30th / VRA 20th
Friday, March 22, 2002
Public Policy Committee:
Barbara Rockenbach, Co-Chair
James Mitchell, Co-Chair
Ursula Kolmstetter (Executive Board Liaison)
Maryly Snow (also VRA-IPR Chair)
Margaret Webster (also VRA?)
Intellectual Property Rights Committee:
Maryly Snow (Chair)
Robert A. Baron
Ann Burns (guest)
Jeanne M. Keefe
Rebecca A. Moss
Christine L. Sundt
Maryly Snow called the meeting to order at 5:00.
Rebecca Ann Moss took minutes for VRA.
introductions of Committee members, the Chairs presented summaries of the past
reported that the ARLIS/NA Public Policy Committee’s website was re-designed
(http://www.library.yale.edu/~brockenb/Pubpol.htm). Issue areas covered include:
copyright, other intellectual property issues, distance education, and
censorship. They also helped plan the NINCH Town Hall meeting that took place at
the conference. See the Committee’s 2001 Annual Report for more information:
reported that the VRA IPR website (http://www.arthist.umn.edu/slides/IPR/frameset1.htm)
had been redesigned. The Copy Photography Computator created and written by
Allan Kohl was vetted by Georgia Harper and approved.
monitoring ALA-L? They have no restrictions so anyone can join. Maryly monitors
the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). Robert Baron is thinking of
compiling a list of specialized lists. We can add ours to this. Robert compiles
for CAA. The suggestion was made to make the web pages link to each other.
A wide-ranging discussion was held on their various
activities. Roger Lawson is the ARLIS/NA liaison; Christine Sundt is on the
NINCH Board; Kathe Albrecht is on their Best Practices Committee. Major projects
nearing completion include the Guide to
Good Practice in the Digital Representation & Management of Cultural
Heritage Materials, which will cover metadata and storage issues, among
others; and the International Database of Digital Humanities Projects. Lorelei
Tanji (UC-Irvine) prepared a report on the second NINCH Membership Meeting
(Forum) held at the Getty Center in December 2001 for an upcoming issue of ARLIS
Update. Announcements from NINCH continue to be sent to VRA-L and ARLIS-L.
Albrecht reported that the 2003 NINCH series is still early in the planning
stages. It is possible they will plan one for New York in conjunction with CAA.
It is still undecided what the issues will be, possibly distance education.
2001 Town Meeting on new business models led to a report published by
CLIR, "Building and Sustaining Digital Collections: Models for Libraries
and Museums,” available at http://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub100abst.html.
A followup meeting may be planned.
Digital Future Coalition
currently a member of the DFC, and will continue during 2002; the allocation has
already been approved by the Executive Board. VRA is considering joining, but
will hold off this year. The DFC does not seem to have been very active lately,
possibly due to staffing changes.
Eldred v. Ashcroft, challenge to Copyright Term
Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to the CTEA
filed by the Harvard-affiliated Open Law institute. Robert Baron reported that
the College Art Association is preparing an amicus brief in support of this
challenge, as are various other groups. The CAA brief will focus on art
historians’ difficulties with the retrospective portion of the act. Christine
Sundt reported that their earlier request for specific examples of harm caused
by the Act did draw several responses from VRA members. One from Helen Ronan of
Davis Art Slides might be used, representing vendor needs for access to public
domain materials. Robert Baron added that many art books published in the 1930s
and ‘40s would have soon been available if not for the CTEA.
Board has approved signing onto the CAA’s Amicus brief, and ARLIS PP needs to
make a recommendation to their Executive Board. The deadline for filing is May
15. We may want to seek legal counsel as to appropriate and most effective
action, and will follow up with these organizations to determine our options.
Rockenbach summarized UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act).
AFFECT (Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions) is the leading
national coalition opposing UCITA. It was formed by the DFC, and ARLIS/NA is a
member. There was a general discussion of the negative effects of the act, and
questions about the status of different state bills. (Six states have introduced
the bill, and Virginia and Maryland have already adopted it.) Bill Broom agreed
to monitor for VRA, and Rachel Kuhn will for ARLIS/NA.
