Saturday, October 24, 2009

Copyright, Architecture, and Libraries

Image: Des Moines Public Library by toddmundt

There's a really interesting discussion on Jassamyn West's blog about her recent visit to the Des Moines Public Library.  The library enforces a no indoor photography policy due to the wishes of the building's architect. 

Something new to me was the fact that buildings can be copyrighted, but it appears that copyrights are not extended to personal photography or other personal creative works depicting the building.

While I can understand concerns of architects regarding commercial photography, I think it is counter-productive for libraries to adopt blanket policies.   Limiting the ability of community members to share their experiences through images or other artistic means creates a rift between the community and the institution.  Public libraries as public institutions can not afford to be disconnected from the communities they serve nor the global community that supports them.

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