Copyright & Visual Art

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Niels Schaumann presentation in "Transforming Publishing Practices in the Arts" session at the VRA + ARLIS/NA 2nd Joint Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

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Copyright & Visual Art

  1. 1. Copyright & Visual Art Niels Schaumann March 27, 2011
  2. 2. A Little History <ul><li>Pre-copyright: censorship and monopoly </li></ul><ul><li>Statute of Anne (1710): books </li></ul><ul><li>US Copyright (1790) </li></ul><ul><li>Engraver’s Act (1735) </li></ul><ul><li>US Engraver’s Act (1802) </li></ul><ul><li>Fine Art Copyright Act (1862) </li></ul><ul><li>US Fine Art Act (1870) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Copyright? <ul><li>Continental Europe: natural law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parent-child </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anglo-American: utilitarian </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic incentive to create & disseminate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Promote the progress of science” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Modern Copyright <ul><li>1905-1908—failed revision efforts </li></ul><ul><li>1909—the “solution” </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect example of public choice legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Since 1909, only two exceptions </li></ul>
  5. 5. Requirements for Copyright <ul><li>“ Originality” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Originated with the author </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimally creative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Fixation” in a tangible medium of expression </li></ul>
  6. 6. Modern Rights in Visual Art <ul><li>Economic rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reproduce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicly display </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrity (modified) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Limitations on Copyright <ul><li>Idea vs. Expression </li></ul><ul><li>Duration </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commentary, criticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Four-factor test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Sale </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right for owner of a copy </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Public Domain <ul><li>Encompasses all that is not protected by copyright </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not proper subject matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright expired </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright forfeited? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zombie copyright …Golan v. Holder </li></ul>
  9. 9. Property Rights in a Copy <ul><li>Not copyright; not public law </li></ul><ul><li>Basis for museum licensing of images of public domain works </li></ul><ul><li>Access mediated by contract </li></ul><ul><li>High transaction cost of private law </li></ul>

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