The current issue of Educause Review features an article written by Artstor’s General Counsel, Gretchen Wagner. The article, “Sharing visual arts images for educational use: Finding a new angle of repose,” discusses current practices across campuses in building and maintaining institutional image repositories, and the copyright implications of such practices. The article encourages the sharing of these resources for teaching and scholarship through greater reliance on fair use.

Since the emergence of copystand photography in the early twentieth century, campuses have relied on the U.S. copyright doctrine of fair use to protect the now widespread practice of scanning images from books and other printed materials for use in the classroom. With the advent of digital technologies, educational institutions now have the opportunity to share those collections to meet the teaching needs of multiple institutions. Gretchen enumerates some of the disadvantages of maintaining the current, “siloed” approach, including the copyright implications of not asserting fair use in a shared context. She also describes some of Artstor’s experiences in working with rights holders in the visual arts, from which she asserts that visual arts images could be shared for teaching and study in ways that are consistent with fair use, and that would bring benefits to rights holders as well as to educational users.

The article is available online in full text through Educause Review.