Hollings Bill (The Security Systems
Standards and Certification Act)
industry to establish standards for copy-protection technology to prevent
unauthorized copying. Ruth Grover volunteered to
monitor for VRA.
Sen. Rick Boucher’s proposed new fair
has recently argued for revision of the DMCA, to better preserve traditional
fair use rights. He does not seem to have introduced new legislation, and
Maryly's calls to his office have not elicited
any more details.
Guggenheim Bilbao trademark problem
Webster had reported this to the ARLIS/NA Public Policy Committee in 2001, but
that group did not follow-up immediately. Apparently a slide vendor, Hartill and
Associates, was offering photos of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim building
in Bilbao, Spain. He was ordered to desist by the Guggenheim Foundation and
Gehry's office; the former apparently driving the confrontation, and unwilling
to negotiate academic/not-for-profit licensing rates. They seem to be claiming
trademark as well as copyright. This immediately recalls the recent Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame case involving trademark of a publicly-visible building. (In
that case, an initial decision against the photographer was recently
overturned.) This is a worldwide trend, with similar attempts being made to
expand trademark protection to the Tuscan landscape and New Zealand's flora and
Committees agreed that we need to work more aggressively to educate our members
on this area of intellectual property law. The expertise of VRA members with the
acquisition of architectural images will be especially important to this effort.
and Rebecca Price volunteered to work on an article
for the VRA newsletter or journal.
TEACH Act (Technology, Education, And
Harmonization Act of 2001)
bill would clarify acceptable uses of copyright-protected visual/multimedia
materials over secure academic networks. After being passed by the Senate in
June 2001, it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. There has been no
action since last July.
IPR Copyright Tutorial on the Web
Moss discussed the importance of educating members about basic copyright
principles. It was suggested that this could be effectively done at the local
level, with Chapter's conducting a copyright tutorial at their regular meetings.
Although the Copyright Act is federal law, each state has individual laws and
judicial politics. VRA-IPR could assemble materials and mount them on the web.
The Copy Photography Computator is a good example to follow. Lise Hawkos
suggested contacting the legal counsel from our universities. We could mount
Lise’s session at last year’s conference on the website. Margaret reported
that a response to the VRA’s Strategic Planning Committee wanted the VRA to
have a position on copyright and not have NINCH stand in for us. Allan Kohl, Liz
Edgar and Lise Hawkos agreed to work with Rebecca on the tutorial.
Mitchell reported that the Public Policy website was updated several months ago.
Distance education and copyright sections were posted, with webliographies of
relevant readings and resource sites. They will continue to work on developing
the censorship and intellectual property pages. Specific suggestions are
Progressive Librarian’s Guild
Kam reported on the PLG, an affiliate organization of ALA's Social
Responsibilities Round Table, which was formed in 1990 (http://www.libr.org/PLG/).
Their goals include supporting radical librarians and taking stands against such
things as the Patriot Act. They have worked on getting the ALA to provide
insurance benefits for librarians. There was general agreement that
collaboration with this group was desirable, and various methods were discussed.
A formal liaison relationship could be proposed to the Executive Board, or
perhaps an ad-hoc committee or roundtable could be established. We will need to
check the by-laws. The name Progressive Art Librarians Network (PRALINE) was
Conference Sessions for 2003
insufficient time remaining for adequate discussion of suggestions for next
The IPR is
also seeking to develop more ideas for a quarterly column in the VRA Newsletter.
Re-publishing earlier "classic" articles was suggested.
briefly reported on her request to students at the Glushko-Samuelson IP Law
Clinic for comment on the legality of increasing the size of images in her SPIRO
database to 200 pixels on long side. They advised against it.
was given for all committee members to attend the NINCH Copyright Town Meeting
(and conference Plenary Session), "The Changing Research and Collections
Environment: The Information Commons Today," being held Saturday morning.
was adjourned at 7:10 PM.