It's tempting to imagine that creative ideas are an ethereal thing that exist "out there", waiting to be pulled down and given concrete form. And while these days there is a strong movement to make creative products shareable via the Creative Commons, artists and designers need to make a living from their ideas and products – and this often means protecting their work from being copied or stolen by others.
It's a hot-button issue that come up recently at the recent 2015 ACT | University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture Conference. During a discussion on corporate and creative partnerships by Rolex protégé Lara Foot, brand expert Theresho Selesho, Business and Arts South Africa CEO Michelle Constant and Mariëtte Du Plessis, senior partner at Adams & Adams law firm, the need for artists to protect their intellectual property arose. Spotting an opportunity, Constant challenged Du Plessis to give artists access to a basic Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that they can use when pitching their ideas and concepts.
The Adams & Adams senior partner took up the challenge and has now released a general NDA that artists can access for free on the BASA website. This will allow artists to protect their intellectual property when pitching ideas and concepts to potential partners.
“An NDA that fits the South African creative environment is a powerful tool that the creative community can use to safeguard their intellectual property during the exploratory and pitching phase of projects,” explains Constant.
We must commend Adams & Adams for taking up the challenge to supply this free of charge to the creative community through BASA, says Constant.
“South African creatives, whether they are artists, designers, actors, writers, stage/film directors or musicians, are remarkably talented,” states Du Plessis. “They should be acutely aware of the value of their intellectual property rights and ensure that they obtain advice before entering into sponsorship contracts”.
The NDA is part of Adams & Adams’ commitment to further build and develop relationships between the firm and the creative industry both locally and globally, by providing continual support, and protection of design, copyright, trade marks and all other intellectual property.
Adams & Adams was the winner of the Sponsorship In-Kind Category of the 17th Annual Business Day BASA Awards, which recognises and encourages excellence and innovation in the field of business support of the arts. The firm was recognised for its support of Design Indaba.