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  #1  
Old 08-19-2008, 12:32 AM
ryankingslien ryankingslien is offline
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A Legal Question

Hello. I have a legal question that I am havinig a hard time finding a direct answer for. I have thousands of photos of ancient and 19th century artwork that I have collected over the years. Does anyone know where I can find more information out about the copyright and intellectual property rights of cities and museums regarding publishing photographs of sculptures in their collection?

Much of my photography was in Copenhagen and Prague. I am sure the Prague work is copyright free but I also have some work from the Getty in Los Angeles, as well.

Thanks in advance.

Ryan

Last edited by ryankingslien : 08-19-2008 at 01:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-2008, 03:39 AM
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Mr. Malloy Mr. Malloy is offline
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Re: A Legal Question

Good question.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2008, 01:05 PM
ryankingslien ryankingslien is offline
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Re: A Legal Question

i like good questions.

i did find out more info and its not pretty: http://cnx.org/content/m13940/latest/
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  #4  
Old 08-23-2008, 03:43 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: A Legal Question

[quote=ryankingslien;63577]Hello. I have a legal question that I am havinig a hard time finding a direct answer for. I have thousands of photos of ancient and 19th century artwork that I have collected over the years. Does anyone know where I can find more information out about the copyright and intellectual property rights of cities and museums regarding publishing photographs of sculptures in their collection?

[Read the language of the copyright treaty, and the relevant US statutes, like the copyright act of 1976. Here's a link:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/

If you read under the section entitled "duration of copyright" it sounds like there's normally a 28 year period of copyright, which can be extended for a further 67 years. An heir of the author might be able to extend it further; I'm not sure about that. But in the case of ancient sculpture, and most 19th-century sculpture, those terms would be over by now. I don't think that a museum has an intellectual property interest in a piece of sculpture merely because it has collected it, any more than a private individual would. Usually, the permissions referred to in the article you referenced have to do with the copyright on the photos which the institution has taken of the works in question,to which it can assert a valid copyright. That's why they tend to prohibit independent photography of their collections, in order to control the publication of these images.]



Much of my photography was in Copenhagen and Prague. I am sure the Prague work is copyright free but I also have some work from the Getty in Los Angeles, as well.

[If the works are over 100 years old, they would be in the public domain, unless some heir to the author has extended the copyright, which is unlikely. If you took the photos yourself, I think you can use them for whatever you want. The Getty may own the sculptures, but it didn't create them, and it doesn't own any copyright on them under any theory I can think of. But I'm not a lawyer - if this is something you need to really nail down the permissions for, you'd be well advised to consult one. Try a local "Lawyers for the Arts" chapter.]

Andrew Werby
www.unitedartworks.com
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  #5  
Old 08-23-2008, 03:56 PM
ryankingslien ryankingslien is offline
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Re: A Legal Question

Thanks for the reply.

I am checking with a lawyer now. As i understand it book publishers require photographers to get rights for all the images from museums which charge a fairly high rate for someone with my modest ambitions. Also, I had read about some sort of contextual rights. Since they lit it and its in their space they own the copyright to the presentation of it.

Either way I should understand things better soon. Thanks again for the reply.



r
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Contextual copyright?

That's a new one to me. I have a hard time believing that a new copyright is created by simply placing an item in a lighted space. But then I'm not a lawyer either - it sounds like they're pretty creative too...

When you get the real story on this, could you post back and share it with us?

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com
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