Re: Requests for photographs

Janean Van Beckum

You are correct that copyright does not automatically transfer with the object and that if it is to be transfered it has to be clearly stated in the DOG with an understanding that the donor owns the copyright in the first place. A good resource is “A Museum Guide to Copyright and Trademark” by AAM In may instances the donor doesn’t own the copyright and cannot legally transfer it. The way we partially get around the copyright issue (although we do own the clear rights to most of our collection) is by saying we are charging for the service of copying, not the copy of the photograph itself. I don’t understand all the legalities, but our lawyer says it is an additional way to protect ourselves. In addition, we don’t make copies of images if we don’t hold copyright or are unsure if they are in the public domaine. These are flagged in PastPerfect so it is easy to spot.