Silvia Stabile

The reproduction of contemporary works of art (also in catalogues)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Art Primary and Secondary Markets; Artist's Consent; Copyright; Directive 2001/29/EC; Reproduction Right; Communication to the Public Rights.

We usually distinguish between primary and secondary art market. In the primary art market, the contemporary art galleries use (also on the internet) the images reproducing the works of art of the artist, with the artist's consent. In this case, the license is granted on a free basis for the promotion of the works of art by the galleries. In the secondary art market the art professionals (art dealers or auction houses) need the previous written consent of the artist or his estate for the reproduction of the images of the works of art on sale catalogues or on the relevant websites. This license may request the payment of fees to the artists or to the estate. The legal issues concerning the reproduction of contemporary works of art has a relevance on the international art market and opened a debate also in connection with the implementation of the Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society. Indeed, the Directive provides for exceptions to the reproduction and communication to the public rights in case of use of works for the purpose of advertising the public exhibition or sale of artistic works, to the extent necessary to promote the event, excluding any other commercial use. This exception has not been implemented in Italy by the Italian Copyright Law (Italian Law n. 633 of 22 April 1941, as subsequently amended).

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