Copyright is arguably one of the most important pieces of international legislation that an artist needs to be aware of.

It protects their artworks (but, significantly, not their ideas) and forms the legal basis for licensing images of their work.  It is an automatic right that is not ‘registered’ or applied for, lasting for the full lifetime of the author / maker of the work and for 70 years after their death.

For completeness, articles relating to old copyright legislation are included in the Copyright before 1989 section.

Subsequent pieces consider copyright issues in relation to advertising and marketing, the emergence of computer picture libraries (1994) and of appropriation art (1995).

Numerous copyright infringement cases are reported, including: a successful US suit brought by the MC Escher Foundationunauthorised castings of Giacometti sculptures; the failure of the Bridgman Art Library to prevent a rival company copying and trading in their photographs of paintings; the Picasso Estate’s claims against the use of the artist’s name for a new make of Citroen car; and the case against the painter Glenn Brown for his alleged infringement of illustrator Anthony Roberts’s earlier work, which came to notice during the 2000 Turner Prize.

Idea/Expression Dichotomy

This year marks the centenary of the creation of a work widely accepted as the most influential of the 20th century: Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, 1917. This readymade and its reception heralded the tran …

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Fair Use

The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation recently announced a new Fair Use policy to make images of the artist’s work more accessible to museums, scholars, artists and the public (Artnotes AM395). This enli …

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The Length of Copyright

The Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performance Regulations 1995 implement EU Council Directive No 93/98/EEC and the European Economic Area 1993, which harmonise protection of copyright and certai …

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New UK Copyright Provisions from 31 October 2003

The owner of copyright in an original ‘artistic’ work has the exclusive right to copy the work, and issue copies to the public. Please note that this article was not published in Art Monthly, but was …

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Dear Images

Dear Images: art, copyright and culture, eds Daniel McClean and Karsten Schubert, ICA and Ridinghouse, London, 2002, 503pp, b/w illus, pb, £25, 0 9541710 2 0. This is a tremendously good book. It is a …

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Art & Copyright

Most UK lawyers know little about intellectual property law, because it has never been a compulsory subject for professional qualification. Simon Stokes, Art & Copyright, Hart Publishing, Oxford a …

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Copyright and Moral rights: New legislation (part 1)

In May or June 1989, visual artists’ and craftspeoples’ rights will be substantially improved when the new Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 comes into force. Key changes anticipated were sign …

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Copyright and Moral rights: New legislation (introduction)

On October 30 1987, the Government introduced into the House of Lords the long overdue measure to reform the law of copyright and other intellectual property: The Copyright, Designs and Patents Bill …

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Copyright and Moral rights: New legislation (part 3)

What remedies are available for Copyright Infringements? Last month’s column continued our three-part examination of the new Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, shortly coming into force (the prec …

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Last year’s Turner Prize controversy was pure artlaw territory and deserves closer examination. It concerned one of four short-listed artists, Glenn Brown and his large canvas Loves of Shepherds, 2000 …

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