Protecting interests

Written contracts are an important means for artists of protecting their interests.

The law impacts on the professional lives of artists in many ways. It affects:

  • their direct working environment (leases, health and safety)
  • the images they can create (obscenity and defamation)
  • what use may be made of their work by others (copyright, licensing, registered and unregistered designs)
  • how their work may be disposed of (contracts of sale with buyers, 'sale or return' arrangements), or shown to the public (exhibition contracts)
  • the degree of protection they can demand for their works (insurance and moral rights)
  • how they can be represented by others (agency and dealer contracts)
  • and even how much tax they must pay (tax, national insurance, VAT)

In order to protect their own interests, it's advisable for artists to become more familiar with the kind of legal relationships that arise in their everyday dealings, and the contracts that reflect these relationships.

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