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that these categories would apply to up-cyclers.

Salvation? - The easiest way to avoid infringement is to up-cycle materials that are out of copyright. For artistic works, copyright “expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies”. If the author is unknown, it is 70 years after the year in which the work was made, or made publicly available. If the work and author come from a non- European Economic Area country, then that country’s copyright period applies (so long as it does not exceed 70 years).

Alternatively, up-cyclers should try to contact the copyright owner (that this may be difficult is no defence) and request permission to use the work

under license. Even if permission is granted, the creator will retain “moral rights”. This means that the creator may request to be identified as the originator of the work, and that the work is not subject to “derogatory” treatment.

A Final Twist - One interesting aspect of copyright is its recognition of all original expressions. This means that an up-cycler who uses copyright materials and turns them into some new work is indubitably the owner of that “derivative work”.

Essentially, then, just as the up-cycler creates art out of existing “artistic works”, they are also generating their own copyright-protected works, wearing “creator” and “infringer” hats at the same time. As eco- consciousness grows, hopefully

Summer 2010 | ukhandmade | 59

the up-cycler’s role in creatively recycling materials will continue to be acknowledged as a positive act, and is not undermined by rights holders seeking to exercise their powers.

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