Ein ausgezeichneter Beitrag von Peter Hirtle zu einem US-Rechtsstreit:
What lessons can a cultural heritage repository take away from this case? First and foremost, it emphasizes the need to respect and
follow the terms in a deed of gift. Sometimes deeds require practices and procedures that are outside of the ordinary, but that just means
that our workflows have to be such that anomalous items are consistently identified.
Second, we should make sure that the terms in the deed are as clear as possible. Pearse-Hocker�s Deed of Gift (Exhibit B of the original
complaint) states �I hereby also assign and transfer all copyright that I possess to the National Museum of the American Indian, subject
only to the conditions which may be specified below.� What conditions were specified below? �I do not, by this gift, transfer copyright in
the photographs to the Smithsonian Institution�! Why have a deed with two conflicting sections in it?
In addition, the deed granted to the museum �an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, license to use, reproduce, display, and publish,
in all media, including electronic media and on-line, the photographs for all standard, educational, museum, and archival purposes.� Many
would argue that providing copies for non-profit documentaries on PBS is part of the standard educational mission of the museum. Yet this
interpretation could be in conflict with the next sentence of the deed, which states that �requests by people or entities outside the
Smithsonian to reproduce or publish the photographs shall be directed to the donor.� If the Smithsonian felt that only for-profit uses
should be referred to the donor, it should have made this clear in the deed.
Third, this case reminds us that running a repository involves taking risks. We run the risk that users might steal collection mater...