Artists gain legal clout with ruling on destruction of fakes

Aboriginal Art Directory | 05.06.10

Author: Karen Abidi
News source: The Age

From Karen Abidi, an intellectual property lawyer, at the Age:

Although this is a rare case to have come to the courts, in Australia fake art is said to represent 10 per cent of the market. Many other famous Australian artists, such as Streeton, Drysdale and Whiteley, have been faked. The faking of indigenous art is a real and complex issue, and there have been recent successful legal actions over this.

This court decision may act as an encouragement for artists and the industry to lobby to further strengthen the law to deal with art fakes. There could be specific legislation on the issue and the establishment of a fake art register, as called for by Stephen Nall, Dickerson's stepson and the director of Dickerson Galleries in Melbourne.

Having legal responsibility for valuing and selling fake art, and allowing destruction of fakes, is a fair outcome and will help foster a certain, confident and trusting art market and ethical art world. It is a win for Dickerson, Blackman, their families, art buyers and the Australian art industry in general.

Karen Abidi is an intellectual property lawyer.


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