Summary: H.R.2690 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (06/05/1990)

Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 - Amends the copyright law to define a "work of visual art." Grants the author of a work of visual art the right to claim authorship of such work when publicly displayed, independent of other exclusive rights, and to disclaim authorship of such work because of substantial distortion or alteration that harms his or her reputation. Grants such an author the right to prevent any destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would harm his or her reputation or honor.

Extends such rights 50 years beyond the author's death (or co-author's, in the case of a joint work) with respect to visual art works created as of the effective date of this Act.

Waives artists' rights when a work cannot be removed from a building without distortion, mutilation, or alteration. Directs the Register of Copyrights to establish a recordation system for authors of visual art works that have been incorporated into a building.

Declares that this Act preempts equivalent rights under State law.

Includes within the scope of copyright infringement violations of the rights conferred by this Act. Declares that: (1) criminal infringement penalties do not apply to such violations; and (2) registration is not a prerequisite to copyright infringement actions for violations of this Act.

Directs the Register of Copyrights to report to the Congress the results of: (1) a study regarding the extent to which authorship rights have been waived; and (2) a feasibility study regarding new requirements enabling authors of works of visual art to participate in the commercial exploitation of their work after its first sale. Requires submission of such report within 18 months after enactment of this Act.