Thursday, March 30, 2023

Is VARA Due for an Update?

The beloved artist’s moral rights law, the Visual Artists Rights Act, may be well overdue for an update. The law covers art that fits into the categories of paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphic and photographic prints. There are further requirements for the types of sculptures and prints protected. Meaning, there are no moral rights afforded by law to filmmakers, tattoo artists, ceramicists, and any other artist working in a non traditional medium.

Additionally, the work must meet the requirement of being of “recognized stature.” While artists and their lawyers constantly hope to depend on VARA for protection, the very limited scope tends to make the law rather unsuccessful for its purpose. The laws protecting art should expand as artists continue to push the boundaries of what is considered art.

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