Copyright | Odana Bloomfield | Australia

In Australia, all art works are protected under Copyright © and this extends for a period of 70 years after the artist's death. It is illegal to copy an artist's work by any means without the specific approval of the copyright holder. In the case of Norman Lindsay's etchings, Lin Bloomfield owns the copyright and permission must be obtained before reproduction of any kind is instigated.

There seems to be confusion in many quarters concerning copyright. Copyright is personal property and as such can be sold, licensed or left in one's will. Copyright protection in Australia is wholly statutory and is provided by the Copyright Act 1968.

The Copyright Act states that the owner of the copyright in an artistic work has the exclusive right to:

  • reproduce the work in material form
  • publish the work
  • include the work in a television broadcast
  • cause a television program that includes the work, to be transmitted to subscribers to a diffusion service (cable)

The Copyright Act defines 'artistic work' as follows:
a painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph, whether the work is of artistic quality or not.
Engraving includes an etching, lithograph, product of photogravure, woodblock print or similar work, not being a photograph.
Sculpture includes a cast or model made for the purposes of sculpture.

Copyright subsists in an artistic work for the life of its author plus 70 years The period is calculated from the end of the calendar year in which the artist died to the end of the fiftieth year. If, in the case of engraving, it is first published posthumously, the copyright period will last for 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work is first published.

Copyright in photography differs from the above. Copyright for photographs taken before 1 May 1969 subsists for 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the photo was taken. Photographs taken after 1 May 1969 also have a 70 year copyright period from the end of the calendar year in which the photo was first published. The photographer's death is irrelevant to the calculation of the copyright period.

Until 26 April 2000, copyright in the etchings of Norman Lindsay was owned by Jane Lindsay and licensed to Lin Bloomfield. As of 26 April 2000, copyright in the etchings of Norman Lindsay is owned by Lin Bloomfield. Copyright in all other works by Norman Lindsay including paintings, drawings, woodblocks, sculpture and the written word is owned jointly by Helen, Catherine and Andrew Glad. Exclusive licence to cast in bronze the sculpture of Norman Lindsay has been granted to Josef Lebovic and Lin Bloomfield by Helen, Catherine and Andrew Glad.

It has come to our attention that some people are innocently purchasing works they believe to be genuine Facsimile Etchings when in fact they are pages taken from books. Two books that are commonly destroyed are Norman Lindsay: Two Hundred Etchings (Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1973) and Norman Lindsay's Favourite Etchings (Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1977 and reprinted in 1984).

Please be aware that all Norman Lindsay works in any medium are subject to copyright restrictions as outlined above. Odana Editions is the sole legally authorised publisher of the Facsimile Etchings. Norman Lindsay's etchings must not be reproduced in any shape or form without the consent of Lin Bloomfield. Many images of Norman Lindsay etchings have been purchased in auction houses, antique shops or secondhand goods stores and have been found to have "certificates" with them claiming to be limited edition facsimile etchings. An image cannot be a legal Facsimile Etching unless it is published by Odana Editions. If it is not published by Odana Editions it is a breach of the Copyright Act 1968 and the Trade Practices Act 1974. Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 prohibits "misleading and deceptive" conduct.

Lin Bloomfield has the exclusive right to publish the Norman Lindsay Facsimile Etchings. Editions are restricted to 550, each individually numbered by hand. Authenticity is guaranteed by an embossed seal in the lower right hand corner of the image (the seal has a dot at the 6:00 o'clock position). All works have a Certificate of Authenticity.

 A copy of the Odana Edition's Facsimile Etching embossed seal is reproduced here so that genuine limited edition Facsimile Etchings may be identified by intending purchasers.

The Visual Artist and the Law (The Law Book Company Limited, Sydney, 2nd Edition, 1989) by Shane Simpson, L.L.B. (Hons), M.Jur, Solicitor, New South Wales; Barrister and Solicitor, Victoria; and Barrister, New Zealand, is the definitive book on all aspects of law relating to the visual arts. Shane Simpson has given permission to Lin Bloomfield to quote from his book (Chapter 6, The Principles of Copyright).

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