Grischka Petri (Glasgow, Bonn): Cultures of Visual Art Copyright: Artists - Authors - Aliens


Cultural aspects of copyright include different legal cultures and systems. Traditionally the Anglo-American copyright system is contrasted with the continental concept of author’s rights. Beyond these legally imprinted definitions, this paper endeavours to highlight some of those aspects of copyright, which rely on cultural, artistic and aesthetic conditions. Firstly, copyright in the visual arts differs considerably from the standard copyright model of texts in that it is closely connected to material culture. This relationship poses specific copyright problems in theory and practice. Secondly, copyright relies on the role of the author. Artists have defined this role autonomously, occasionally clashing with established norms, both legal and cultural. The question emerges whether traditional copyright needs alternatives to accommodate and protect cultural productions that betray its presumed foundations. Art history provides enlightening examples for a re-examination, some of which will be presented in this paper.

Dr. Dr. Grischka Petri


Curriculum Vitae

Grischka Petri holds doctorate degrees in law as well as in art history from the University of Bonn. He was a researcher at the Department for Private Law, Labor Law and Civil Procedure, and has worked at the University of Bonn’s Institute for Art History since 2007, where he became an Academic Council (non-tenure track) in 2009. Since 2011, he is further Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. From October 2014 to March 2015, Dr. Dr. Petri was a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”.