Art, Cultural Heritage, and Law

Having recently completed a thesis on copyright for cultural heritage, and started an archiving contract with a law firm, I felt reasonably confident about my grasp of most aspects legal of the GLAM field. (I have also read the Canada Evidence Act. A lot.)

Boy, was my face red when I discovered there is a Center for Cultural Heritage Law, that had somehow eluded all my research attempts. And similar think tanks, under various names, like the Institute for Art and Law. There is a very real legal sub-field, just for us!

The Center and the Institute have their respective blogs (mostly promotional, sometimes informative), issuing opinions and decrees on everything from: how Detroit’s bankruptcy relates to their art collections, the return of looted cultural property, tax exemptions and receipts for art, theft and forgery, copyright and originality, technology and privacy …. it’s all there.

The Center also publishes the Journal of Art, Technology, and Intellectual Property Law, which I am now bulk-downloading before I graduate and lose my database access. They’re even hosting a debate competition on changes to the Visual Artists’ Rights Act, in February 2015.

The American Bar Association has a committee (loosely associated with the Center) on Art and Cultural Heritage Law, and the Center also collaborates with the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (I’ve linked to their list of art-and-law courses offered by American universities, just in case you need an elective).

It looks to be an emerging field, and I question whether there is space within information-science programs to incorporate the numerous lessons that cultural heritage law can offer. In my experience, legal compliance was mentioned ambiguously in my records-management class, and copyright was alluded to in the introductory “information and society” course. But pursuing a more in-depth course of study on legal issues was left to independent credits.

Besides the legal angles of running a cultural heritage group / institution / consultancy / what-have-you, we obviously have an interest in questions such as whether Vivian Maier’s phenomenal photos are considered “property” in the case of defaulting on a storage locker (and whether copyright is a “property” included in a storage contract):

“… not only will a lot of Maier’s work be tied up in litigation for years, it may not be able to be reproduced in books or shown in art galleries until everything is said and done. This is beyond unfortunate, and, in many ways, not what copyright law was intended to do.”

Or how to deal with art forgeries in our collections:

“… the former registrar of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Matthew Leininger, one of the first museum professionals to latch on to Landis’s faked donations, but whose obsession with his nemesis led to his eventual dismissal and whose young daughter can readily identify the subject of her father’s crusade with a disturbing familiarity.”

Or where our work sits on the line between intellectual freedoms, privacy, and protection from “hostile work environments:”

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Minneapolis Area Office, issued a Determination that the Minneapolis Public Library subjected librarians employed by the library to a “sexually hostile work environment” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for maintaining a policy of unrestricted Internet access.

(I also zipped through this long-form about rare book theft last week, which has some hilariously botched sting operations, among other things.)

Let me know about your program in the comments — does your project management class discuss insurance, appraisals, and liability? Do you talk about salaries and working conditions in the field, and delve into issues of gender parity and harassment, workplace health and safety (like breathing mould), or academic rights and freedoms? Could you write an acceptable term paper on the issues surrounding the indexing and return of looted art (and how linked data could aid this work in the future)? Or the contract issues around hiring an independent conservator? Or what happens when collections merge, as in the Corcoran, or the Glenbow? Or a comparative look at legal environments for cultural heritage work across the world?

Job Posting: Rights and Reproductions Coordinator, Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art is seeking a Rights & Reproductions Coordinator for a full-time position. Working within the Digital Media department, the Rights & Reproductions Coordinator secures permissions for images and other digital content, resolves issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property, and retains appropriate documentation.  The activities are primarily pertaining to the museum’s collections, but extend to related Museum exhibitions, publications and programs.  This staff position spends equal time administering DMA-owned object photography requests and securing appropriate permissions for exhibition and publications projects.

Ideal candidates will thrive in a fast-paced environment and enjoy working as part of a dynamic and active team.

http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH07/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=DMA&cws=1&rid=259

Job Posting: Director of the Copyright Office, University of Alberta

http://current.ischool.utoronto.ca/jobsite/2014/director-copyright-office

The successful candidate will have a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or a Juris Doctor (J.D.). Required qualifications include demonstrated experience regarding copyright, intellectual property laws, and fair dealing in the Canadian context as well as highly developed oral, written, and presentation skills. Applicants must also possess a proven ability to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and excellent organizational and problem solving skills.

