If you're an artist of any stripe, you've probably had moments of uncertainty about using copyrighted materials in your work, and the instances in which your use falls under fair use. A new study by the College Art Association (CAA) discovered that 37 percent of artists use third-party material and that one in five avoids or abandons a project over concerns that they're not doing it right -- and that number is much higher for editors and academics.
To remedy these fears, the CAA sponsored the work of American University professors Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide in the creation of "The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts," the 10th such code that the pair have created that aims to help creators work more effectively and with less risk.
The multi-year effort by Jaszi and Aufderheide involved meeting with thousands of artists, who were surveyed and interviewed about their reasons for using third-party materials and the legal limitations of those rationales. The AU professors then drafted a code on the areas of consensus among the groups and split it into five sections: analytic writing, teaching about art, art making, museum work, and online archives and special collections.