COPYRIGHT LAW ABOUT SHOOTING ARCHITECTURE

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  • I'm wondering if I can shoot video footage of America's architectural works in public places and publish the clips online none-commercially. 

    American copyright law:17 USC 120(a) ( http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#120). The definition of "Pictorial Representations" is unclear to me. Is shooting video footage included? Can anyone please help me?

  • Hi Halie:

    The answer has to do with Section 113 "Scope of exclusive rights in pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works." Yes you may shoot video footage and publish the footage.  However, museums sometimes do not allow photography or video.  Sometimes this has to do with the rights holder of the picture itself and their license agreement with the museum.  Or it might be an agreement between a museum and another museum. Museums also sell books with the images so that may be the motive. 

    Others may have further thoughts!

    Carrie

  •  Halie,

    To follow up a bit on Carrie's post:

    Yes, you may indeed make a video recording of the exteriors of architectural works, such as buildings that are in the public view.  Video recordings would count as "pictorial representations."

    However, if you include filming inside a museum or gallery, then your rights to capture and share images or recordings may be limited by museum policies, as Carrie suggests.  If you are wondering about any such images, then provide more details so we can give more detailed analysis.

    cheers,

    Marty

    Martin J. Brennan, MLS

    Copyright and Licensing Librarian

    Scholarly Communication and Licensing

    33458 Charles E. Young Research Library

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575

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