Norman M. Cary, Jr.
Chair, Curator Committee, Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA).

On almost any broad topic relevant to the missions and functions performed by the members of HNSA, there is a plethora of good information on the Internet. This essay is one of a series of short articles on various topics of interest to HNSA members based on this readily available resource. In each article, I will do a short expository essay briefly describing the topic under discussion, list some relevant sites, and provide some information on what is available on each site. This will hopefully give the reader a place to begin his or her search for enlightenment on a particular topic. Given the vast amount of information available on most of these topics on the web, these essays, of necessity, provide just a sample of what is available and are not comprehensive surveys of the resources out there. If you have any favorite web sites on any of these topics that are not included in the relevant essay, I would like to know about them. Please contact me at [email protected] with the citation and a summary of the nature and value of the site and I will evaluate your input for possible inclusion in future revisions.

Norman Cary

Copyright and intellectual property issues are really sticky, from a legal point of view. These issues apply not only to the written word but also the visual arts, such as photography and paintings. These issues are pervasive--they apply to exhibits design, to web site design, development of education programs, ownership of part of the collection, how you can use items in the collection, and even what you sell in your gift shop. Not only are the issues pervasive, but there is a great deal of disagreement in the art world and in the museum, library, educational and legal communities as to what exactly the law means and allows. All professionals working in a historic ship, as well as the members of the Board of Directors, should have at least a basic understanding of the subject matter relating to copyright and intellectual property matters. Otherwise, the organization risks serious and expensive legal problems in an increasingly litigious world.

It should be clearly noted that the web sites listed below are for orientation and informational purposes only, and should not be considered as the final legal word for any specific issue that may come up with regard to copyright and intellectual property at a specific historic ship. Should a specific issue come up, contact your lawyer posthaste. Keeping it Legal: Questions Arising out of Web Site Management, by Jamie McKenzie. This 1996 article, written in the early days of the web as a significant part of popular culture, explains quite clearly the concept of intellectual property. The associated discussion about use of copyrighted materials on web site and the links cited are very useful. This section discusses the legal issues involved with the creation of a web site. Many of the topics discussed on this page are covered in greater detail elsewhere in BitLaw. The purpose of this page is to present in a single page the issues that must be addressed during the creation of a web site. BitLaw's discussion of web site legal issues is divided into the following parts:

copyright concerns;
domain name concerns;
trademark concerns;
defamation; and
linking and framing.

It is part of the web site BitLaw ( BitLaw is a comprehensive Internet resource on technology law, containing over 1,800 pages on patent, copyright, trademark, and Internet legal issues. BitLaw is provided by the Minneapolis law firm of Beck & Tysver. The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB) presents selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet. Most sources have been published between 1990 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1990 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet. The cited section has an excellent bibliography on the issue of intellectual property. The American Association of Community Colleges has a good section on their web site with links to various web sites on intellectual property issues and education. New Copyright Paradigms, by Jessica Litman Professor of Law, Wayne State University. A thoroughly footnoted legal paper dealing with copyright law in light of the digital revolution. Lists several very useful links to various web sites dealing with copyright and intellectual property issues. An article entitled 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained. An attempt to answer common myths about copyright seen on the net and cover issues related to copyright and USENET/Internet publication, by Brad Templeton. Good short article. The Legal Issues Associated with Electronic Copyright Management Systems. by Charles Oppenheim. Copyright from a British point of view. Written in 1996. A good listing of links to web sites dealing with intellectual and copyright law issues, as well as a useful bibliography. This site contains a very short good discussion of Copyright in Visual Arts, by Professor Thomas G. Field, Jr., Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, NH. This is the web site of the Artists Rights Society. Artists Rights Society (ARS) is the preeminent copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights interests of over 30,000 visual artists and estates of visual artists from around the world (painters, sculptors, photographers, architects and others). The utility of this site for the subject under discussion is self-evident. This particular site discusses the nature of derivative works.

The above is, of course, only a small portion of the information available on copyright and intellectual property issues on the web. Most of these sites were found using the Google search engine, , advanced search, with the exact phrase: copyright with all the words: works of art. Another search term for with all the words: non-profits.

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