As the popularity of Indigenous art grows, so too does the need to better protect artist's rights and interests. Sadly, in the past, too many artists have had their work and designs copied or reproduced without permission or proper remuneration.
That's where the independent, not-for-profit national community legal centre for the arts, Arts Law comes in with their 'Licencing the Right Way' initiative, supported through the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support program since 2020.
Through the initiative, Arts Law provides legal, contractual and issue resolution advice and 'how to license' training to Indigenous artists as well as licensees wanting to license artworks in an ethical way.
Since launching the initiative, Arts Law has experienced a 50 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous artists seeking advice about licensing as well as copyright infringement issues.
Arts Law also delivers the 'Artists in the Black' program, which assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists with targeted services to preserve their legacy and ensure that they are in control of where their art, copyright, money and other assets go when they pass away.
Legal protections for artists is a key focus of the National Indigenous Visual Arts Action Plan, which aims to increase economic opportunities, promote ethical dealing and enable the vibrant Indigenous visual arts sector to grow and to develop new markets.
Image of lawyer Courtney Daunt working with an artist at Wik & Kugu Aurukun Art Centre, Queensland, by Donna Robinson, Arts Law.
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