New CLIR/Mellon Report on Museum Policies for Open Access to Images

In June 2013, the Council of Library and Information Resources in conjunction with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation published the report Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access. The report, written by Kristin Kelly, examined the policies, websites, and procedures of 11 large museums to get determine the state of open access to images.

The report has been added to our web page about Copyright Resources for Academic Publishing, which provides a list of general guides and resources as well as lists repositories that have copyright-free or copyright-lenient policies towards letting users download high quality image files of works of art. We try to keep this web page up-to-date, so if you’re aware of any collections that should be included, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

The Art Law Blog

Attorney Donn Zaretsky of John Silberman Associates maintains The Art Law Blog, which discusses current and topical issues pertaining to art law, including intellectual property rights, copyright and permissions, social media, censorship, artists’ estates and foundations, auctions, and more. For example, the blog has recently been covering the Prince-Cariou case—it’s a great round-up of national art law cases and news for sure.

For more information, visit The Art Law Blog.

Image Copyright and Google Books

The issue of image copyright and the Google Books project remains an ongoing concern for many photographers, as their copyright images may be digitized and made available through Google Books without their permission. The NPPA and several other plaintiffs are bringing a suit against Google Book Search, arguing:

Google’s acts have caused, and unless restrained, will continue to cause irreparable injuries to Lead Plaintiffs and the Class members through: continued copyright infringement and/or the effectuation of new and further infringements of the Visual Works contained in Books and Periodicals; diminution of the value and ability to license and sell their Visual Works; lost profits and/or opportunities; and damage to their goodwill and reputation.

Plaintiffs include the American Society of Media Photographers, Graphic Artists Guild, Picture Archive Council of America, North American Nature Photography Association, Professional Photographers of America, American Photographic Artists, and several individual photographers.

Via PetaPixel and NPPA

UK National Portrait Gallery Images for Academic Use

The National Portrait Gallery now provides free downloads of a large range of images from its Collection for academic and non-commercial projects through a new web-site facility. Over 53,000 low-resolution images will now be available free of charge to non-commercial users through a standard ‘Creative Commons’ licence and over 87,000 high-resolution images will also be available free of charge for academic use through the Gallery’s own licences.

After searching or browsing to find an image you’d like to download, click “Use this image.” You will be brought to three separate licensing agreements. The Creative Commons license allows “for limited non-commercial use. Image sizes are 800 pixels on the longest dimension at 72 dpi.” When possible, higher resolution images will be made available through this same process. Be sure to attribute your images and provide links to NPG’s Creative Commons license.

Above image: Henry Fawcett; Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett (née Garrett) by Ford Madox Brown; oil on canvas, 1872. NPG 1603. © National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons License.

For more information, contact the NPG’s licensing office:

Copyright Case Study: Sculptor vs. US Postal Service

While artist Richard Prince continues to wage his highly publicized appeal against photographer Patrick Cariou, another dispute over copyright — this one involving the federal government — has reached a milestone ruling. A Federal circuit court decided last week that the 87-year-old sculptor behind the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. may be eligible to recover royalty payments from the U.S. Postal Service, which used a photograph of the memorial on stamps and related merchandise without his permission.

Via ArtInfo.

Images from Walters Art Museum Available for Download

The Walters Art Museum announces the launch of its redesigned works of art website with the removal of copyright restrictions on more than 10,000 online artwork images through a Creative Commons license . In addition to being able to download these images for free, the site introduces a new look and feel, and enhanced searching, tagging and community collections features. The website now has additional information about the artworks, including nearly a century of history concerning exhibitions and conservation treatments. It is also substantially more accessible to users with disabilities due to its increased compliance with the United States government’s internet accessibility standards.

The Creative Commons license specifies that these images may not be used for commercial purposes. Publication in not-for-profit academic journals or dissertations is probably approved, but you may consider contacting the museum or journal for more information.

For a full list of copyright-free and -lenient images for academic publication, click here.