In accordance with the Administrative and Professional Officer (APO) Agreement, this full-time continuing position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at www.hrs.ualberta.ca and annual salary range of $78,136 to $130,232. The position is located in the Cameron Library on the main campus of the University of Alberta (T6G 2J8).
When applying please include your curriculum vitae and the names of three references. Review of applications will begin August 1, 2014, however, the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
Apply Online at http://www.careers.ualberta.ca/Competition/A101724061/

Reporting directly to the Vice-Provost (Learning Services) and Chief Librarian, the successful candidate participates in the strategic development of Learning Services which includes the Libraries, Museums and Collections, Bookstore, University Press, and Technology Training Centre, as well as the Copyright Office. The Director of the Copyright Office establishes mechanisms to assist the university community in complying with copyright laws and best practices in their research and publishing, their teaching and use of resources and services.
Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Managing the operations of the Copyright Office, including the receipt of requests and evaluation of compliance requirements
Participating in the strategic development of Learning Services and advising the Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian on compliance and risk
Ensuring the development of internal policies, guidelines and standards for copyright compliance
Supporting ongoing training in the appropriate use of copyrighted resources in an institutional setting
Advising on copyright issues related to scholarly communication, authors rights and publishing agreements, open access and use of a wide variety of materials, including digital formats.

Call for Papers: Artists’ Records in the Archives symposium

Artists’ Records in the Archives: A One Day Symposium – Call for Participation

The archives of many institutions contain artists’ records—documents created by artists that often bear witness to the creative process, as evinced by sketches, doodles, and other notations. Artists’ records differ from other types of records due to their inherent connection to the art object and the art market. In recent years there has been a plethora of symposia and conferences dedicated to artist archives, art history and “the archive,” as well as to the use of archival materials by contemporary artists.  While crucial, these investigations have been driven almost entirely by art historians and have not included the perspectives of archivists and special collections librarians.  As part of an effort to broaden the discussion surrounding artists’ records, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York has organized a one day symposium, “Artists’ Records in the Archives,” to be held on October 11, 2011 in conjunction with the New York Public Library.  Focusing on the perspective of the information professional, this symposium will address how contemporary artists use artists’ records in their work, the significance of artists’ records in archives for scholars and curators, and how archivists and special collections librarians manage artists’ records in their repositories.

Possible topics or areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

*Artists’ use of other artists’ records
*How archivists manage artists’ records and how this might differ within a museum, estate, gallery, and university setting
*Collecting artists’ records
*Appraisal of artists’ records
*Underdocumented artists and the archives
*Exhibitions and artists’ records
*Artists’ records and the digital environment
*Born digital artists’ records
*Copyright, moral rights, and the artist
*Conversations between archivists, artists, and art historians regarding archives

Date:  October 11, 2011
Location: New York Public Library

All individual presentations will be 20 minutes long (10 page paper).

Submissions must include a title, name of author and institutional affiliation, abstract (250 words max), and indication of technological requirements.

Individual papers or entire panel proposals accepted.

A small travel stipend is available. If interested please indicate in the submission.

Deadline for Proposals: Proposals should be emailed to artistsymposium@gmail.com by August 15, 2011. 

Online workshop – Institutional Copyright Policies

Via ACRL College Libraries listserv. Note that this course is being taught by the legal counsel for RISD, so expect some discussion of copyright policy as it pertains to artwork and art-centric institutions. It is offered by the Center for Intellectual Property and can be taken as a stand-alone course or towards CIP certification.

*****

Institutional Copyright Policies
http://tinyurl.com/yzt6fmd

January 14-29, 2010
Instructor: Steven McDonald, J.D., General Counsel, Rhode Island School of Design

This online workshop will help you evaluate & answer some of the many questions that flow from the process of policy development within the arena of higher education. Who owns the work? And who can do what with the work? Is cyberspace a separate jurisdiction with a different set of rules than the physical world? Does the institution need a new policy and resource, or is a current policy sufficient and applicable-or adaptable-to the technologies, opportunities, and demands of academic life, both online and offline, in the digital era?

Goals for the course:

In this course, participants will:

1. Gain a practical understanding of basic copyright principles as they apply in and to higher education generally;

2. Learn how to evaluate institutional copyright policies and discuss the development and modification of those policies;

3. Understand the policies and technical steps your institution will need to implement in order to take full advantage of the opportunities that copyright law allows;

4. Gain a greater understanding of Internet law and policy;

5. Be encouraged to think about how copyright policies can serve the educational mission.

Advance your career. The new certification program Copyright Leadership in Higher Education requires that participants take one elective workshop in addition to the core course Foundations in Copyright Management and Leadership.  This foundations course will be offered March 29 – May 21, 2010. Register for certification today and receive this elective workshop for free. Learn more at http://www.cipcommunity.org/certification.

Please see linked website for more information-
http://tinyurl.com/yzt6fmd

SIGN UP TODAY: http://tinyurl.com/nuw58g [Secured Server]