Fair Use Policy


In an effort to reduce barriers to image use in art scholarship, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (the “Foundation”) takes the following stance on fair use, licensing, and use of copyright materials:

  1. Recognizes and supports reproductions of Rauschenberg artworks, for which the Foundation owns the copyright, based on the doctrine of fair use.
  2. Utilizes fair use in the Foundation’s scholarly initiatives when reproducing Rauschenberg-related materials, for which the Foundation does not own the copyright.
  3. Provides grant(s) for royalty–free image use to museum and educational partners permitting reproduction of copyrighted Rauschenberg artworks in select situations that (a) do not qualify as fair use or (b) the partner is not comfortable publishing as fair use (referred to as the “License Agreement”).



The Foundation recognizes and supports the use of images of Rauschenberg artworks, for which the Foundation owns the copyright, under the doctrine of fair use with the goal of fostering scholarship, disseminating knowledge, and enhancing educational initiatives. Possible uses include:

  1. Analytical, interpretive, and/or creative writings/works
  2. Online (digitized) collections created for public scholarship
  3. Teaching including online coursework and study guides
  4. Print and digital newspapers, periodicals, and magazines
  5. Transformative use in artworks
  6. Social media

Publishing Rauschenberg artwork under fair use does not require permission from or a license agreement with the Foundation. However, in order to ensure accuracy in color reproductions and citations, publishers are requested to contact the Foundation to obtain free authorized reproductions and citations. See Contact Us information below. Any use shall not suggest that the Foundation is sponsoring or is formally affiliated with the publisher.



As a copyright holder, the Foundation supports fair use of Rauschenberg artwork images. Similarly, as a creator of educational content, the Foundation exercises the right to responsibly make fair use of works for which the Foundation does not own the copyright. If you have any questions or comments on our use of images or believe an image has been reproduced in violation of copyright, please contact us at fairuse@rauschenbergfoundation.org.



For partners that are uncomfortable publishing under the doctrine of fair use or for select image use that does not qualify for fair use, the Foundation is granting License Agreements for image use by educational institutions and museums on a case-by-case basis. This License Agreement is designed to acknowledge and support the fair use of copyrighted Rauschenberg artworks as well as encourage additional usage that may not qualify under fair use. Such uses include:

  1. Use covered by fair use, to:
    • Encourage the long-term and widespread use/reproduction of Rauschenberg artworks without repeated permission requests
    • Reduce the need for fair use analysis and decision-making as related to the non-commercial usage of reproductions of Rauschenberg artworks
    • Provide usage assurance for institutions that are not comfortable publishing images of Rauschenberg artworks under fair use
  2. Additional royalty-free use of Rauschenberg artworks in the License Agreement, subject to the Foundation’s approval, may include:
    • Promotional uses such as marketing and advertisements
    • Conversion of pre-existing print scholarship to digital platforms

Museum and educational institutions are encouraged to contact the Foundation to learn more about the License Agreement. See Contact Us information below to apply.



The Foundation recognizes that several guidelines for best practices in fair use have been published. We view these guidelines as complementary to our current practices. A comprehensive list of guidelines and best practices can be found on Center for Media and Social Impact website.



For authorized artwork images and citations as well as questions about the License Agreement, please contact Gina Guy, Collections Manager, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation at fairuse@rauschenbergfoundation.org. For all image requests that are not covered by fair use or the License Agreement, please contact VAGA at Artists Rights Society: info@arsny.com.


February 26, 2016