Must You Pay to Use Photos of Public Domain Artworks?
This is a great interview with law professor Christopher Sprigman, who teaches intellectual property law, antitrust law, competition policy, and comparative constitutional law at the University of Virginia Law School . They go over the somewhat governing case on this issue, Bridgeman Art Library, Ltd., Plaintiff v. Corel Corporation, and the general answer to the question above is, no. Here’s Sprigman,
The photos have to be flat, artless reproductions. The photos in Bridgeman vs. Corel were intended to illustrate the artwork and nothing more. Also, I’m talking about U.S. law. The laws in other countries may differ.
Great interview. Check it out!