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Re: [BKARTS] Copyright Question



Well, _one_ more! Temptation, temptation...

Stephen Sossaman asks: "the copyright protection extends to "reproduction by any means, creation of derivative works, display or distribution without explicit consent of the artist/creator" of the image."Creator, not owner? This reminds me of what has long puzzled me: how can a museum claim copyright of a centuries-old work of art? Do they only claim copyright of an "image" of the work that, say, they hired a photographer to produce?

Museums (and libraries) do a variety of not-always-well-thought-through things, but usually the basis of these claims is not _copyright_ but _property ownership_. Since they _own_ the painting, they have the right to prohibit (or permit) "copying" and can _license_ the right to copy (by sketching, reproducing in paint, photography, or whatever means). Typically there is a graduated "use fee" schedule that depends on the intended use: a student making a sketch might be gratis, a scholar using an illustration in a scholarly journal pays a modest fee, while a corporation building the image into a Superbowl commercial might fork over a bundle.

A museum can also claim copyright to photographic work done for hire in their own collection and license that right, but that is a whole different thread (though often it may, from the user's point of view, come to the same thing).

Cordially ---- Sid Huttner

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