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Indigenous artists take back the reins

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 20 May 2003


Planned Commonwealth legislation is likely to help regulate the way Indigenous art is used in the mainstream community, according to an Arnhem Land cultural centre.

The Federal Government will introduce copyright laws giving Aboriginal communities moral rights over the treatment of their artworks and films.

The legislation will aim to prevent Indigenous art from being used in a derogatory or insensitive way.

Apolline Cohen from the Maningrida Arts and Cultural Centre in the Northern Territory says Indigenous art is too often copied and used publicly without permission or in the wrong way.

"Just even people after asking permission not really acknowledging the artists or not giving the right title of the work," she said.

"Not cross-checking with us and that is the problem."

Ms Cohen says Indigenous artists need better protection.

"We see that very often on web sites and media releases and things like that and we try to inform artists working from Maningrida when it happens and then take action," she said.


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