On April 29, the College Art Association, the New York City Bar Association Art Law Committee, Creative Commons, Art Resource, and Artstor co-sponsored an event entitled “Who Owns this Image? Art, Access and the Public Domain after Bridgeman v. Corel.” The event included an afternoon symposium, with about 40 participants, and an evening panel session, with about 400 people in attendance.

The afternoon symposium convened representatives from a wide range of sectors and interests, including: Judge Lewis Kaplan (Southern District of New York federal court judge, who wrote the Bridgeman decision); Judge Pierre Leval (Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit); John Ashley (Copyright office); representatives of museums and archives (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the Frick Collection, the New York Public Library, the National Gallery of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Trust); leading copyright scholars (professors Jane Ginsburg, Rebecca Tushnet, and Kenneth Crews, as well as William Patry (counsel for Google and copyright scholar) and Peter Hirtle); legal practicioners; photographers and their representatives (Malcolm Varon, Philip de Bay, and Theodore Feder); art publishers; representatives of commercial entities (such as Time and the New York Times); and scholars and artists.

The aim of the symposium was to explore the disconnect between the Bridgeman v. Corel decision and current practices among many museums, archives, and photographers who claim copyright in photographs of two-dimensional works. Participants explored both the legal foundation for Bridgeman, as well as the implications of assertions of copyright in works arguably in the public domain.

For the full article (Wagner, Gretchen. “Who Owns this Image? Art, Access and the Public Domain after Bridgeman v. Corel,” Images, the Newsletter of the VRA 5, no. 3 (June 2008 ).