In any given instance, I am always prepared simply to remove any image for any webpage I have published, although I hope that the notion of fair use can help those of us whose goals are purely educational. That’s where it comes down for me: as I make no money from my web publishing endeavors, I don’t have the means to pay for the re-use of the images that I find already on the Internet, but in situations where the use of those images already on the Internet falls afoul of copyright (and there are many orphaned images on the Internet, of completely unknown status in terms of copyright), or where the use of those images fall afoul of what people think is their copyright, I can simply remove the image. That’s my only option. I’m not sure who gains by that, but it is the only recourse I have as a teacher who puts materials online in the hopes of promoting the public good – and for no other reason.
I respect photographers who are seeking to make a living by means of their art, and if they think it will assist them in their commercial endeavors for me to remove an image from a webpage, I am glad to do so – although I am also glad that in all my years of working with images online, I have only been asked once to remove an image, which I promptly did (while removing at the same time the link I had dutifully made to the website where the artist herself was displaying the same image online in hopes of selling her work). I’m not sure if anybody won anything that way, but I complied immediately with the artist’s request. For me, the images on webpages are always just something extra… and I consider myself lucky indeed that there is a rich and abundant public domain for the world of WORDS, which is what is the real focus of my online publishing endeavors.]]>
The Bridgman Art Library syndicates my images. Recently I put this question to Adrian Gibbs one of the Bridgman curators:
“Who owns the copyright in Michelangelo’s David/ Head of Odysseus/Leonardo Last Supper”
Adrian responded as follows:
“This recently from a lawyer in Rome acting for the ‘Ministerio’:
‘While the majority of the artworks in our state museums may not be protected by artist’s copyright, since almost twenty years access to photographing such artworks has been restricted by law.
As well-known to every fine arts photographer, in 1994 the Italian parliament adopted the so-called Ronchey Act (1993), which, among other issues, governs the reproduction right of every image of works of art owned by the Ministry of Culture: the reproduction of these images is authorized only upon written agreement from the local Superintendant, who manages the state museums in his area, and upon payment of the relevant permission fee.
If the museum can supply a good quality of the work requested, it will add to such permission fee a photographic fee. If not, the museum will authorize the publishers to commission new photography, and any photographer authorized to shoot in a state museum will have obtained a single-use only written authorization. Re-uses of the image would be subject to the applicable permission fee.
Please be reminded that the Italian Ministry of Culture owns works of art in the ownership of 583 state institutions: 133 archives, 47 libraries and, in particular, all 403 state museums, monuments and archaeological sites. It includes world-famous museums as the Galleria degli Uffizi, the Galleria dell’Accademia and Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice, the Coliseum, the Forum, the Terme di Caracalla and the Galleria Borghese in Rome, the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, the sites of Pompei and Ercolano, the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan etc.
Licensing the above images without clearing the museum’s authorization consists in a civil law violation, unless the photographer, or his agency, have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Culture including a royalty and specific restrictions for non-editorial uses’.”
When I mentioned Wikipedia this was the response:
“Wikipedia’s stance is an interesting one. They are correct of course in asserting that the work of artists who have been dead for over 70 years is no longer protected by copyright. However your photograph of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ is protected by your copyright. Wikipedia adhere to the belief that photography of 2-D works is not copyright-able. They base their thinking on a court case that we lost ten years ago in NYC. That ruling’s relevance outside the jurisdiction of that particular court is highly debatable but copyright libertarian types cling to it.
The ‘Ministero’ use specific Italian legislation passed in 1994 to assert their control over reproduction of State-owned work and their ability to exploit it commercially. It is a nuisance and we have engaged a Milan lawyer to advise us, but it does look as if we will have to follow the rules”.
Twenty-First Century Paintings http://www.andredurand-gallery2000.com
The Wholly Pictures Sussex http://www.durandwhollypictures.com
Twentieth Century Paintings http://www.durand-gallery.com]]>
[Editor: Changed to link - http://www.flickr.com/help/photos/]
Mine is all rights reserved which is stated in my photo information.
I have published photos in several art history books and they have all contacted me to ask permission. I do not believe this to be in the public domain. I do not allow any downloads of my photos on Flickr. There are many terrible pictures of paintings on the web. It is very difficult to get them true. I am not trying to be difficult but these are the facts.
As I understand copyright law in the United States and in many other countries, mechanical reproductions (including photographs) of two-dimensional works of art do not have copyright protection: if someone takes a picture of flat art in the public domain, the flat photograph is also in the public domain. When I included this photo on the site without first requesting permission, I was not simply failing to “check the license” you used for your photo. Rather, I believed (and still believe) that your photo is in the public domain. Is that not your understanding of the applicable laws?
But I do like your idea about notifying people if I use their public-domain photos on the site. It’s not required by any kind of license or copyright law or anything, of course, but I think it would be a nice gesture. I’ll be striving to do that in the future: thanks for the tip!]]>
You have used my picture from Flickr, the beautiful painting by Bronzino for this online magazine, which I like by the way without getting my permission. All rights on my work are reserved. I should have been notified first. You can leave it now but you should check the licenses people use for their photos.