We wrote recently about how the rise of mobile phones with built-in cameras has led to an irresistible urge to record our experiences everywhere with a digital picture.
But what happens when those experiences include works of art, which may still be under copyright? That’s the interesting question an article in Art News explores:
We’re in an age when people take pictures just about everywhere, an act that photography critic Jörg M. Colberg describes as “compulsive looking.” The phenomenon has created a unique set of challenges for art museums, many of which have historically had strict limitations on photography — either for the purpose of protecting light-sensitive works or because of copyright issues.
The good news is that some art museums are beginning to revisit their old rules, not least because they themselves are starting to share images through social media:
This past January, the Pew Research Center‘s Internet & American Life Project reported that 97 percent of the more than 1,200 arts organizations it polled had a presence on platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.
This makes it difficult for visitors to understand why they can’t do the same, and to use photos as starting points for their own creativity:
Every day, users on image-sharing sites such as Tumblr create their own diptychs, collages, and themed galleries devoted to everything from ugly Renaissance babies to Brutalist architecture.
Finally, there is the fact that it is increasingly hard to police bans on photography in museums, and that even trying may not be sensible:
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