Publication Right

In 1996 a new intellectual property right was introduced into UK law, in response to the EU Directive (legal requirement) to all Member States.

This new Publication Right applies to artworks that were, but no longer are, protected by copyright - so long as they have never been exposed to the public. The right arises when such works are published for the first time, and is intended to encourage galleries, museums and collectors to expose previously unseen works to the public. The right is similar to copyright, and lasts for 25 years from the end of the year in which such works were first published.

This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.