New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law

Sec. § 14.01
Right to Reproduce Works of Fine Art


Whenever a work of fine art is sold or otherwise transferred by or on behalf of the artist who created it, or his heirs or personal representatives, the reproduction right thereto is reserved to the grantor until it passes into the public domain by act or operation of law unless such right is sooner expressly transferred by an instrument, note or memorandum in writing signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or his duly authorized agent.


Whenever an exclusive or non-exclusive conveyance of any reproduction right is made by the holder of such right, or his duly authorized agent, ownership of the physical work of fine art shall be presumed to remain with and be reserved to the grantor unless expressly transferred in writing by an instrument, note or memorandum or by other written means, signed by the grantor or his duly authorized agent.


This article shall not apply to the sale, conveyance, donation or other transfer of the physical work of fine art which does not include a conveyance of a reproduction right in such work.


Nothing herein contained, however, shall be construed to prohibit the fair use of such work of fine art.


Nothing in this section shall operate or be construed to conflict with any rights or liabilities under federal copyright law.

Last accessed
Dec. 13, 2016