June 19, 2019

New Online: College Art Association (CAA) Publishes “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts”

From the CAA Blog:

The College Art Association (CAA) has published the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, a set of principles addressing best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials based on a consensus of opinion developed through discussions with visual-arts professionals.

It will be a vital resource for everyone working in the field, including artists, art historians, museum professionals, and editors. Initiated by CAA in 2012, the multi-year effort has been led by the Code’s authors, Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide, professors of law and communication studies respectively at American University and the leading experts on the development of codes for communities that make use of copyrighted materials in their professional practices.

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The Code describes the relevance of fair use in five broad areas of the visual arts field:

  • Analytic Writing: When may scholars and other writers about art invoke fair use to quote, excerpt, or reproduce copyrighted works?
  • Teaching about Art: When may teachers invoke fair use in using copyrighted works to support formal instruction in a range of settings, including online and distance teaching
  • Making Art: Under what circumstances may artists exercise fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium?
  • Museum Uses: When may museums and their staffs invoke fair use in using copyrighted works—such as images, text, and time-based and born-digital material—when organizing exhibitions, developing educational materials (within the museum and online), publishing catalogues, and other related activities
  • [Our emphasis] Online Access to Archival and Special Collections: When may such institutions and their staffs claim fair use to create digital preservation copies and/or enable digital access to copyrighted materials in their collections?

In January 2014, CAA published Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report, a summary of one hundred interviews with art historians, artists, museum curators, editors, and publishers describing issues related to the use of third-party images in creative and scholarly work. The Issues Report—which revealed significant challenges to creating and disseminating new work because of actual and perceived limitations of copyright—was the subject of ten discussion groups held last summer throughout the country with visual-arts professionals who deal with fair use and copyright issues on a daily basis. The Code is a result of this extensive research.

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CAA’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with additional support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

More in the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Full Text Code Document (22 pages; PDF)

Direct to Code FAQs (PDF)

See Also: Homepages For Authors

Report Highlights/Infographic

College Art Association: Best Practice Fair Use Infographic

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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