• Cleopatra :: 1524-1526
  • Artist: Giampietrino (Giovanni Padrino), Italian
  • Repository: Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
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Copyright, Museums and Licensing of Art Images


June 2010 - 2012
Kenneth D. Crews

Access to art images –especially images of art works in museum collections here and abroad – is essential to teaching, learning, research and scholarship in the history of art, and indeed in all the many fields engaged with the study of visual culture. Such access has been rendered both easier and more problematic by the emergence of new technologies. In 2009, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation awarded a research grant to Dr. Kenneth D. Crews, Director of the Copyright Advisory Office at Columbia University Libraries. Dr. Crews proposed to undertake a study of art museum image licensing concepts, terminology and policies, including “terms and conditions” for the use of art images. The principal objectives of this study were to gather a representative sample of art museum license agreements; to analyze their similarities and differences with respect to both terminology and policies; and to produce a systematic inventory of the range of issues addressed in and posed by such licensing agreements and the different ways in which museums have responded to these issues. This inventory and analysis has sought to provide insight into the issues of copyright and licensing that are of concern to art museums and to educational and scholarly users of art images.

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Download PDF versions of the Appendices

The documents in Appendix 1 may also be found on the author's website at: 

Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 are articles published as a result of this research are also available for download on the Social Science Research Network at:
Appendix 2: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2120210
Appendix 3: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2026476

Copyright Information

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Copyright is retained by the Author.


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Kenneth Crews joined Columbia University in January 2008 as founding director of the Copyright Advisory Office (CAO). For more than twenty years, Dr. Crews has focused much of his research, policymaking, and teaching on copyright issues. He has published widely on the topic, and he is a frequent speaker at universities and meetings throughout the world. In 2008 he completed a study for the World Intellectual Property Organization (an agency of the United Nations), analyzing copyright statutes applicable to libraries in the laws of more than 150 countries.

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