March/April 2006 Volume 6, Issue 18

In the time that we have been planning this edition, themed around legal and associated issues for Indigenous artists and indeed, the industry itself, an amazing number of facts, statistics, revelations and accusations have surfaced in the media regarding the Indigenous art market. Trevor James from Viscopy gives a comprehensive overview of the many pressing issues faced by Indigenous artists in Australia.

In this edition we have attempted to cover a variety of issues related to this theme. Foremost in some circles is the issue of a resale royalty and whether such a scheme should be introduced for the benefit of visual artists. Shortly before going to print, the Federal Government announced that it would not introduce a resale royalty scheme. In light of this we have decided to continue the publication of a small forum on the issue while also including a more up-to-date section on the 'state of play'. We publish contributions to that debate from Robynne Quiggin, Justin Miller and Peter Garrett MP.

Exploitation of artists is, of course, a diverse issue and while it is not something that many people are comfortable going 'on record' about, others have taken that brave step to put pen to paper and let people know what's really going on. Artist Jason Davidson has written of his experiences and the fear he holds for the long-term effect of the abuse and exploitation of some Indigenous artists. Can regulation of the Indigenous art industry solve at least some of these problems? John Oster from Desart discusses whether a code of conduct could make a difference.

Legal education in terms of rights and self-empowerment goes a long way to protecting the future of Indigenous artists. Samantha Joseph from the Arts Law Centre of Australia discusses the way in which copyright and contracts law can be used to protect the rights of Indigenous artists. She also describes a service the Arts Law Centre provides via their program Artists in the Black: information regarding arts law issues and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property, and legal advice to Indigenous artists and arts organisations.

Archives of the Bulletin from Volume 1, Issue 1 (1981) to 6(9) 2005 are available at

Special Focus Edition: Indigenous Artists

Artists in the Black

Artists in the Black
by Samantha Joseph

The Pressing Issues

Supporting Indigenous Artists: Finding a Way Forward
by Trevor James and Viscopy

Forum: Resale Royalty

The Resale Royalty: An Overview
by Robynne Quiggin

Droite de Suite: A Flawed Concept
by Justin Miller

Resale Royalty Rights
by Peter Garrett MP

From an Artist's Perspective...

Stomping Out the Middle Men: The Punks Who Rip Off Aboriginal Artists
by Jason Davidson

The Arts Law Centre

Protecting Indigenous Culture
by Samantha Joseph

Is Regulation the Answer?

Proposal for a Regulated Indigenous Art Industry
by John Oster


Recent Happenings March 2006
Recent Happenings April 2006

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