British artist Banksy has no right to his work because he prefers anonymity – said the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office. There is a decision and a question of whether this will open the door for those who want to use the famous street performer’s works. Material from the “Polska i Świat” magazine.
Dr. Katarzyna Kasia from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and co-host of the “Contact Glass” program on TVN24 says the question is who is more important: art or artist? EU law deals with such issues quickly and clearly. Famous British artist Banksy has just lost a lawsuit over the rights to use one of his works.
The case was settled by the EU Intellectual Property Office. ̵
WATCH TVN24 ON THE INTERNET
– Copyright protects individual creativity. At the moment when we cannot say who it is because this person is hiding and only “Banksy” is signed everywhere, we cannot grant this person any legal or copyright protection – explains Agnieszka Wiercińska-Krużewska.
The dispute concerned a sketch Banksy painted on a wall in Bethlehem 15 years ago. There was one company that quickly started duplicating them on greeting cards. The artist’s lawyers managed to reserve the right to use the work, but after a two-year dispute the decision was withdrawn.
“Banksy chooses to remain anonymous and his works are mostly graffiti painted on someone else’s property without the prior consent of the owners, not works painted on canvases or the walls of his own property” – explains the EU office .
However, such rigid rules are difficult to adapt to an artist who creates on the street from the beginning and who opposes commercialism in art. – This is a full discussion because this work is indeed about war, the need for peace in the Middle East, and not how much an artist can make from it and how much someone who reproduces it on it can make can. Mugs or T-shirts – Dr. Katarzyna Kasia pointed out.
Art critic Łukasz Radwan believes that “Banksy has every right to be anonymous”. – But it’s problematic in the market. In my opinion this shouldn’t be the case. But Banksy is right, he adds.
“A trademark was used to prevent access to creativity.”
The Briton has already tried to fight against illegally earning his work. He opened a doorless shop in London. Selected works can be purchased online. But what was on the offer, according to the judges, did not serve the “commercialization of the goods”, but only circumvented the law, and this also influenced the decision to deprive the artist of the right to work.
– A trademark was used to avoid labeling products. Not to sell services or goods, but to hinder access to this work, says copyright and intellectual property expert Dr. Bogdan Fischer.
It is unknown whether a lost lawsuit does not encourage others to make money off of Banksy’s work with impunity. The easiest way for the artist himself to be to reveal himself and get full copyright, but it seems this is not really a British style.
– I think Banksy’s answer will be artistic – says Dr. Katarzyna Kasia. – I am convinced that he will find a way to talk about his objection in a way that affects us all and the officials do not know what to do with something like this – he adds.
Main photo source: Reuters