Friday 18 November 2011

Online art: a new business model?

You can access s[edition]'s
website and make your
purchases here
An article on the BBC this morning, "Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst design artwork for mobiles", reports that limited edition contemporary art for mobile phones, designed by contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, is being made available for purchase for online use. The article explains:
"... The original authenticated artwork can be downloaded for display on phones, tablets, computers and TVs. Works will be created in limited runs of between 2,000 and 10,000 and will cost between £5 and £500.

"I like the idea of original pieces of art going to people directly for a low price," Emin said. "When you are an artist and you get to a certain level, it means that you have forced yourself out of the market for a lot of people, and this makes pure art available" [This rather suggests that the artist has no control over the pricing of his or her works, though one imagines that there is some control over the price at which the work is first sold ...]

The website, called s[edition], launched on Thursday. By Friday morning, 18 people had already purchased the most expensive item - Damien Hirst's For Heaven's Sake.

The piece, priced at £500, is a high definition video displaying one of the artist's famous diamond-encrusted skulls.

Purchasers store their copy of the artwork, which is numbered and authenticated, in an online "vault" which is accessible from connected devices such as iPads and internet-enabled televisions.

The site's terms and conditions [which you can read here] suggest that, in the future, collectors will be able to trade their collections with other members of the website via an internal marketplace ...".
The site's software is already geared for record-keeping for the purposes of the artist's resale right.

Of note are the site's Intellectual Property provisions:
"Intellectual Property

By posting, contributing, distributing, communicating or transmitting any Member Content, a Member expressly grants to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable licence (including the right to grant sub-licences through multiple tiers) to use, reproduce, adapt and distribute that material worldwide through s[edition] and any other interactive services through which we make s[edition] (or a service based on s[edition]) available. For the avoidance of doubt, the licence under this Clause 8 will survive any termination of these Conditions or any cancellation, suspension or lapse of the relevant Account. Note that we may modify any material associated with a Member or an Account in order to conform it to s[edition] (such as by cropping images).

Artists should note that the above paragraph does not apply to the artworks that they license to s[edition], which are governed by the terms of the separate Artist Agreement that they enter into with s[edition].

You acknowledge that all copyright, trade marks, and other intellectual property rights in and relating to s[edition] (including, without limitation, Member Content associated Members other than you) are owned by, or licensed to, us. You may use and access s[edition] and that Member Content only to the extent required for the use of the Services in accordance with these Conditions, and for the purpose that we make them available.

No-one may copy, distribute, show in public or create any derivative work from s[edition], or any of the material which is found on s[edition] unless properly licensed to do so by us.

Members agree not to use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access s[edition] for any purpose without our prior express written permission".
Interesting ...

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