Thursday, April 26, 2012
Art Is Long; Copyrights Can Even Be Longer; New York Times, 4/24/12
Patricia Cohen, New York Times; Art Is Long; Copyrights Can Even Be Longer: "Artists’ copyright is frequently misunderstood. Even if a painting (or drawing or photograph) has been sold to a collector or a museum, in general, the artist or his heirs retain control of the original image for 70 years after the artist’s death. Think of a novel. You may own a book, but you don’t own the writer’s words; they remain the intellectual property of the author for a time. So while MoMA owns the actual canvas of “Les Demoiselles,” the family of Picasso, who died in 1973, still owns the image. And under existing law, the estate will continue to own the copyright until 2043. If someone wants to reproduce the painting — on a Web site, a calendar, a T-shirt, or in a film — it is the estate that must give its permission, not the museum. That is why, despite the expansion, Google Art Project still does not contain a single Picasso."