Appraisers Association of America and Jacob Fine Art; James S. Martin of Orion Analytical; and Jane Levine of Sotheby’s. Michele Marincola of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts is the moderator.

This program may interest appraisers, artists, attorneys, dealers, auction specialists, collectors, conservators, curators, financial advisors, insurers, scholars, and others in, or interested in, the art world.

Seating is limited; advance registration is required for both formats. Kindly RSVP to 212-889-5404, ext. 11. Cost is $25 per person for live attendance or streaming video. To complete the process, download and submit the registration form. Deadline: January 13, 2010.

Google Books Settlement

posted by November 09, 2009

Today is the deadline for a revised settlement agreement to be filed in response to a lawsuit by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, who are protesting the unauthorized copying of in-copyright books by Google.

CAA has prepared a summary article on the Google Library Book Project to better inform you about the issues at stake; included are a brief description of aspects of the settlement and links to articles and editorials from authors and reporters supporting or criticizing the settlement.

CAA’s constituency includes both creators and users of books. The Committee on Intellectual Property has taken up the matter for consideration and is currently considering what position, if any, to recommend.

CAA invites members in the tristate area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey to attend an upcoming panel on orphan works, entitled “Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works.” The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Meeting Hall, New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, New York

How should the law treat “orphan works”? Please join us as we discuss proposals that would enable copyrighted works to be used when their owners cannot be located to obtain necessary permissions. What should be the obligations of potential users with respect to searching for copyright owners? How should infringement claims be handled if a copyright owner emerges? Do different types of copyrighted works present unique issues? What roles might registries and recognition and detection technologies play? Our speakers will address these and related questions, focusing on orphan images.

June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts, is the panel moderator. Speakers are:

  • Brendan M. Connell, Jr., Director and Counsel for Administration, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • Frederic Haber, Vice President and General Counsel, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
  • Maria Pallante, Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, US Copyright Office
  • Charles Wright, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, A&E Television Networks

“Lost and Found” is sponsored by the Art Law Committee (chaired by Virginia Rutledge) and the Copyright and Literary Property Committee (chaired by Joel L. Hecker) of the New York City Bar Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.

CAA invites members in the tristate area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey to attend an upcoming panel on orphan works, entitled “Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works.” The program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Lost and Found: A Practical Look at Orphan Works
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Meeting Hall, New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street, New York

How should the law treat “orphan works”? Please join us as we discuss proposals that would enable copyrighted works to be used when their owners cannot be located to obtain necessary permissions. What should be the obligations of potential users with respect to searching for copyright owners? How should infringement claims be handled if a copyright owner emerges? Do different types of copyrighted works present unique issues? What roles might registries and recognition and detection technologies play? Our speakers will address these and related questions, focusing on orphan images.

June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts, is the panel moderator. Speakers are:

  • Brendan M. Connell, Jr., Director and Counsel for Administration, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • Frederic Haber, Vice President and General Counsel, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Eugene H. Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
  • Maria Pallante, Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs, US Copyright Office
  • Charles Wright, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, A&E Television Networks

“Lost and Found” is sponsored by the Art Law Committee (chaired by Virginia Rutledge) and the Copyright and Literary Property Committee (chaired by Joel L. Hecker) of the New York City Bar Association, in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), a nonprofit educational and research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts, has launched two important resources for the art community on its recently expanded and redesigned website: the Catalogue Raisonné Database and Art Law and Cultural Property.

The Catalogue Raisonné Database comprises two integrated electronic databases—one for published catalogues raisonnés, the other for catalogues in preparation—that can be searched individually or in unison. IFAR asks anyone who is aware of a published or in-preparation catalogue raisonné not included in our database (currently at more than two thousand entries) to contact the organization by clicking on the link “Tell Us about Catalogues Raisonnés” and completing the electronic form.

Art Law and Cultural Property helps users to navigate the mushrooming and complex body of legislation and case law relating to the acquisition, ownership, and authenticity of art objects. The website has two principal components: International Cultural Property Ownership and Export Legislation, with texts in original language and English translation from, currently, more than eighty countries; and Case Law and Statutes, with summaries of legal cases in eight subject areas relating to IFAR’s fields of interest. A section on professional guidelines, a glossary, and images are also included.

These two double the offerings from IFAR’s current online educational resources, which also include Provenance Guide and Collectors’ Corner. CAA maintains its own website resource, Intellectual Property and the Arts.

Media Coalition invites listeners to join an audio news briefing discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case US v. Stevens on Thursday, September 24, 2009, at 2:00 PM EDT. Speaking will be David Horowitz from Media Coalition; Laurie Lee Dovey of the Professional Outdoor Media Association; Joan Bertin of the National Coalition Against Censorship; and Chris Finan from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

In 2004, Robert J. Stevens was convicted under a federal statute, passed in 1999, which made it illegal to distribute or own media depicting animal cruelty. Stevens, a writer and filmmaker from Virginia, had assembled footage of pit bulls fighting and hunting, mainly in international locations where dogfighting is legal. Last year, Stevens’s conviction was overturned, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in this case on October 6, 2009. Read CAA’s description of the case and statement on this issue.

This summer, CAA signed an amicus curiae brief supporting the National Coalition Against Censorship’s claim that acts of expression, not actual involvement in illegal activities, are protected under the First Amendment and are not subject to criminal penalties. Media Coalition, a trade association that defends First Amendment rights of the mainstream media, filed its own amicus brief in late July.

To RSVP for the audio news briefing, please contact Kai-Ming Cha at 212-587-4025, ext. 12. To hear the briefing, call 1-888-387-8686 and enter access code 1066257.