Artists' Rights in a European Cultural Space
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and ALTERNE Project/Wimbledon School of Arts
The workshop, “Artists Rights in the European Cultural Space” was organised in the context of the 3rd Session of the European Cultural Parliament, held in Genoa in December 2004.
The main purpose of the workshop was to map out and discuss the current state and developments in copyright/authors rights protection with lawyers, artists and researchers. Cases studies were presented on the challenges faced by new media artists with the existing system of rights protection and remuneration schemes.
Some observations made during the session and presented in more detail in the final report are:
- Present system of copyright provides little financial benefit to the average artist, creator or performer;
- News models have emerged which shift the balance of power over regulatory and legal processes away from the economic interests of big business and empower artists to determine how their rights are to be assigned;
- Artists and authors do not need to sign contracts which give away all of their rights. It is possible to use the current legal system to better define one’s own rights;
- Collecting societies hold a monopoly on the collection and distribution of artist’s royalties. Interesting alternatives to break monopolies held by collecting societies are emerging;
- An educational module on artist’s rights needs to be urgently developed and distributed to arts universities across Europe;
- A more open attitude towards the changing working practices of artists and their use of new technologies is required on the part of all major actors: copyright licensing bodies, the European Commission, national law makers and professional organisations representing artists and authors.