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Commentaries Readers’ comments offering substantial theoretical and practical contributions to issues that havebeen raised in texts publishedin Leonard0are welcomed.The Editors reserve the right to edit and shorten letters. Letters should be written in English and sent to the Main Editorial Office. COMMENT ON ARTISTS’ RIGHTS An article in the DecemberissueofArtists Newsletter regarding copyright, taken from Roland Miller’s Live Art Press, raisesa salient point on the wholeissueof artists’ rights in the U.K and of their status and economic position. Whilst the writer was generally correct in stating that artists generallylacked the power to affect their circumstances, it is precisely for this reason that the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) was formed. We are now affecting the position of artists. For years, public bodies, authorities, publishers, galleries and the public assumed that they could reproduce or changeartists’work without either recourse or payment to them, or that the artists lost copyright upon the saleof their work-despite the lawsaying otherwise. As usual a law is worthless until put into practice. Artists do have a body to challenge this position and uphold their rights. DACS does have the muscletofight on all matters of copyright and royalty. Furthermore, viaour network of international societieslegal action can be taken worldwide on behalf of U.K. artist members. In the past 12 months DACS has collectedwell over 5365,000 in copyright feesand has successfullyfought within thelegalsystemon behalf of artists for recompense in the case of infringements and to obtain settlements and fees etc. The main obstacle to artists’ rights on this matter is the lack of awareness of copyright law by artists themselves and their slowness in joining an organisation that can take action for them. Copyright when properly administered, promoted and exploited can bring good financial benefits t oartists during their lifetime, as our European colleagueshave found. The Copyright Reform Act, now in its Committee Reading Stage in the House of Lords, will somewhat improve the general situation, it is thought, and will bring us a little closer in harmony with Europe-but with several hundred amendments tabled (which DACS is monitoring in detail) there will be heated debate andevensomesurprisesbefore the law is passed. Furthermore, next year the Commission of the EEC will probably bring forth proposals for the harmonisation of copyright law throughout member states. All these changes are going on and still the majority of members of the visual arts professions, public bodies and publishers remain ignorant of the 1956Act. The Societyhas a massive educational task on its hands! For an individual like myself to police all infringements in all the media, take legal action worldwide, collect fees, arrangefor licensingetc. is a gargantuan and well nigh impossible task in terms of time, expertise and money. I am a practising artist andjoined the society in order to safeguard my rights now and bring me benefits later in life and also to help raise the power and profile of the profession by banding together. DACS can provide all the services the artist needs in the field of copyright. I would hasten to add that it is a requirement of its charter that all members of its governing Council of Management are artists. Weurgeallartists throughout the U.K. tojoin DACS now in order to bring to our profession the kind of power that musicians enjoy in copyright. It is only E17.25~ for life plus 50 years after death. For the members of the following associations it is only $11.50: Artists Union; Federation of British Artists; National Artists Association; International Association of Art; Printmakers Council; Association of Illustrators. Stephen B. Cox Council o f Management Design and Artists Copyright Society DACS Freepost St. Mary’s Clergy House 2 WhitechurchLane London El 7QR u.K. Reproduced by permission of Artists Newsletter (U.K.) from the February 1988 issue. COMMENTS ON “TOUCHING THE SKY” Saad-Cook, Ross, Holt and Turrell (Leonard0 21, No. 2, 1988) explain their work with varyingdegreesof lucidity,but a point they mostly pass over is the universality and antiquity of the human need to which their efforts are the latest witness. Indeed, it is their long ancestry that gives these works grandeur and impacted meaning beyond the simple forms they...


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