Monday, March 7, 2016
Rauschenberg Foundation Eases Copyright Restrictions on Art
Museum-goers tend to be unaware of the vast network of copyright protections that underlie images of much of Modern and contemporary art, until they try to shoot a cellphone picture of a favorite painting and receive an embarrassing tut-tut from a guard.
But for decades, historians, curators and museum officials have been highly aware of these protections. And many have chafed under a system whose fees and sometimes elaborate permission agreements can make projects like publishing scholarly books or publicizing exhibitions prohibitively expensive or an administrative nightmare — often, both.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, begun by Mr. Rauschenberg 18 years before his death in 2008, has been a part of this system. But after experiments over the last year, it has decided to adopt a new policy of making images of Rauschenberg work much more widely available free. . .