What is meant by illicit reproduction of artworks?
In our daily life we usually post and share images through social channels and make them usable and “available” to anyone who can access our profiles or, to us, through search engines such as Google or through our website.
Not all images, however, can be re-shared; this means that some images, despite being put at the mercy of the public, is not said to be freely published on the web. In fact, it is known that there are limitations in the context of private use, imagine how many may exist for sharing and use of images for commercial purposes.
And we can say the same for the reproduction of artworks: auction houses, e-commerce websites, marketplaces and the like, now everyone can access our information, understood as our images, our works. This is how an artist will find himself seeing the reproduction of artworks created by him, for sale everywhere.
The starting prices are obviously modest especially for auctions, but what influences is the consequence image of the artist who finds himself, to the crushing of the text, also a damage to his image. Quoted artists crushed by the bargain prices of semi-amateur places.
It is therefore inevitable and necessary to protect the artist in some way: this is done through the copyright which, in fact, guarantees artists the moral and patrimonial rights connected to the work that they produce. Let’s see them in the specific:
– Moral rights: an artist, author of a work, can decide if and when to publish it, whether to make changes or publish it in anonymity.
– Property rights: they consist of the possibility of reproducing artworks in their own name and exploiting them for profit.
In case the author cedes his work, he can still continue to hold moral rights and, unless otherwise agreed between the contracting parties, also the property rights.
In this way, anyone who purchases a artwork, will certainly have acquired tangible good while the good, understood as intangible, will remain connected to the artist creator. From here derive all the necessary permissions so that even a purchased work, should receive the “green light” to public exposure: both online and offline.
On the same false line we find the right concerning the reproduction of artworks: it is only within the artist.
Also taking into account that there is no difference between an online catalog and an offline catalog and, precisely in the definition of the catalog, we find the sale purpose, also in this case the author’s consent is required. Direct or indirect copies are based on digital legislation which, in fact, follows the above. To date, in fact, the legislation provides for the “free publication through the Internet, free of images and music at low resolutions or degraded, for educational or scientific use and only if such use is not for profit“.
It is therefore good to know that if a gallery wants to offer for sale the lithographs of art of an artist, it will need its consent and the certainty that these are numbered, certified and that, at the end of reproduction, the plates used for their printing be destroyed.