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Copy This Book: An Artist’s Guide to Copyright

September 16 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Copy this Book is an interactive workshop in which you can discover the concepts underlying intellectual property* and how they apply to your practice.  How do you get copyright? For what work? And for how long? How does copyright move across mediums, and how can you go about integrating the work of others (because they also have copyright)?

Despite its relevance for artists and designers, Intellectual property (IP) rarely figures in the educational curriculum of art academies. The Artist and The Others, together with Dona Daria, initiate this workshops to address this gap: it is important to know the rights and obligations of IP as soon as your career starts to develop, whether you are a student or a professional.

*Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind. It encompasses several types of rights, such as copyright, trademarks, patents and designs. Today, all forms of creative work, from visual art to fashion to software to photographs to industrial design to many more, will potentially be protected by intellectual property rights. Owning such a right gives you say in who gets to copy this creation and could generate income. On the other hand, your own works might conflict with the pre-existing rights of others!

Indie Art. Legal Clinic, Maastricht University


Artists and designers today are increasingly confronted with legal issues. Legally speaking, popular artistic strategies such as citation and appropriation can amount to copyright infringement. Even well-established artists aren’t always aware of the implications of copyright, as was demonstrated in the high-profile case of Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, who infringed upon photographer Katrien van Giel’s copyright.

Given the increasing ease with which images circulate, it becomes ever more necessary for artists to apprehend the legal status of their works. fAs new EU legislation pushes online platforms globally towards automated scanning of uploads (Article 13), artists are more likely to be impacted when their artistic creation oversteps legal boundaries.

Simultaneously, creative professionals might find their own works re-used in ways they do not like.
What are their rights if that happens? Which aspects of artists’ work are protected by copyright? The style, the ideas, the forms?
And if there has indeed been a copyright infringement, what are the solutions, practically?

In the workshop we will explore the different ways artists and designers can resolve such conflicts, including options that are neither as costly nor as time consuming as lawsuits.

Another vital role of copyright for artists and designers is the leverage it provides when negotiating with publishers, agents and other intermediaries. Having others represent you as an artist requires a copyright deal. Copy This Workshop will introduce the different possible types of copyright licensing and assignment available.

Finally, now is also the time to grasp the politics of the copy. Within copyright, notions of authorship and creativity aren’t neutral: they serve to further a specific view on artistic creation. As the discussion of artistic privilege and cultural appropriation evolves, so too can artists’ understanding of the ethics of artistic copying.

Throughout Copy This Book workshop, we will explore numerous concrete examples of artists and designers navigating the legal conditions of their field.

You’ll find out how David Bowie altered his music to work around George Orwell’s estate, why Sherrie Levine chose Ansel Adams as a photographer to copy, and why the Wu-Tang Clan released an album in an edition of one. But first and foremost we will be able to exchange our personal experiences and reflect upon each other’s legal questions.


Through a presentation, the sharing of knowledge and interactive exercises with Eric Schrijver the author of Copy this Book, an artist’s guide to copyright (Onomatopee, 2018). You will also learn by sharing your experiences and knowledge of the market with the other participants.

You are encouraged to bring an object or work you have created in order to understand the possibilities and limitations of IP protection and exploitation. As outcome of the workshop we will collectively create a pamphlet that seeks to capture the knowledge gained by exchanging these case studies.


If you are a creative professional or recent graduate who wants to gain more information about your professional rights when it comes to copying and being copied, this workshop is a must for you.

It is also relevant to artists & designers who want to understand their rights when negotiating with clients, galleries, publishers and distributors.

This masterclass is for any creative professional interested in knowing their intellectual property rights and obligations. It gives you the basic tools you need to develop your professional practice further.

Keep in mind spaces are limited for this workshop! So make sure to book your place far in advance. 

Due to the late time, drink & Finger food will be provided. 

Sign up here

About Eric Schrijver 

Eric Schrijver is a Dutch interaction designer, artist and author, born in Amsterdam in 1984. From 2011 to 2017 he was a core member of the graphic design collective Open Source Publishing. Eric is the author of  “Copy This Book: an artist’s guide to copyright” (Onomatopee, 2018).

About The Creative Skills week: 

Creative Skills Week 2024 gathers third-level educators, university leaders, vocational education and training (VET) providers, industry partners, SME’s and policymakers dedicated to the future of the Cultural and Creative Sector Industries (CCSI).

Working in the cultural and creative ecosystem, we often lack the time to come together and think about the future of our sector, particularly how we can strengthen the organisations and businesses within it.

Join us for Creative Skills Week 2024, a unique opportunity to shape and steer the discussion around skills for our somewhat fragmented sector. To achieve this, we need all stakeholders to be involved and help us address skills gaps, identify opportunities for upskilling, and start shaping strategic skills for future creatives.

Explore common ground for the cultural and creative ecosystem throughout Europe. Develop local and European solutions which address urgent challenges within the CCSI. Together, let’s learn from each other how local communities can strengthen their work and enhance collaboration within their local ecosystems. Contribute to expanding creative skills training beyond systems and sectors to secure sustainable futures in the CCSI!

Powered by SACCORD, in association with CYANOTYPES, and hosted by Conservatorium of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK).


September 16
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Dona Daria
Gerard Scholtenstraat 129
Rotterdam, 3035 SJ Netherlands
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