|Dear Ms. Gesslein,
Thank you for your email about copyright, trademark and licensing issues for museum websites. This is an important area for museums, and we are delighted to hear that you and your fellow students are considering these issues in your own use of museum information on your websites.
The professional museum community is developing policies in many areas of intellectual property. The "Museums and Intellectual Property Project" at the American Association of Museums was created to help museums understand the many issues involved, and to develop guidelines and policies that can be used in individual museums. The project is new, and our first task was to develop an introductory guide to copyright and trademark for museums. This guide should be available in late November. Although it is written specifically for museum professionals, anyone may purchase a copy through the AAM Bookstore (accessible from the AAM website at http://www.aam-us.org).
As for policies or statements that you could use in developing your websites, you might want to take a look at some actual copyright statements posted on museum websites. The Museum of Modern Art (www.moma.org), for example, has a well-developed copyright policy about use of their website information. There are also many, many intellectual property websites that address museum, library, and archive issues. As a start, you may wish to check out the following:
The US Copyright Office:
The US Patent and Trademark Office:
RARIN (The Rights and Reproductions Information
Network -- AAM
Good luck to you on your project. I think it is wonderful that you and your fellow students are responsible users and creators of intellectual property! Please let us know when your site becomes available.
Diane M. Zorich
|Thank you for contacting ArtsEdNet.
Your questions are good ones. However, you may wish to contact someone specifically trained in the laws of copyright, intellectual property and the Internet. The images you see on our site were specifically requested for use with ArtsEdNet. If someone else wanted to use these images, that person would have to request permission to use those images with his/her own project. Permissions vary from owner to owner. Permission is generally granted for specific purposes and for specific projects.
Since the Internet is accessible to the public, if you wish to print out materials from a site to your personal printer and use them for personal use (such as classroom hand-outs, for instance) that would be permissible. However, you would not be able to take those materials and sell them for profit, or reprint them in another format and distribute them.
As you see, these questions are complex and should be answered by those who understand copyright laws.
To answer your questions:
2) If you don't own the art, will
you tell us who to contact to ask for permission?
Unfortunately, some of the text and almost all of the fine art images you see on ArtsEdNet do not belong to the Getty. It is most likely that you will need to contact someone else for permission to use his/her images in your project.
We hope this is helpful to you.