Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Materials
Source: Association of Art Museum Directors
The possession, ownership and use of copyrighted materials and works of art in art museums involves virtually all aspects of museum operations, from the display of works of art to the dissemination of archival material, from the creation of exhibition catalogues to the use of online collections. In all of these aspects and others, museums must be mindful of the rights of the creators of, and holders of copyright in, materials and works of art. At the same time, in order to accomplish their mission of acquiring, preserving, studying and interpreting works of art that are held for the benefit of the public, art museums rely on fair use, the ability and the right to use copyrighted materials and works of art in appropriate circumstances and under conditions that are well recognized, both legally and ethically. Museums not only use copyrighted materials and works of art, they also create such materials and even commission such works. They should—and the Association of Art Museum Directors (“AAMD”) believes do—understand and expect their copyrighted materials and works of art to be subject to the same fair use by third parties.