An identification of the individual or group that holds the rights to use, exhibit, or reproduce a work of art, along with an indication of any existing restrictions on its reproduction, exhibition, or use.
This category refers to the copyright of the work of art, not images of it. Copyright is a broad concept, which includes both "moral rights assigned to the author and his successors to prevent the distortion of his work and to assure that he is identified as the author of the work,"  and " 'a bundle of rights,' including the right to copy, the right to distribute, the right to display or perform, and the right to create derivative works."  These rights may be held by a work's creator, its owner, a repository, or by a third party to whom the creator or owner assigned the rights.
The copyright of a work of art may be held by a third party, who is neither the creator nor the owner of the work itself. This is particularly true with contemporary works of art, where the copyright may have been sold to an agency. There are also artists' collectives, such as CAR (Canadian Artists' Representation/Front des artistes canadiens) which administers copyright and broker permissions to reproduce works of art.
Documenting the copyright of a work of art makes it possible to assess whether or not the work is in the public domain. It specifies existing restrictions on the study or use of the work, including its exhibition or publication.
Copyright and restrictions can be complex, and can relate to all aspects of the work's display and reproduction.
The copyright of a work may be supplied by its owner, or found in catalogs or other scholarly publications, usually as a copyright statement published in connection with an illustration.
The creator's will may state who the holder of copyright is to be after his or her death.
Artists' collectives or other copyright brokerage houses may be able to supply copyright information.
A copyright statement makes it possible to assess whether or not a work is in the public domain. It also indicates whether a work can be reproduced freely in a scholarly publication and, if not, who must be solicited for permissions before a work may be reproduced.
A history of copyright is also of interest, as the rights to a work may transfer independently of the work itself, and restrictions on the use of a work may have an impact on its availability for study or on the dissemination of information about it.
Copyright and restrictions are associated with people and organizations, but often access to information about the dates of copyrights and restrictions is important as well. For copyrights and restrictions that are limited by time or legislation, the details of how those limitations apply may be of interest.
The owner of the work of art, or the person or institution that has physical custody of it, should be indicated in the category OWNERSHIP/COLLECTING HISTORY.
The name of the individual or group that holds the copyright to the work of art.
The name of the holder of the copyright for a work of art may be supplied by the work's owner, or found in catalogs or other scholarly publications.
Artists' collectives, or other copyright brokerage houses, may be able to supply information about the owner of the intellectual rights associated with the work.
The name of the copyright holder identifies who has the rights to reproduce or exhibit a particular work.
When multiple persons or corporations hold the copyright during a single period, they should be indexed separately.
The use of consistent forms of personal and corporate names is recommended: See for example, LC Name Authorities, Canadiana Authorities, the Yale British Artists, and ULAN.
The place where the individual or group that holds the copyright or placed the restrictions on a work resides or is active.
EXAMPLESNew York, New York, USA
Associating a place with the name of an individual or group helps to eliminate ambiguity and to distinguish between people or entities with similar names.
While it is not always possible to establish the place where an individual resided or a group was active, location should be recorded as precisely as possible. Places may be identified as specifically as the name of a particular building or a street address. It may be possible to identify only a particular country or area, without a more precise location being known.
Information about the location of an individual or group can be found in the same sources that establish who held the copyright for a work at a particular time.
This may be searched together with the name of the copyright holder to find, for example, all copyrights of works by one artist held by one individual or group.
The use of a geographic authority is recommended; sources of vocabulary include LC Name Authorities, BGN, Canadiana Authorities, and TGN.
The date or range of dates when the copyright to a work is held by a particular individual or group.
Dates that copyrights began or restrictions were imposed can be useful in determining how a work of art may be used. In the case of copyright, knowledge of the copyright date and the laws of copyright for the jurisdiction where the work is held can determine ownership of rights.
Dates should be recorded as specifically as possible. In some cases, only approximate dates may be known. If a work was once in copyright but is now in the public domain, a range of dates should be given for the period that it was protected by copyright.
Dates relating to copyright and restrictions may be found in the same sources that identify the holder of the copyright of a work.
Copyright dates make it possible to determine when a work was under the jurisdiction of a particular individual or group, and to assess the historic impact of, for example, a restriction such as that on the Barnes Collection (i.e., that the works in the collection were never to be loaned or reproduced in color).
Searches may be made on single dates and ranges of dates, as well as before or after a specific date.
Dates can be recorded in two ways: as text (illustrated in the above examples), and as two integers indicating the beginning of a date span and the end of a date span (dates BCE can be stored as negative values). Rigidly controlled format is required to allow retrieval. The use of date guidelines is recommended, such as the AAT Date Guidelines or ISO 8601: Dates & Times.
A formal statement of the copyright of a work of art, and/or any restrictions placed on it.
EXAMPLESCopyright Chuck Close
This subcategory presents information about copyright or restrictions on a work of art in an accessible, concise, and easily understandable form.
The transcription should be in the form of a complete statement, specifying the copyright holder of the work.
The copyright statement may be found in the same sources as information about the copyright or restrictions on the work itself.
Copyright statements should be transcribed verbatim.
Any notes on the copyright or restrictions placed upon a work of art.
A reference to a bibliographic source or unpublished document where information about the copyright or restrictions upon a work of art was found.
1 Peter Olaf Looms, "Intellectual Property and Multimedia," Hypermedia & Interactivity in Museums: Proceedings of an International Conference (Archives and Museum Informatics Technical Report No. 14 [Fall 1991]), p. 236.
2 Nathan Benn, "Exploring Mechanisms to Overcome Economic Disincentives to Rights Holders," Hypermedia & Interactivity in Museums: Proceedings of an International Conference (Archives and Museum Informatics Technical Report No. 14 [Fall 1991]), p. 246.