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Jeffery Cunard, CAA counsel, discusses the Task Force on Fair Use during the CIP session at the 2013 Annual Conference (photograph by Bradley Marks)

The Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP) monitors and interprets intellectual property legal matters 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 intellectual property issues that affect educators, scholars, museum professionals, and practitioners of art and design.


Since 2013, the Committee on Intellectual Property (CIP) has played an active role in the development and dissemination of CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in The Visual Arts, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, endorsed by CAA’s Board of Directors and published in February 2015. In this vein, CIP has shared the experiences of its early adopters, bringing members together to share success stories and challenges, and creating a working group of fair use stakeholders, consisting primarily of professional editors: the CAA Working Group on Publishing and Fair Use (see Ongoing Projects).

In 2017, CIP hosted the public panel: “Learning from Experience: Fair Use in Practice,” featuring presentations by Martha Rosler, artist; Francine Snyder, Director of Archives and Scholarship, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, by Victoria Hindley, Associate Acquisitions Editor, MIT Press; and by Carole Ann Fabian, Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. The panel is summarized in CAA News, March 14, 2017. Its forthcoming panel for CAA’s 2018 Annual Conference will address “Copyright, Fair Use, and Their Limits.”

The Committee oversaw a major revision of the Intellectual Property and the Arts section of the CAA website in 2011 and 2012. Information on these pages was updated and expanded to provide current and relevant resources for CAA’s members. 
Ongoing projects include supporting the CAA Working Group on Publishing and Fair Use, the development of materials to equip CAA members with the practical tools to respond to the copyright questions that affect their work, and providing information about copyright and best practices in fair use in the arts to visual arts professionals. In addition to the domestic (U.S.) environment, CIP will also take an active interest in how this issue is shaping up internationally (recognizing, of course, that “Fair Use” is specific to American copyright law.)

Peter Jaszi, professor of law at American University, speaks to Linda Downs, Janet Landay, and Jeffrey Cunard after the 2013 CIP conference session (photograph by Bradley Marks)

The committee sponsored a two-part conference in 2007, “Who Owns this Image? Art, Access, and the Public Domain after Bridgeman v. Corel,” with the New York City Bar Association, ARTstor, and Creative Commons. The first part was a high-level closed-door conference, attended by thirty-five experts including two influential federal judges, the deputy director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the president of the Artists Rights Society, the relevant department director at the US Copyright Office, leading legal scholars in this area from major universities, and others. The public panel, which drew a standing-room-only audience of eight hundred, was composed of the following: Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan, United States District Judge (author of the Bridgeman opinion); Theodore Feder, President, Artists Rights Society; Christopher Lyon, Executive Editor, Prestel Publishing; William Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel, Google; and Maureen Whalen, Associate General Counsel, J. Paul Getty Trust. The moderator was Virginia Rutledge, Vice President and General Counsel, Creative Commons, chair NYCBA Art Law Committee, and former member of CIP.

Current Committee Members

Nate Harrison, Co-chair, School of Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University (2025)  
Katherine de Vos Devine, Co-chair, Implement Legal (2027)

Sonya G. Bonneau, Georgetown University Law School (2025)
Susan Douglas, School of Fine Arts and Music, University of Guelph (2025)
Gregory V. Gooding, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, CAA Board Liaison, ex officio
Yuha Jung, University of Kentucky (2026)
Frank Martinez, The Martinez Group PLLC (2026)
Megan Metcalf, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2026)
Nick Pozek, Columbia Law School (2025)
Francine Snyder, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2025)
Lauren van Haaften-Schick, Cornell University (2025)
Eric Wolf, The New York Society Library, CAA Board Liaison, ex officio