What kind of licence is it? A close-up on licensing for visual artists.

What kind of licence is it? A close-up on licensing for visual artists.

If you’re thinking about signing up with CLNZ, you might have a few questions about how our auction house licensing scheme works, and what’s covered. Or you might be signed up already and just want a refresher.

Close up of a camera lens

About the CLNZ licence

You probably already know the bigger picture: when you sign up with us as an artist, you agree we can license your art to auction houses who hold a licence and want to reproduce it and collect a fee, which we then pay on to you. We do the licensing work; you retain your copyright and it’s free to join – you only pay via a deduction to any fees collected.

Here’s more of the detail. There is one set of licence terms – we set these out in the agreement you sign when you join us and they are the same for every artist signed up, and for every auction house which takes out the licence.

How can your art be used under the CLNZ licence?

When you join, you agree that the ways your work can be reproduced are the same from work to work and auction house to auction house. Our terms focus on common ways art is reproduced when it is promoted on the secondary market – for example, in printed and online catalogues, on social media and in catalogue archives. The full detail of how you agree your work can be used is set out in the Rights Agreementwhich will be sent to once you have registered – and that detail is the same in the licensing scheme the auction houses sign.

Fairness, clarity and smooth administration

We operate this way because fairness, clarity and smooth administration are important to us. Using one, clear set of terms means that in every instance, artists know what’s permitted, and so do the auction houses. It’s a common way of managing licensing collectively: similar licensing schemes are operated by organisations like CLNZ in many different countries.

How is the CLNZ scheme different from an individual licence?
Using an individual licence, terms can be agreed for each art work, or with each user of a creative work, each time. Individual licensing is best for one-to-one, artist-to-user licensing, while blanket licences like ours operate effectively when there are multiple artists’ works being copied, and multiple users of those works.

Is there scope for individual licensing arrangements?
Yes! Check out the MyCreativeRights Legal Service which offers access to copyright knowledge and subsidised legal assistance from legal advisors specialising in the creative industries. Whether it is a simple question about copyright, help with a licensing agreement or advice on how to negotiate the terms of a legal contract – we’ve got you covered.

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