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Jonathan Barrett

This chapter argues for greater coherence between copyright, aesthetics, and artistic practice as important elements of the art world. A basic model of common sense aesthetics is constructed and compared with prevailing conceptions of artistic works in British-heritage copyright law. This model rejects, among other theories, the idea of Platonic abstracta that are discovered and cannot be destroyed, and espouses human intentionality in creating destructible artefacts. Common sense aesthetics presents a plausible ontology of artworks that can be applied in copyright law. It is not argued that artistic practice, aesthetics, and copyright can be precisely coherent. Aesthetic theory tends to lag behind some forms of artistic practice, and copyright law may never accommodate the avant-garde. Nevertheless, using the metaphor of a Venn diagram, this chapter concludes that scope exists for greater convergence of the three circles representing artworks from the perspectives of copyright law, aesthetics, and artistic practice.

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Jonathan Barrett

Public art galleries have traditionally prohibited visitors from photographing exhibited artworks. Today, however, photography in the gallery is invariably permitted and commonly encouraged, including visitors taking selfies. Copyright law and practice has generally responded to new techniques of reproduction, such as etchings and photographs, and how those technologies are used in commerce and general society. The selfie is a cultural phenomenon that invites re-examination of some areas of copyright law and practice, notably, permitted acts. Has copyright law, in particular freedom of panorama, kept pace with the phenomenon of selfies in the gallery? This article seeks to answer that question and also considers whether the photography policies of leading public galleries present better ways of engaging with the selfie phenomenon than does the current law.

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Amanda Reilly and Jonathan Barrett

New Zealand, as a nation, has been slow to embrace the United Nations ‘Business and Human Rights’ agenda. This chapter contextualises this inaction within a wider discussion of the status of labour and human rights. It also uses the guidelines on government duty to protect human rights set out in Part One of the United Nations Guiding Principles as a framework for examining the government’s efforts. It is argues that New Zealand’s implementation of the fundamental ILO standards is unsatisfactory as is its constitutional recognition of human and labour rights. Human rights law is under-enforced and government has shown little interest in using tools such as public-sector procurement policies to encourage business to respect human rights. It is concluded that it would be desirable for government to adopt a more proactive approach to the protection of labour and human rights.