February 6, 2007
Paul Fakler one of Moses & Singer’s Intellectual Property partners was quoted in today’s New York Sun in connection with a story about the existence of copyright in museum works. The Sun article concerned the legal issues raised when visitors take photographs of artworks on display at a museum. Mr. Fakler explained that although a museum may own or possess the physical copy of a famous painting, the museum would not necessarily have the right to authorize visitors to make copies of that painting. Taking a photograph constitutes making a copy of the artwork. Mr Fakler went on to explain that a museum visitor taking such a photograph for personal and educational use could be a non-infringing fair use and therefore allowable. However, using the photograph to print posters would not likely be considered a fair use because it would directly harm the copyright owner's right to sell posters depicting the artwork.