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.

Publication Right: The New Right

On December 1 1996 a new intellectual property law was passed in the UK which will give galleries, museums, public and private collectors and exhibitors a new economic power over artworks in their pos …

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