Copyright Laws

Under the First Sale Doctrine (Section 109 of the Copyright Act), ownership of a physical copy of a copyright-protected work permits lending, reselling, disposing, etc., of the item. However, it does not permit reproducing the material, publicly displaying or performing it, or engaging in any of the acts reserved for the copyright holder. Why? Because the transfer of the physical copy does not transfer the copyright holder’s rights to the work. Even including an attribution on a copied work (for example, putting the author’s name on it) does not eliminate the need to obtain the copyright holder’s consent. To use copyrighted materials lawfully, you must secure permission from the applicable copyright holders or a copyright licensing agent.(

Duration of Copyright

The term of copyright protection depends upon the date of creation. A work created on or after January 1, 1978, is ordinarily protected by copyright from the moment of its creation until 70 years after the author’s death.

For works made for hire, anonymous works and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

For works created, published or registered before January 1, 1978, or for more detailed information, you may wish to refer to the public domain section of this guide or request Circular 15 ( “Renewal of Copyright”), Circular 15a (“Duration of Copyright”) and Circular 15t (“Extension of Copyright Terms”) from the U.S. Copyright Office Web site,

Photographs are ubiquitous in museum collections. In the 1960s, photography was becoming even more popular and accessible, creating a need for proper guidelines for filing photographs. This Technical Leaflet addressed how to properly file photographs, explaining the necessary equipment needed and where to buy it, how to arrange the storage area, and the proper way to index each photograph. (

A digital photography workflow is an end-to-end system of working with digital images, from capture to delivery. It is comprised of a series of inter-connected steps developed by photographers to simplify and standardize their work. Simplification and standardization are the two key words here, because a well-established workflow process will not only help you in simplifying and speeding up the process of working with images, but will also allow you to stay organized, improving your efficiency and bringing consistency to your work

Although all work is copyrighted at the moment of creation, not all work is protected equally. If a registered work is later infringed, the creator can recover actual damages.(


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: