Sunday, May 26, 2013

Image from the blog "I Am Laura." Link

Art museums are changing their policies about the taking photographs of their collections.

But the ubiquity of digital cameras, along with the irrepressible urge to take pictures, has led many museums to revise their policies in recent years. American institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Getty Museum—to name a few—all allow photography in some or all of their permanent-collection spaces.

“You are fighting an uphill battle if you restrict,” says Nina Simon, director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History and author of The Participatory Museum. “Even in the most locked-down spaces, people will still take pictures and you’ll still find a million of these images online. So why not support it in an open way that’s constructive and embraces the public?”
 For contemporary artists, however, this change in policy presents a problem, as the article goes on to discuss:

The biggest hurdle to wide-open photo policies is the issue of copyright. Museums often do not hold the copyrights to the works they display, which creates legal problems when visitors start snapping away. According to Julie Ahrens, a lawyer who specializes in issues of copyright and fair use at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford University, a photograph of an artwork could be considered a “derivative work,” which is “potentially a violation of the copyright holder.”
Read the full article at ArtNews.com here.

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