With the acquisition of the Barragán Archives, the Barragan Foundation became the copyright holder for all works created by Luis Barragán. The Foundation also holds the copyright to all photographs by Armando Salas Portugal related to the work of Luis Barragán.
Copyright enables the creator of an original work to control how his/her work is used, by whom it is used and on what terms; in other words, to decide whether a work may be reproduced in any manner or form, distributed, published, broadcast, etc., and under what specific conditions. Possessing copyright is independent from owning the physical embodiment of a work: owning or holding a painting, a drawing, a photograph, a sculpture or a house does not confer copyright ownership for that work.
As early as 1886, the Berne Convention set minimum standards for the protection of authorship rights within the framework of an international treaty. Today 178 countries, including Mexico, belong to the Berne Convention.
According to Mexican law, Luis Barragán owned the copyright to his work and was free to transfer such rights upon his death to whomever he wished. He assigned the copyright to his work, along with the related archives, to his associate Raúl Ferrera Torres. Through Ferrera’s widow, Rosario Uranga de Ferrera, these rights and the Barragán Archives were ultimately transferred to the Barragan Foundation.
According to Mexican law, Armando Salas Portugal held the copyright to his work, and based upon an agreement with the photographer’s legal heirs, the negatives and all rights related to the photographs of Luis Barragán’s work were also transferred to the Barragan Foundation.
Copyright is territorial, and national copyright laws provide various exceptions that may allow the use of copyrighted material to preserve a balance between the interests of the owner and the public, such as right to citation, parody, freedom of panorama, or “fair use”. Since these rules vary from country to country, it is the sole responsibility of the prospective user to ascertain whether permission is needed to use a work in a particular jurisdiction.
The Barragan Foundation has established a partnership with the Swiss Copyright Society ProLitteris, which represents and assists the Foundation in the management of its copyrights, both directly and through its associated sister societies worldwide. The Barragan Foundation advises anyone wishing to make use of any work – houses, buildings, developments, urban interventions, gardens, landscapes, images, sketches, plans, photographs, texts, manuscripts, films and other media – protected by the copyright related to Luis Barragán, as well as to the photographs of Barragán’s works made by Armando Salas Portugal, to contact ProLitteris or one of its associated sister societies. They will provide instruction and guidance for the process of copyright clearance.
Please note that the term “work” extends beyond physical buildings, landscapes, gardens and developments; it also includes drawings, sketches, blueprints, texts, manuscripts, preparatory materials, etc. Making “use” of a work includes photographing, filming, reproducing, broadcasting, publishing, etc. These lists of “works” and “uses” are not comprehensive and encompass all related objects and applications.
While most requests for copyright clearance can be dealt with according to simple procedures and conditions, please note that the Barragan Foundation does not allow the direct or indirect association of the work of Luis Barragán with commercial activities, such as merchandising, advertising or promotional campaigns. Additional information can be found in the FAQ section. The Barragan Foundation reserves the right to judge whether a proposed use is commercial, based on the nature of a project and its intended audience.