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In a fundamental change in scholarly publishing practice, the College Art Association has announced new standard contracts with contributors to its lead journals. These new contracts encourage scholars and artists contributing to its journals to employ fair use for third-party works in copyright (such as images and quoted text) according to the principles and limitations outlined in CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. This is in contrast to previous contracts for the CAA journals, which (like other standard contracts in the field) required contributors to obtain permissions for most illustrations and other third-party works. By adhering to the principles of fair use in this new policy, CAA leads the way for other scholarly publications and presses to similarly embrace the doctrine of fair use.

In its new author agreements, CAA states that after careful review of the Code the author must determine whether or not fair use may be invoked. If the conclusion is in the affirmative, CAA will publish without requiring third-party permission; in addition, the agreements state that the author need not indemnify CAA for claims of copyright infringement with respect to the use of a third-party work which he or she has determined is a fair use. The author’s signature on the document certifies that she or he has read the Code and considered the limitations of fair use as outlined in an addendum to the agreement. Authors will still need to obtain permission for third-party works that are not utilized under fair use.

In announcing the new policy, Linda Downs, executive director of CAA, stated “CAA is enormously proud to be a leader in the reliance on fair use in its publications. The decision is the result of two years of research in the field, consolidating the opinions of professionals throughout the visual arts community as well as legal experts into a straightforward set of principles and limitations that make it much easier to use copyrighted materials in our work. As of today, CAA journal authors are no longer required to seek permission for use of all third-party images and texts for their articles if they review the best practices code in each instance and demonstrate that their use complies with its principles and limitations. Any risk that might occur in utilizing fair use will be borne by CAA, not the authors.”

The new contracts are available in the Publications section of the CAA website.