Archive for March, 2011

Google book settlement judgement

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

After 13 months of deliberation Judge Chin has ruled in the Google book settlement which is dealing with Googles digitisation of in-copyright books and making them available online. This settlement would have had an impact on some AOI members, especially those involved in children’s books published in the USA.

Here Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner give the view of the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership (USA)

On 2 March U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin rejected the Book Rights Registry settlement between Google and the US Authors Guild. The $125 million commercial agreement would have rewarded both parties for the largest mass infringement of authors’ copyrights in history. Instead, the judge ruled it a business deal “too far.”

“A Reversal of Copyright Law” is what the Illustrators’ Partnership called this agreement in our warning to illustrators on September 29, 2009. Like the visual arts “databases” we opposed during the Orphan Works fight, we wrote:

“this agreement would allow both Google and a yet-to-be-created Book Rights Registry to commercially profit from an author’s work whenever they say they can’t locate the author.

“Both schemes would force authors to opt out of commercial operations that infringe their work or to ‘protect’ their work by opting-in to privately owned databases run by infringers. This Hobson’s Choice for authors reverses the principle of copyright law.”

Judge Chin held this to be the case. “A copyright owner’s right to exclude others from using his property is fundamental and beyond dispute,” he ruled. “[I]t is incongruous with the purpose of the copyright laws to place the onus on copyright owners to come forward to protect their rights when Google copied their works without first seeking their permission.”

The judge also noted objections to the “Adequacy of Class Representation.” In short, this holds that neither Google, nor any organizations claiming to represent authors, nor the university libraries that gave Google “permission” to digitize their holdings, own the copyrights to the works this agreement would have allowed them to exploit.

Therefore, they have no standing to broker deals based on claims that they represent the “class” of authors.

The judge held this to be the case even where organizations asserted the right to “expropriate” “orphaned” royalties belonging to rightsholders. Noting that “After ten years, unclaimed funds may be distributed to literary-based charities,” the judge concluded:

“[A]t a minimum a fair question exists as to whether this Court or the Registry or the Fiduciary would be expropriating copyright interests belonging to authors who have not voluntarily transferred them. As Professor Nimmer has written: ‘By its terms Section 201(e) is not limited to acts by governmental bodies and officials. It includes acts of seizure, etc., by any ‘organization’ as well.’ 3 Melville B. Nimmer & David Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright §10.04 (Rev. Ed. 2010) (footnote omitted).” [Page 31 of the judge’s ruling, emphasis added.]

In rejecting the settlement, Judge Chin also echoed the US Justice Department’s antitrust objections: The deal, he wrote, “would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission…” He suggested the settlement might win approval if it were revised to cover only those who opt into the agreement.

Comment from the Guardian here.


Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011


AIR Council invites you to join us on Saturday 26 March for rally against cuts.

The entire cultural landscape is set to contract, along with our job opportunities and potential commissions. This is not just about our livelihoods, galleries and politics. It is about our lifeblood – our culture!

How to get involved

We are asking AIR members to do what artists do best - make work in response to the cuts!

Painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, sound… bring your work to London and join us on the march. Let’s be creative and show the UK what artists are made of!


AIR will meet at 10am outside the Royal Festival Hall. We will then set off to join the main march, organised by the TUC, at 10:30am.

The march will gather on Victoria Embankment and form between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges from 11am. It will start moving off around noon, but because of the likely size the last marchers will probably not leave until around 2pm, and possibly later.

The TUC are advising people from outside London and the South-East to arrive after the start. This is because people with long return journeys and trains to catch will find it easier to leave if they are at the front of the march.

The march will arrive in Hyde Park shortly after 1:15pm and the rally will start at around 1:30pm. Because of the large numbers involved, the TUC expects people to still be arriving at Hyde Park at 4pm. They will therefore keep the rally running until around 4:30pm.

AOI Member Emma Block and her tote bag

Friday, March 18th, 2011

New AOI Member Emma Block just recieved her membership pack (this month only: no joining fee and FREE tote bag) and was moved enough to email us a photo of her modelling the AOI Tote Bag.


Pick Me Up opens

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Somerset House Trust, South Building, London WC2R 1LA

Thursday 17 March – Sunday 27 March

Opening times 10am until 7pm, Thursdays until 9pm


Pick Me Up, the contemporary graphic art fair, held its opening night on 16 March, and AOI were in attendance along with a host of illustration and graphic arts appreciators. The show is spread over several levels and includes work from 24 selected individuals, collectives like Nous Vous and Print Club, an open studio from legendary designer and AOI member, Anthony Burrill, and spaces for commercial outlets who support the type of artists taking part.


There’s a great diverse display of artwork throughout the show, including work from three of the illustrators who contributed to Varoom’s 21st Century Zodiac in issue 12 – Revenge Is Sweet, Polly Becker and Clara Terne. Polly and Clara’s Zodiac’s are part of their presentations.


Concrete Hermit has a spacious shop on the lower floor next to ThemLot’s intriguing three dimensional landscape, and these larger set ups work well alongside the live silkscreen printing and individual works. It’s fantastic to see illustration and printmaking being given the space (and respect) of a major show in one of the city’s famous buildings. Stimulating artwork to see, activities to take part in, and artist’s books and objects etc to buy – get yourself down there!


A programme of events and activities will accompany the fair, including a one-day symposium on Tuesday 22 March, 11.00-16.00, hosted by Mokita and Pick Me Up, which will examine the subject of illustration, challenge assumptions about the practice and root out its disciplinary ‘core’.

