Yeah, so I really wish I could take this course. MIAP friends sneak me a syllabus for some self-directed study!


Copyright Law for Cultural Institutions 3 credits, July 25 August 5 2011, M-F 9am-12pm (plus an additional hour of online activities each day)

Instructor: Rina Pantalony

This graduate-level course addresses the intellectual property issues and related ethical ones that surround the management, preservation, and dissemination of cultural material (such as paper records and their digital surrogates, museum objects, film, video, and other ephemera) in collecting institutions. The course is designed for current students and also for professionals who already work with cultural objects, providing either a refresher or an upgrade to existing knowledge and practice.

The first step in the registration process is to reserve a space in the course. You can do this by contacting the MIAP Coordinator, Alicia Kubes at or 212-998-1618 . After this step is complete, NYU students will be able to register through Albert. All other students will get instructions from the MIAP Coordinator by e-mail.

Any questions about the course or the registration process should be addressed to the MIAP coordinator.

Full Course Description:

With the advent of new technologies, content producers, aggregators and those who manage collections and related ephemera are faced with a number of legal and ethical issues concerning the use of their own works, those of others and in providing access to collections of such works to their patrons and other third parties. Because of the complexity of intellectual property rights, the answers to many such legal questions are not always apparent. Managers of collections are often faced with the need for a risk assessment that takes into account ethical considerations in order to allow a project to move forward.

What are the various legal rights that may encumber cultural material? Who holds these rights? How may they be cleared? What are the extraneous issues that must be given consideration in clearing them? How do these rights affect the subsequent long term exhibition, distribution and hosting of the works once they enter into the collection of a museum or archive? How can these issues be managed effectively? What are the international considerations in dealing with content, created in one jurisdiction, but exhibited or distributed in another? What are the legal considerations in such circumstances and what may be the cultural or ethical considerations?

The issues discussed in this course are the subject of a publication, by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), authored by the instructor, Rina Elster Pantalony, where the publication will serve as one of the primary texts for the course.

Students will be required to analyze existing collections, examine the intellectual property issues, present findings within existing standards of practice in the field, and use electronic means of communication to compare and contrast findings. All students will be required to participate in assessing risk, preparing intellectual property assessments and discussing their analysis of existing content by posting their findings to a Wiki exclusively developed for the course and hosted by NYU.


The total cost for this 3-credit course including tuition and fees is $3490