image I would like to describe briefly the very unhappy situation of the visual studies in the French legal context. This could be characterized by two major points: 1) the absence of any kind of fair use, 2) the absence of quotation right for still images. In 2005, when the journal La Revue de l'Art opened its online version, it was published without its iconography, to avoid the payment of new reproduction fees (you may notice that, in the example shown on the screen, the illustrations are engravings from the 19th century, that it to say pictures in the public domain). Without fair use or quotation right, there is in fact no public domain for still images. As a picture is an existing thing conserved by a collection, if you want to publish it, you have to ask for.

That's why we can describe the common law of visual history in France as "authorized scholarship". The best way to publish his research is in a catalog of some great exhibition by the musée d'Orsay or the musée du Louvre, which hold the copyright of the works they are showing. In all other cases, the researcher may verify that the possibility of any critical evaluation is strictly linked to the quotation right. For a reader published last year, I wanted to describe the famous case of the O. J. Simpson cover doctored by the Time in 1994. That meant that the publisher had to obtain the permission of the magazine. As we can easely understand, Time was not very happy to see this old story published again, and refused to give its copyright.

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