Art and Copyright

Art & Copyright

Copyright and Other Restrictions
* What is copyright?
* When does copyright apply to a work of art?
* Who holds copyright in an image depicting fine art?
* Who can I contact for fine art copyright clearance?
* Are there any additional restrictions related to fine art images?
* Why do some images of fine art require pre-approval?

What is copyright?
Copyright is the legal right that artists have to determine how their works are used or reproduced. The purpose of copyright is two-fold. First, it protects the artist’s right against piracy or illicit use. Secondly, it provides the economic incentive for artists to create. Copyright provides additional income for artists derived from the reproduction, adaptation, distribution, performance and display of their own work.

When does copyright apply to a work of art?
As soon as an artist creates a work of art, it is protected by copyright. Artists (or their agents) then have the right to determine how and when a work can be reproduced. Although copyright laws vary from country to country, generally the duration of copyright is 70-75 years after the death of the artist. After this time, the work is no longer under copyright and can be reproduced without additional clearance or fees. Any artwork created by a living artist or an artist deceased fewer than 70 years may be subject to copyright. As such, the artist or their representative must be contacted for copyright clearance and they are entitled to royalties.
Who holds copyright in an image depicting fine art?
As a photographer might hold copyright in the images they provide to us, so too would an artist hold copyright on created works of art pictured in a photograph. Corbis can provide images of artwork, but we do not hold copyright on the art depicted within and we cannot provide clearance. It is the client’s responsibility to obtain copyright clearance from the artist and to pay any fees associated with usage. When possible, we will assist you in seeking clearance but ultimate responsibility falls with you the client.

Who can I contact for fine art copyright clearance?
Most countries of the world have national clearance agents that negotiate fine art copyright on behalf of artists associated with that country. The majority of known artists or their estates are represented by these agents and they can negotiate copyright clearance and royalties associated with various usages. In addition, many of these agents have reciprocal agreements with other national agencies throughout the world. The fees charged by these agencies for copyright are separate and in addition to the licensing fees charged by Corbis. For your convenience, we have provided contact information for many of the better known agencies and regional copyright organizations. When seeking clearance for any artist, it is best to begin with the national copyright agent in, your, the client’s country of origin. When you contact them, have the following information available:

* USAGE (textbook, advertisement, online, etc.)
* MEDIUM (print, online, etc.)
* IMAGE PLACEMENT (cover, inside, billboard, etc.)
* DISTRIBUTION (geographical location)
Should you not want the additional burden of seeking out and procuring copyright approval for your project, we can facilitate this for you through our agent, Second Line Search. There is an additional fee for this service.

Artists Rights Society (ARS) is the preeminent copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1986, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 30,000 visual artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and others) and estates of visual artists from around the world

Are there any additional restrictions related to fine art images?
Beyond the scope of artist copyright, rights restrictions are rare in fine art images. There are, however, instances when trademark, celebrity, property, and other third party rights issues are inherent to a fine art image. Should this be the case, any image restrictions will be listed in restrictions information for each image. The specific nature of the rights issue involved can be obtained through a simple query to your account executive. And should other third party rights need clearance, we again, recommend using Second Line Search. ęCorbis

What is Modern Art?

text-align:justify; For centuries artists enjoyed their place serving the Church, the aristocracy and current public conventions or tradition. Their handiwork decorated castles, stately homes and Churches with allegorical, mythological and religious subject matter. But towards the end of the 18th century things began to change. It was in fact the French Revolution of 1789 which caused the shift. The Modern era unfolded in its shadow. Under the mantra of liberty, equality and fraternity, society was irrevocably transformed. Art had become a subject like philosophy and was open to be discussed. Artists became self conscious and self reliant. They were no longer constrained by a preconceived style, subject matter or technique. They critically examined existing conventions and created new possibilities for art. From the late 18th century many artists and art movements arose which challenged traditional thinking about painting, It is widely believed that Modern Art began with the work of the Frenchman, Paul Cezanne. (1839 - 1906) . He built upon the new techniques developed by his predeccesors (like the Impressionists), and together with this tried to recapture a sense of order and clarity. His efforts opened the way for Cubism which reformed painting even more. Many more movements followed, all challenging and transforming the act of painting in their own way. By the late 1960's,and early 1970's artists began to experiment with new media, such as video and performance and moved away from painting. It is here then, where Modernism is said to have ended and a new era begun.

What is Contemporary Art?

text-align:justify; Contemporary art is simply the art created in our lifetime. The subject matter explored is considered to be the most socially conscious,of any previous era. And the techniques employed reflect everyday life. Artists use video, multimedia, nature, music and more, to express their ideas. 1998 - 2013