There is always heated debate about copyright. Art rights expert artists explains what it means for a work of art when copyright expires and what current developments there are.
Understanding Copy Right
Copyright is a human right. On the one hand, it protects the intellectual and personal relationships between the author and his work. On the other hand, it gives him the right to decide how his works are to be used. Thus, on the one hand, copyright is a personal right and secures the identity of the work as well as the intellectual and personal interests of the author. On the other hand, it is the “labor law of the creative”, because it serves to ensure adequate remuneration for the use of the work.
The importance of copyright protection in the visual arts is far less than in literature or music. This is because artists mainly sell originals, one-off pieces. There is a collecting society that exercises the rights of visual artists, for example when replicating works of art in the media. In the fine arts, however, only little income is generated through usage rights. However, there is a special right, the so-called resale right. For most artists, it is also perceived by the gallery owners to pay a special tax on their sales when trading with contemporary artists. In addition, copyright has a second component: moral rights. The artist is entitled to this non-pecuniary component even if he has sold the work. This includes, for example, the right to prevent distortion of the work.
The protection levels are very different. Other countries go much further when it comes to the position of the author. This is a purely moral interpretation of copyright law. Copyright law, on the other hand, has two streams: a moral one, a legal personality and a monetary one. The question also arises: Can the terms of copyright, which are not internationally harmonized, still be justified in view of the increased age? If the average age today is 80 years and then there is still 70 years of copyright protection: Then we can get 120 years for an author who wrote something at the age of 30 until the copyright expires.
Want to know more about Copyright? You can watch the video below…
LAWYERS AS ART JUDGES
It is difficult when the copyright is transferred to an heir. basically only the artist can have the right to decide which context is appropriate for his work. But even his own interpretation cannot always be decisive. If an artist plan an exhibition with his gallery owner, like ‘paint by numbers custom‘ the artist would also have the right to intervene. As a lawyer, one often gets close to art criticism or art judges.