Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday I mentioned the potential incarnations that my photographs may have as part of the Brooklyn Historical Society's collection. During our meeting this week, BHS archivist Julie May alerted me to the fact that any images that are part of the BHS collection without copyright can be used by patrons for any purpose. This includes commercial use. As an example, she said a man from the television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, came in to do research. I grew anxious thinking of one of the portraits I made, of an unsuspecting participant being used as a fashion example on a network television show. 

In the end,  I will define how the portraits can, or can not be used outside of BHS. I have to find a balance that allows the portraits to function in the same way as the other photographs in the collection, but that protects the rights of my subjects, and my right as the author. I can stipulate that I am given attribution as photographer, or that use is limited to education purposes, or restricted from publications, or restricted from commercial use, or copyright is restricted all together.

When I left  the meeting with Julie my head was spinning from all the scenarios that she outlined, but I felt grateful that she had brought all of these permutations to my attention. 

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