Copyright and Intellectual Property
Intellectual property refers to any fixed tangible created piece made by a human, (such as literary works, artistic works, inventions, designs, symbols, names, images, computer code, etc.) Copyright is a set of exclusive rights awarded to a copyright holder or owner for an original and creative work of authorship in a fixed tangible piece. The following resources were compiled from organizations throughout the nonprofit and museum sector. AAM reviewed and approved each one based on the organization’s authority and expertise and the resource’s usefulness related to the topic. Clicking the links below will take you off the AAM website.
The College Art Association released its Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. The practices are based on a consensus of professionals in the visual arts who use copyrighted images, texts, and other materials and covers museum uses, and online access to archival and special collections (among other items).
The U.S. Copyright Office offers information on copyright basics, U.S. and international copyright law, registration procedures, and licensing. It also has a series of circulars and fact sheets on specific topics, such as works-made-for-hire, investigating the copyright status of a work, and copyright registration for online work.
Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America provide RightsStatements.org which includes 11 different rights statements that can be used by cultural heritage institutions to communicate the copyright and re-use status of digital objects to the public.
The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) discusses reproduction of museum collections for exhibition, sale, research, or education. A 40-page chapter discusses 3-dimensional reproductions. It includes a glossary and several sample agreements for making reproductions.
The National Park Service’s (NPS) Museum Handbook (PDF) discusses the reproduction of museum collections for exhibition, sale, research, or education. An 86-page chapter focuses on two-dimensional reproductions. It includes a comparison of the advantages and of disadvantages of different two-dimensional formats, a cost recovery chart for use in establishing a fee structure, and a few sample agreements.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) shares the WIPO Guide on Managing Intellectual Property for Museums. The first part of the guide outlines how museums can identify intellectual property and understand rights and related issues. The second part reviews business models that center on the Internet and digital technologies and suggests ways to implement revenue-generating strategies.