Monday 18 October 2021

Don't You Know That Downloading is Illegal?

While browsing the website of the Pace Gallery I found the following message:
Which was somewhat disconcerting to me. 
Firstly because I can't download 'Rothko Artworks'. At best I might be able to download an image of a 'Rothko Artwork'.
But this is far less important than the fact that the relevant copyright laws of the USA, the UK and the Netherlands (thus the artist, the gallery and this particular user), all include provisions wherein such copying is permitted under certain circumstances.
However, a simple assertion that things are protected by copyright law isn't anything to be offended by,  as there are also plenty of cases where such copying would be prohibited. 
What is a little iffy is the phrasing where Pace gallery claims that 'downloading' is prohibited, as I'm not sure how they expect their website to work if this would be case.
Anything displayed on a browser, or any other software that retrieves its information from the internet, has to be downloaded to your computer in order for it to show up on the screen.
For example, the following screenshots show the image of the Rothko paintings I'm supposedly not allowed to download in my temporary internet files folder:

And there is nothing I could have reasonably done to prevent my browser from downloading this file, other than not visiting the publicly accessible website. 
This very likely isn't what Pace gallery meant with the term 'downloading', but as it stands it's nevertheless bad news that the legal team of one of the largest galleries on the planet can't write an unambiguous legal notice.