4th International Seminar on Art and Law in Malaga

On Friday 13 April the Museo Picasso Málaga auditorium hosted the fourth celebration of the 4th International Seminar on Art and Law in Malaga, a result of  an agreement between the lawyers’ Bars of Málaga, Barcelona and Paris, to organize consecutively a gathering each spring that would provide a forum for the latest developments in the field of law applied to art, and would not be limited to members of the Law career but actively undertake to share and discuss these matters with the other parties involved: museums, galleries, artists, dealers, public authorities, author’s rights agencies, etc.

Opening the seminar. ICA Malaga / Photo: Fotos: Spiral, Agencia Fotográfica

Marisa Moreno, board member of the Malaga Bar, monitored the general organization and Carlos F. López Abadín was the scientific coordinator. The international dimension was greatly enhanced by the presence not only of the Barcelona and Paris Bars board members , but also of Berlin and Padua, as well as attendees from the USA, Japan and Luxembourg.

Round table dedicated to museums | Lluís Bagunyà during his speech. ICA Málaga / Photos: Spiral, Agencia Fotográfica

This year, the main topic was ‘Law, New Technologies and Art’. New technologies are creating new challenges in every sector of the art/law interface, and giving rise to situations never envisaged in the past, which in some cases will soon be a source of conflicts of interest (if they are not already):

  • Example 1: auctions online, rather than in traditional auction houses with a definite physical location, are offering works of art without the possibility of prior visual inspection by the bidders. This results in the contradiction that those general online auction platforms selling art objects are being governed by the laws of consumer rights, which entitle him to return and be reimbursed for unsatisfactory goods. The whole concept of auction is thus called into question.
  • Example 2: the very definition of what constitutes an artwork in the context of intellectual property law is no longer adequate for fractal art (always in movement on the Internet), robotic art (machines-cum-sculptures), genetic or transgenic art, etc.
  • Example 3: the question of the international pirating of video games, ranging from the situation in Japan, where they receive the fullest protection and are treated like films, to the problems of even by defining them as collective works, as they are in French law.
Carlos F. López Abadín during the session about intellectual property and new technologies. ICA Málaga / Photo: Spiral, Agencia Fotográfica

There was also a panel discussion centred on the changes that the new technologies are creating for museums. Taking part were Pepe Lebrero, the director of the Museo Picasso Málaga; Lourdes Moreno, the director of the Fundación Carmen Thyssen, and Lluís Bagunyà, representing the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. The new technologies greatly facilitate the running of our museums, but they also call for far greater rigour in the fields of copyright, the protection of individual’s image and the establishment of contracts.

In addition, there were also papers not directly related to new technologies, such as those dealing with the current state of the right of artists or their heirs to a share in the proceeds from successive sales of their work, or the treatment of architecture as a work of art in light of the legislation on intellectual property and trademarks.

Lluís Bagunyà
Contracting and Institutional Affairs

Images: ICA Málaga/Foto: Spiral. Agencia Fotográfica

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