Nov 8-12, 2018

Can Fair Use Help the Visual Arts Community?

with Patricia Aufderheide, Gordon Quinn, Mari Carmen Ramirez, and Consuelo Gutierrez

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cover.fairusevisualartsWhen can an artist or art historian use a photo she snapped in a museum for a class or a work of art? Can a museum reproduce an image from an exhibition of contemporary art in a related brochure without licensing it? How can fair use simplify the permissions process in publications? Can an archive put images from its collection online—and if so, with what restrictions? The copyright doctrine of fair use, which permits use of unlicensed copyrighted material, has great utility in the visual arts. But for too long, it’s been hard to understand how to interpret this rather abstract part of the law. The newly-created Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Visual Arts, produced by the College Art Association, makes it much easier to employ fair use to do visual arts scholarship, art practice, teaching, exhibitions, digital displays and more.

Professor Patricia Aufderheide, one of the lead facilitators of the Code, will explain how it works, how it was created and why it’s reliable. The presentation will be followed by short talks from several arts professionals about how they rely on the Code in their work. Speakers include Gordon Quinn, Kartemquin Films; Mari Carmen Ramirez, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Consuelo Gutierrez, The Menil Collection. The event will conclude with a Q&A.

Patricia Aufderheide is University Professor in the School of Communication at American University and founder of the Center for Media & Social Impact there. Her books include Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (University of Chicago), with Peter Jaszi; Documentary: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford), The Daily Planet (University of Minnesota Press), and Communications Policy in the Public Interest (Guilford Press). She co-coordinates the Fair Use and Free Speech project at the Center with Prof. Peter Jaszi of the Washington College of Law, creating codes of best practices with ten communities of practice; all the codes are available at

Location: Rice University Media Center on the Rice University Campus. Use Entrance #8 at the corner of University Blvd and Stockton. As you enter the campus, it is the first building on the right.

Parking: West Lot 1 (Alice Pratt Brown Lot)

This event is co-sponsored by the College Art Association and the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, with support from Rice Cinema. CAA fair use programs are generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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