Free Culture

A Comment On Arts Council Funding

An artist should only receive public money when the value of the art that they make using that money is made available to the public.It should be a condition of receiving Arts Council funding that any work produced is made available to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution or Share-Alike licence (not Non-Commercial or No-Derivatives licenses as these deny value to the public).This ensures that the public are able to benefit from the work they have paid for by copying from it while the artist is still free to sell the original work.

4 replies on “A Comment On Arts Council Funding”

Excellent idea.
Let’s be a little more precise as to when this kicks in.
The moment the artist sells, makes copies of, publicly exhibits, or performs their art, is the moment at which it must be made available to the arts council under CC-SA license for them to copy/record to make available to the public.

When art is sold it’s too late as the purchaser (whether a collector or a gallery) has ownership and control of the work. The work should be made BY or SA when it is first started. It is a public artwork by virtue of being paid for by the public. The CC license will bind the purchaser, and they must be told this and given advice on how to handle it when publicly exhibiting the work.
The Arts Council should have access to record (e.g. photograph, backup, take a proof of) the work before it passes out of the artist’s control. That may be at first exbition, or may be before the work it handed to the artist’s dealer or gallery. A list of acceptable scenarios should be produced by the Arts Council.
The artist should most probably retain the right of first public exhibition. But the work is to go directly into a private collection or be retained by the artist or their dealer/gallery without exhibition, i.e. it is not to be made public for the foreseeable future, the Arts Council should make its records of the work (e.g. 3D laser scanner data for sculptures) available either immediately or as a yearly event.

At the moment of sale – which is not after the sale, so it’s not too late.
You need to define such moments or events that define the production/license points. You can’t license a blank canvas – or doing so doesn’t consequently license the art that is subsequently put upon it (produced). If you want to do that sort of thing, you’d need to make the artist work for hire and the arts council to become the owner of all their output.

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