Access to visual information for the study and teaching of architecture is more complex than ever, despite or because of the recent proliferation of new image resources and software. Locating, obtaining, selecting, rejecting, uploading, and downloading adequate visual information about buildings can be simple or it can ensnare the intrepid researcher in hedges that bristle with copyright restrictions, technical malfunctions, digital incompatibilities, and ethical conundrums. Increased traffic in images does have a price, and it is inflationary, as web commerce constantly reminds us.

The increasing availability of images from websites is offset by corresponding new and newly sophisticated copyright protections that work in precisely the opposite direction. Copyright liability is passed like a hot potato from one holder to another as quickly as possible. So, for example, when open-access sites make available course materials (syllabi, lecture arrays) for download by students...

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