Copyright Lecture

The lecture began with these 4 statements

‘Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.’

TS Eliot

‘a good composer does not imitate; he steals’,

Igor Stravinsky

‘bad artists copy; good artists steal’


‘All artists steal; but the truly original artist repays a thousandfold.’

Le Corbusier

I’m not even going to begin and try to explain all of the issues surrounding the copyright of artworks. Its frequently stated that imitating or ‘stealing’ ideas is a large part of the creative process. I don’t necessarily agree, I do rely on researching methods and meanings behind artists work that I particularly admire as well as using allot of visual research to inform my practice but I would never steal or imitate it. I have been looking into certain philosophical ideas in art such as Walter Benjamin’s notion of ‘Aura’ and objectivity but I then use these ideas to develop my own work and always specify that I have done this.

Copyright is separate from the ownership of certain property but to be honest i didn’t necessarily understand why so like most things that puzzle a person in life I googled itand this is what I understood from it all.

  • The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control their material and its usage.
  • The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public.
  • In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions of his work.
  • International conventions give protection in most countries, subject to national laws.
  • Copyright comes into effect as soon as the work is created, it does not apply to the idea of the work only the creation.
  • Normally it is the person who created the work that is the ‘First owner of copyright’ unless it is work completed for a company and normally freelance work will be with the creator unless stated beforehand in the terms of service.
  • Copyright can be bought or sold as an asset.
  • For art the length of copyright is 70 years.

You can find more information at –

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