Issues in Community Arts – Francois Matarrasso – Whose (community) opera is it anyway?

Intellectual property rights have rarely been an issue during my life in community art. The projects I’ve worked consciously rejected market values and therefore rarely produced anything that could be commercialised. Still, the world has changed a lot in that time, and the creative industries – a concept only defined in the 1990s – are profitable and self-interested. Work made collectively and for non-commercial reasons often finds itself in a grey area, unprotected from being reproduced in ways that its creators neither expected nor approve.

Creators have long struggled to protect their ownership and moral rights. Although they have been largely successful in law, information technology has tipped the scales against them once again. Unable to prevent illegal copying of their recordings, musicians now largely depend on live performance for their income (which is why the pandemic has hit them so hard). Writers, who are often asked to read unpaid, have no such safety net. Copyright protects ownership (such as the right to perform, broadcast or reproduce a work) and moral rights, which prevent the work being exploited in ways that ‘would be prejudicial to the author’s honor or reputation‘. It is these which are probably most relevant in community art, since they give creators some control over how their art is used by others. But further ambiguities arise from the co-creation of professional and non-professional artists – to whom does the work then belong?

Irish National Opera is proud to announce participation in TRACTION – Opera co-creation for social transformation.

See full article at the following link –

See TRACTION project at the following link –

See more information about the Irish National Opera’s partnership with Traction at the following link –

artist forms link
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