Art Market Copyright Bullies - artmarketblog.com Being on the front line of visual arts copyright means that I have the opportunity to experience the problems associated with this issue from both sides of the fence.
News-Antique.com - Mar 16,2008 - Being on the front line of visual arts copyright means that I have the opportunity to experience the problems associated with this issue from both sides of the fence.
The task of keeping both the artist and the client (image users such as dealers, galleries, cultural institutions, media etc.) happy is difficult at the best of times primarily because of the conflicting priorities and the complexity of copyright law. It is astounding how many people are against the payment of royalties to artistís when images of their works are used by someone else for financial gain. Just when I think that I have heard every excuse and objection to the payment of copyright fees to an artist I am confronted with another that is even more desperate and irrational.
One of the most common and frustrating objections I hear comes from secondary market galleries and dealers who do not feel as though they should have to pay for the use of an image of an artistís work. The reason I have singled out secondary market (the sale/s of an artwork subsequent to the initial purchase of an artwork directly from an artist) galleries/dealers is because artistís who are selling their work through a gallery/dealer on the primary market are unlikely to ask that gallery/dealer to pay copyright fees. This is basically because the artist is receiving money from the sale of the work (and in addition may be an unknown emerging artist).
According to these galleries and dealers, by using images of artistís works (in advertisements, catalogues, brochures, websites etc.), they are benefiting the artists. They believe they should be able to use the images without having to pay a fee because they are promoting the artists and their works, however, regardless of whether they are promoting artists and their works the gallery/dealer is benefiting from the profile of the artist whose work they are using as a promotional tool. As well as the benefit the gallery/dealer receives from the association with a particular artist, there is also the rather more significant factor of the money that the gallery gets from the sale of the work, none of which goes to the artist. What I am trying to show is that the benefit to the gallery from using an artistís work usually far outweighs the benefit that the artist receives. Having said all this, the fact still remains that an artist is legally (in most countries) entitled to a fee when an image of their work is used in any sort of advertising or promotional activity.
In many instances the required fee just isnít paid. More and more examples of bullying and exploitation are being brought to my attention by artists who are sick and tired of being taken advantage of. Unfortunately there are a lot of selfish people out there who think that it is their God given right to profit from an artistís hard work. You may be amazed to know that I have also come across instances