Photographing Public Art: A Legal Waltz in Seattle
The Citizen Media Law Project (hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society) analyzes the question of whether photographing a public artwork can be fair use. The topic has come to the fore in photography circles as the result of a relatively recent lawsuit regarding a photograph taken of a woman standing near a sculpture in Seattle.
After weighing in that there appears to be a decent fair use argument in the Seattle case, the CMLP author recommends that: “Cities … should reconsider how they commission public artwork. Cities could demand that artists surrender their copyright interests in order to receive public funding … The most reasonable solution is to keep public artwork completely open to the public. Until cities do this, however, commercial photographers may want to think twice about incorporating public artwork into their photographs.”