RIDA 220 | 04-2009

Doctrine

Conceptual art as creation and its protection by authors'rights

Nadia WALRAVENS

Code : 220-D1
Keywords :
Originality, conceptual art, Notion, concept, Idea

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CONCEPTUAL ART AS CREATION AND ITS PROTECTION BY AUTHORS’ RIGHTS*

For the first time in the history of authors’ rights, the Court of Cassation, in a much awaited decision 1 , has granted protection to a contemporary artwork, specifically a work of conceptual art: the creation’s intellectualisation does not preclude its materialisation in an original form. The Supreme Court makes it clear that the originality of a work must be understood in its subjective acceptation, i.e. the stamp of the personality of its author, which means that contemporary art is not incompatible with the “personalist” approach of French authors’ rights. In view of the development of artistic creation, we can only welcome this decision and pay tribute to the Court for lifting the veil of uncertainty which covered the issue for over a century 2.

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