Issue 475: Transfer of Custody

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

Posted by Robert Sanderson on 19/2/2020

Dear all,


At a recent Linked Art meeting we were discussing Exhibitions and the relationship to displays and art gallery presentations. In reading the fine print, so to speak, of the Transfer of Custody scope note, we noticed and would appreciate clarification about the following:


> This class comprises transfers of physical custody of objects between instances of E39 Actor. 


But then…


> The distinction between the legal responsibility for custody and the actual physical possession of the object should be expressed using the property P2 has type (is type of). 

So, the question is whether a transfer of legal custody can be modeled with E10, if either we do not know that physical custody was involved or if we know that it was not.

Some examples:

    Rob auctions his copy of LaRoche’s “Three Red Wolves” on Ebay. Does Ebay have custody of it in order to facilitate the sale?
    Rob sells his house. Clearly the house is not in the physical possession of anyone other than me, but while the sale is pending, I have ascribed some degree of legal custody to others?
    We do not know whether the original object is physically present at an auction house or not. If it’s a big statue, maybe the auction house only has a photograph of it. Even if it’s a painting, the original may not be there (it might have been viewable in a controlled environment previously for example). In these cases, there is enough legal custody to be able to negotiate the sale, but it is unknown whether there was explicitly physical custody.  Ditto for consignment of objects.

If E10 is only for physical custody, then how would we describe legal-but-not-physical custody? And if we can just use a P2 on the E10, then it would be great to change the first line of the scope note to address that.


Current Proposal: 

In the 46th joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 39th FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting; the crm-sig discussed that since the scope note for E10 Transfer of Custody is not all too well understood, it probably it needs revising. The sig assigned   RS to propose new scope note that resolves ambiguities. 

Athens, February 2020