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He paid years of his life studying drawing and painting, developing his own well-known style, learning about composition, colours, light and shadow effects. He spent hours pursuing his passion, and nights passed by him alone with colour splashes around his hands, arms, and clothes. He spared no efforts dancing around colours to express his deep emotions.

He lived his time in the shadows though. He was condemned by the society as an emotionally unstable person, and the desperate man finally decided to take his life by his own hands, paving the passage for his paintings and emotions to raven the cruel world. He is the magnificent Vincent Willem van Gogh (30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890).

The poor man had no knowledge that the clock was ticking on his side. The world was discussing his rights. The diplomats all over the world were gathering in cocktails to determine the extent of his rights. He didn’t know that the international law was on its way to step in with a protection method for his art. In 1886, almost four years before his demise, The Berne Convention for the Protection Literary and Artistic Works 1886 has been adopted.

 Members from all over the world has signed the Convention which recognizes the painters copyright over their artistic works. Copyright gives its owner the right to prevent others from producing the copyrighted material without his consent.

The copyright spectrum is broad and covers many areas including books, production of cinematographic works, phonograms, music compositions, photos, pictures and other areas of human artistic creation.

Of course, the nature and extent of protection will vary from one country to another and will vary according to the type of copyrighted work. While copyright is said to exhaust at the first sale for most categories, the copyright protection afforded to paintings may give the painters the right to receive a small percentage from the proceeds of subsequent sales of their work; that is known as the right of pursuit “Droit de suite”.

For example, if Catherine buys a painting and she sells it to another person the law, in some countries, intervene to give the painter (copyright holder) a small percentage from the proceeds of each subsequent sale in the chain.

If you require any advice regarding setting up a proper contract to secure your rights or any other intellectual property matter please contact Ahmed on 020 7139 9260 or at


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