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Exhibitions – Galleries – Studios – Street Art – Art in Public Places – Ōtautahi Christchurch and Canterbury

A Sketch in Copyright - What does owning intellectual property mean for an artist?

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7 days ago, Wed 11 Sep 2019, 06:00 pm


7 days ago, Wed 11 Sep 2019, 07:00 pm


Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Corner of Worcester Boulevard and Montreal Street


Free Entry Event, Visual Arts, Professional Development,


Wheelchair access, Mobility parking



Listed By:

Arts Canterbury

Main event Image.

A Sketch in Copyright

Arts Canterbury presents a public discussion about the intellectual property of artists with guest speaker Virginia Nichols, an IP specialist at the Canterbury firm of Saunders & Co Lawyers.  She says that ‘the term “intellectual property” (IP) is a catch-all term used to cover all the “fruits of the human intellect”.  Everything that is thought up by people is IP.  The oldest known legal recognition of IP arose when one sixth century monk Columba made a secret copy of his brother Finian’s psalter.  The King ruled this copying was illegal - "To every cow belongs its calf; to every book its copy."  Copyright protection was later enshrined in statute, and in New Zealand the government is currently reviewing our Copyright Act 1994.’

A Registered Patent Attorney, Virginia helps clients with all forms of IP - patents for new inventions, trade mark protection for brands, design registration for product styling, trade secrets and confidentiality, licensing, and of course copyright.  Virginia studied at Canterbury University, earning degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering as well as law before training as a Patent Attorney at a local specialist firm. 

‘In the field of visual arts, IP should be simpler, because copyright is the main form of applicable IP protection.  However, copyright is both complicated, and frequently misunderstood.  There are a lot of misconceptions about what you are allowed to do with copyright works, and in the digital age this applies more than ever.’  A Sketch in Copyright, Wednesday 11 Sep, 6pm Philip Carter Family Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery.



  1. Rita Angus, Cass, oil on canvas on board, collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū; purchased 1955
  2. Ian Scott, To Live and Die in New Zealand, 1989, acrylic and enamel on canvas, 1815 x 4880mm, collection of the Wallace Arts Trust. (Ian Scott contexturalises Rita Angus’ Cass.)
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