AOI intern, Evgenia Barinova, has a horse and rider print on display as part of a special pack of prints from Hermit Editions at Concrete Hermit.




Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

06 – 10 APRIL 2011?
Berlin, Germany

A celebration of contemporary character design. Speakers include: Keita Takahashi (JP), Nick Cave (USA), Jeremyville (AUS), McBess (FR), Rilla Alexander (AUS/DE), Ryan Quincy (USA), SFA (DE), Allyson Melberg Taylor (USA), Ben & Julia (CH/FR), Mark Jenkins (USA), Roman Klonek (DE), Amandine Urruty (FR) and many more.

April 6 – 10, from 12:00 on, the Character Walk invites you on a guided tour through more than 25 exhibitions, installations and group-shows throughout Berlin’s city centre.
April 7 – 9, daily, from 11:00 – 22:00, the main Conference with lectures, artist presentations, animation screenings and workshops takes place in the Kino Babylon.
April 9 from 20:00 on the Volksbühne celebrates the grand finale with live-performance, concerts and a character Party.

For more info go here

Image Luke Ramsey

Central Saint Martin’s – Work In Progress PRIVATE VIEW 21/03/2011

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Private view: Monday 21 6-8pm
Open: 10am-6pm Tuesday 22nd – Friday 25th March

A selection of graphic art, print making and illustration from final year students on show and for sale.
Events will run in the afternoons Tuesday – Friday, guest speakers TBC.

Colomb Art Gallery
52a George Street
Marylebone, London

Artists Resale Right

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Have you created physical artwork that is sold on to the public? Silkscreen prints? Originals?

The European Commission consultation for the Artist’s Resale Right closes on 11 March. This right gives artists a percentage of ongoing sales of their work through galleries and auction houses, and the extension of the right will apply to deceased artists. So any income would go to their beneficiaries. This potential right is being contested and needs support. It is the last chance to have your say on what achieving equality with your fellow European artists means for you.

Make a contribution to the consultation by sending an email to [email protected]

What do they need to know?

What kind of artist are you? Briefly outline the type of art work you make, where you are based in the UK and how long you have been making art. If you can, provide examples of the challenges you have faced in earning a living from your art.

How do you feel about being able to bequeath this Right to your loved ones or favourite causes? How could royalty income help support your family, make a difference to your favourite cause or ensure your artistic legacy is maintained?

What does the Artist’s Resale Right mean to you? How will future resale royalties make a difference in fostering your artistic creativity or assisting forthcoming work?

DACS is preparing for 2012

DACS was at the forefront of the campaign for the Artist’s Resale Right in 2006 and successfully convinced the Government to introduce a Right that would benefit more emerging artists.

They are once again speaking to officials and politicians to ensure that this Right is secure and to counter arguments put forward by those who oppose the Right so that it will be introduced from 1 January 2012.

For further info contact Tania Spriggens, Director of Communications at DACS [email protected]

New business guide

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

‘The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers’ , written by Alison Branagan who has presented several of the AOI’s Business Masterclasses, aims to help any artist or designer to set up in business, either as self-employed, as a partnership or company.

This comprehensive guide covers a number of topics, essential knowledge areas, and enterprise skills. Subjects include how to make creativity pay, earning a living, self-employment, business planning, building networks, online showcasing, self-promotion, innovation, intellectual property, contracts, key legal matters, negotiation, tax, bookkeeping, a full list of professional bodies and business glossary.


This educational textbook includes a number of illustrated mind maps, useful exercises, diagrams, resources, and free accountancy software. The book features profiles of seven successful visual artists.

Published by A&C Black

The River Thames – an exhibition of the best entries from the Serco Prize for Illustration

Friday, March 4th, 2011


London Transport Museum, in partnership with the Association of Illustrators, is delighted to announce the 2011 Serco Prize for Illustration. This year, the theme is the River Thames and entries should feature the river as a central feature of London and London life. It is the task of entrants to create an illustration that draws attention to the benefits of the river.

The top three entries will receive a monetary award and may be used in an advertising and promotional campaign run by London Transport Museum. The top 50 entries will be displayed in an exhibition at London Transport Museum that will open in May 2011.

Prizes will be awarded in three levels

First prize £2000 plus display of the illustration as a poster on Transport for London services
Second prize £1000
Third prize £750

Deadline for entries: 17.00 Wednesday 23 March 2011 Exhibition: Tuesday 10 May to Friday 3 June 2011

For conditions and terms of entry see:


Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

We received notice from AOI Member Efdeay about an upcoming show. This is what they said:


With a true pop-up ethos, 24 hours echo’s through the curatorial choices the collective have made, inviting 24 artists, and promising a very limited print run of 24. Each submitted piece has gone from concept to print in just 24 hours as well as the shop being open, you’ve guessed it, for 24 hours (over 4 days).

The now graduated collective is celebrating the end of a creative residency with HatoPress(.net) specialist Risograph print and publishing house working from Dalston.

In-keeping with their funmanifesto, the collective pulls their collaborative strengths together and present them to the public. Inviting a new generation to play with art.

Less do it yourself, more do it with others. D.I.W.O


The shop will be open from 17 – 20 March.
Thursday 17th will play host to a free private view from 6pm – Late

Friday 18th March – Sunday 20th March We’re open from 11am – 6pm