Leslie A. Gordon for The Docket in the February issue of the ABA JOURNAL
IT'S GOOGLE, BUT IS IT ART?
"Google's mission to digitize artwork from
around the world is testing the bounds of copyright protection and the fairness
of licensing contracts. Launched in February 2011, the Google Art Project
provides access to more than 30,000 high-resolution images of paintings,
sculptures and photographs from more than 180 museums and institutions in 40
countries. "'Google is so proprietary about their
licensing arrangements with public institutions, [that] it requires every
museum to enter into a confidential agreement,' says [Alexandra] Darraby....author
of the Guide to Digital Art & New Media.... Because museums hold
artworks in the public trust, licensing those assets requires transparency,'
Darraby says. 'What are the obligations of a public institution to fulfill its