Bridgeman Art Library, LTD v. Corel Corp. ended the argument that exact copies of any material are not copyrightable. For example, the Mona Lisa is a public domain work. However, collage artists found that when they wanted to get a reproduction of the Mona Lisa to use in their works, they still had to pay high licensing fees because the reproductions were copyrighted by the reproducers. The reproducers argued that because it takes great skill and effort to create a perfect reproduction of a painting. While the court admitted that although it is difficult to create a perfect reproduction of a work, the fact that the reproduction is exactly that - an exact reproduction - no artistic value added. Therefore the reproductions are not copyrightable.
This decision is important because it enabled collage artists to use public domain material in their works without having to make the reproductions themselves or getting a license from the museums or private collectors who were making reproductions of public domain works of art. Essentially, this court decision makes collage a potentially legal and viable art form. Without this case, collage artists would be basically without a means of accessing public domain works for use.