Slowly improving Copyright clarity | Cooper Hewitt Labs 2015-09-05


Cooper Hewitt has not had the resources or staff to undertake the type of multi-year Copyright audits that museums like the V&A have done, and as a result, with provenance and documentation in many cases quite scant, the museum has had to make ‘best efforts’. With the recent tweaks to the online collection, we have finally been able to make some clarifying changes. Like all Smithsonian museums, all online content is subject to institution-wide ‘Terms of use‘. This governs the ‘permitted uses’ of anything on our websites, irrespective of underlying rights. These terms are not created at an individual museum level but are part of Smithsonian-wide policy. You can see that whilst these terms allow only ‘allows personal, educational, and other non-commercial uses’ they encourage the use of Fair Use under US Copyright law. However, that said, we think it is important to be clear on what is definitely out of Copyright, and what may not be. And over time, as the collection gets better documented, more of the unknowns will become known. So here’s what we have done – its not perfect – but at least its better than it was.


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Tags: oa.comment oa.policies oa.copyright oa.licensing oa.cooper_hewitt oa.images oa.digitization oa.smithsonian oa.museums oa.archives oa.glaaeries oa.glam


09/05/2015, 07:55

Published Date:

09/05/2015, 03:55