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Visual Artists Propose Association Formation, Clarity On Copyright

Visual Artists Propose Association Formation, Clarity On Copyright
Visual artists with the guests, Director Department of Heritage and Arts, Collin Yabaki (sitting fourth from left) and Director Fiji Arts Council, Peni Cavuilagi (seated third from right )at the Visual Arts Association and Intellectual Property Rights and Protection Workshop yesterday at Pacific Islands Forum Secratariat conference centre in Suva. Photo: Arishma Devi-Narayan
October 27
11:00 2017

In order to voice their concerns collectively, visual artists in the country are looking at forming an association.

At least 30 local artists, painters, sculptors, print makers, designers, crafters, photographers, filmmakers discussed the urgency of forming the association at the Visual Arts Association and Intellectual Property Rights and Protection Training Workshop.

The two-day workshop which began yesterday is being held at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat conference centre. The artists also discussed issues and challenges faced by visual artisans.

The top issue raised by the artists was copyrights.

Fiji Arts Council director, Peni Cavuilagi said the Fiji Performing Rights Association protected the rights of singers, dancers and performers.

“However, we have at least 60 registered visual artists and more who have not registered but are quite a lot of times faced with issues regarding their work mostly in terms of copyright,” Mr Cavuilagi said.

He said there were instances whereby painters’ works were copied by others without permission.

“Therefore, having an association for these artists will lift them up collectively and give them a voice to be heard of their issues and find solutions under one roof,” he said.

A participant of the two-day workshop, Ben Fong, who looks after the Oceania Centre at the University of the South Pacific (USP), said the association would give strength and educate the artists on their rights.

“I look after the contemporary art collection at the USP which is valued at $492 million and to keep it safe this workshop is relevant especially in terms of copyright,” Mr Fong said.

“There is a lot of misunderstanding of the use of art work at times, at times people think that once they have purchased an artwork they have also purchased the rights to reproduce the image,” he said.

“But it is not the case.

“These rights need to be protected and there are artists who have no idea of such rights; forming an association will give strength to individual artists and help educate the artists,” he said.

Lawyer, Pita Niubalavu also briefed the artists about their rights according to the law.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola




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