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February 27, 2009

Copyright Debate

It's highly unlikely that you haven't seen the now iconic "Hope" poster of President Obama at some point in the last year. We're coyly avoiding posting it as the national debate has moved from the campaign trail to focus on copyright issues raised by the poster itself. The furor stems from the artist's use of an Associated Press photograph as a starting point for the piece. The AP is claiming copyright infringement, and the artist, Shepard Fairey is claiming fair use (in terms of making art, fair use means loosely that the derivative work differs in intent and content enough from the original as to make it legitimately separate, see the U.S. Copyright Office's Fair Use page). Further adding to the debate is the dispute over whether the AP or the freelance photographer, Mannie Garcia, owns rights to the photograph.

Anyone working in the creative fields should pay attention to the arguments being made on both sides and the legal outcomes of all lawsuits involved. Nearly as long as art has been made, artists have parodied, reinterpreted, and borrowed from other artists and popular culture. New technology and the increasing practice of appropriation in the arts raises new questions about where the lines of ownership lie, what might be considered appropriate appropriation and what might cross the boundaries of infringement.

Yesterday, on NPR's Fresh Air, Fairey, Garcia, and a copyright lawyer discuss their differing opinions on the matter. You can listen to the full episode, here.

In the meantime, if you're an artist of any kind, you may want to check out the College Art Association's page on Intellectual Property rights, and particularly the fair use portion.

Keep reading for links to blog posts and more news stories about the Fairey/Garcia/AP kerfuffle as well as other Fair Use issues.

Fairey Use from the Wire
Fair Use vs. Fairey's Use in the Boston Globe
Notes on Culture in Boston Magazine
Shepard Fairey: Obey Copyright from MyArtSpace
Artist Cage Match: Fairey vs. Orr from the Austin Chronicle outs Fairey as playing both sides of the copyright issues.
Fair Use and Free Speech a YouTube video about Independent Documentary Filmmakers' statement on what is fair use.

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2009

David Rumsey Historical Maps

The David Rumsey Cartography Collection is a large resource for finding historical maps. Over 13,600 maps make up the collection. The collection consists mostly of items from the 18th and 19th century Americas like maritime charts, atlases, and globes. Many items from the collection are integrated with Google Earth. The maps are overlaid on contemporary images, and you can change the transparency of the maps to see how the areas have changed. You can view the maps from the collection website. If you'd like, you can even visit the collection in Second Life.

Also listed on the cartography collections page are several universities' map collections. All of the collections are available from computers located on the university campus with only two being inaccessible from non-university computers.

image: Hall, E.S.; Lloyd, H.H.; Waters & Son, Military Portraits. Glossary Of War Terms, Maps, Arms, Etc. (Map of) Maryland, Virginia, Chesapeake Bay, Etc., Etc. Published by H.H. Lloyd & Co., 25 Howard Street, New York. 1861, © David Ramsey Collection

Posted by hthrlowe at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2009

VRC Tutorials and YouTube Channel

Above is a tutorial on how to use the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library's Online Image Collection. We've posted it to the new Visual Resources Collection's YouTube Channel. There you can link to resources we've found useful like the Art21 videos and the Tate Modern's channel through our subscriptions. We'll also be highlighting videos we've found useful in our favorites section. Keep checking back because we'll be posting more tutorials, subscriptions and favorites from time to time.

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2009

Historic American Buildings Survey & Historic American Engineering Record

The Library of Congress Memory Project has many interesting collections within it. One of the most useful might be the Built in America Collection. This collection hosts over half a million images, drawings and records for historic American structures dating all the way back to pre-Columbian times. It's the online access point for the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, and the Historic American Landscapes Survey. You can visit the collection highlights page, where a sample from each of the fifty states is listed.

Image above: Interior Banking Room wall murals, Union Trust (Guardian) Building, Detroit, MI © Allen Stross

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2009

New Image Clusters Feature in ARTstor

ARTstor just added two new features which should make searching easier. The new features will appear as links represented by icons beneath image thumbnails.

This is the Image Cluster icon. Clicking this will bring you to a collection of images related to the item you're currently viewing. They may be details, alternate views or duplicates.

This is the Associated Images icon. Clicking this will bring you to a group of images representing the most often used images associated with the original record. For example, if you click on the icon underneath a lithographic representation of the Sistine Chapel, you'll be taken to an image group containing images of the painted ceilings and details of this large work.

image above: Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564 Sistine Chapel: Ref.: reconstruction view of interior as of 1508, looking toward alter, © University of California, San Diego

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2009

Finding Image Databases with SearchTools

Having trouble finding all the Image Databases that the Library subscribes to? Try a "database type" search in SearchTools.

Start here: http://searchtools.lib.umich.edu
Select "Find Databases" by Keyword.
Choose "Images" in the Type category and click on the Go button.

A globe beside the title indicates anyone can access the site. A lock indicates UofM access only.

Posted by rpw at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2009

Happy 200th, Darwin!

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, we thought we'd list some interesting resources relating to the man or the theories he introduced. A good starting point might be The eSkeletons Project where you can look at the anatomies of primates. One feature allows you to compare different species' bones side by side for comparative analysis.

Visit the Darwin Day Celebration page to hear interviews with scholars and even special songs about the man who observed natural selection.

Or go over to the National Museum of Natural History to see about the current exhibtion, Orchids Through Darwin's Eyes. While there, you can search the Natural History Collections by clicking on the "Research and Collections" link.

After taking in all of that, you might just want to sit back and enjoy the Natural History YouTube playlist hosted by the BBC.

image above: Portrait of Charles Robert Darwin, founder of the theory for the evolution of life. Born February 12, 1809 and died April 19, 1882. Photo was made shortly before his death. © AP Photo/Str (birthday hat added by the VRC 2/12/09)

Posted by hthrlowe at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2009

University Image Portfolios

If you've used any of the University Image Services Collections, like the AAEL Digital Images, then you've probably seen the "add to portfolio" button. You can use this option to create private or public image collections for classes or personal use.

There are two ways to start a new portfolio:
1.) Check several images on the thumbnails page, and then hit the "Add checked to portfolio" button
2.) On the individual record page, simply hit "add to portfolio"

This will take you to the Portfolios site where you will be asked to create a new portfolio or whether you'd like the image to be put into an existing portfolio.

From the portfolios page, you can browse other public portfolios or choose to edit the authors and public/private status of your own portfolio. You can also download entire portfolios of images.

For more tips, check the help page, and if you need more help downloading portfolios check the Export More Help page.

Image above: Richard Avedon, right, signs a copy of the catalog during a visit to a retrospective of his portrait photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002, in New York. © AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Posted by hthrlowe at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2009

Museum of Online Museums

Looking for something that doesn't fit neatly into a museum collection? Interested in vintage japanese robots? Or maybe you just want to peruse some images of boomboxes? Or maybe just want to see what a slide rule looks like?

The Museum of Online Museums is a listing of several different online resources. Some of them are standard like MoMA or the Rhode Island School of Design. Others are less well known but valuable like the National Portrait Gallery, and still others are obscure but might just suit your fancy. The list is a great place to check if you're having a hard time finding images in other resources. It helps fill in the gaps that some of the more academic sources might leave out. It's a great place to browse for ideas and new inspirations.

image: Mechagodzilla, Vintage Japanese Robots Collection, Wired photo © Richard Nichol

Posted by hthrlowe at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)