Copyright and Art

There’s a big debate around IP and Rights historically and I’m not sure that it always falls the side of the creator. I am curious how far we can push the legal definitions of what is usable for collage Artists or those who reference original work to make new work. The recent lawsuit in Belgium which fell foul of photographs being used as source seems clearer than some. I think all Artists need to look carefully at how they work and not consider it a ‘given right’ to copy or use source without consideration of another’s creative effort. Just because we are Artists does not give us rights over others.

ArtQuest does a good job of pooling articles and discussions on potential risks. Obviously it’s always worth thinking about talking to a legal professional regarding anything potentially contentious but how do you know? Perhaps there’s a case to be made that we need a bit of vital self-education here which will, in the end give us more freedom to pursue our own creative endeavours.

I am thinking that I might explore this visually and ask questions around these areas:

  • How much source material is too much/little to use?
  • Does it matter whether the work being used is ‘owned’ by a large corporation or and individual?
  • Where does global fame matter?

In the one hand copyright protects creative efforts of any substance but the issue of how much of that material is protected is always going to be a case for lawyers dancing on the head of a pin…

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