Following the successful decades-long campaign for the return of artist Albert Namatjira’s copyright, the Namatjira Legacy Trust has enlisted the Copyright Agency to manage the licensing rights of the renowned artist internationally.

The rights now reside with the Namatjira Legacy Trust, which represents the Namatjira family, and was established as part of a long-term project with campaigning arts company BIGhART.

Copyright Agency, which recently merged with Viscopy, is Australia’s national copyright licensing organisation for the publishing, media, surveying and visual arts industries, and now represents over 13,000 Australian and New Zealand artists and over 40,000 international artists through global partners.

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling said: “We are proud to be entrusted with the responsibility of negotiating licences for the use of works by Albert Namatjira, who is unquestionably one of the most revered artists of the last century.

“The Copyright Agency has a track record of ensuring the rights of visual artists are respected in licensing arrangements and that their work is licensed appropriately. We will ensure the legacy of Albert Namatjira is protected for his family.”

“With the Trust becoming a Copyright Agency member the family will receive fair payment for any licensed reproduction of Albert Namatajira’s work in the future. Something that was sadly lost for a very long period.”

Chair of the Namatjira Legacy Trust and BIGhART producer Sophia Marinos has been working with the family on the issue for eight years. “The Trust is really pleased to be working with the Copyright Agency to ensure best practice licensing and access. After such a long campaign, it’s so important that the family receives fair payment and the public can more freely enjoy the works of this iconic artist – their Grandfather.”

Fellow Director for the Trust, Granddaughter to Albert Namatjira, Gloria Pannka, was elated at the news of the copyright victory, “We’re happy we finally got it back. The whole family is really happy and proud.”

Royalties from the copyright licensing will support the activities of the Namatjira Legacy Trust, which has been established to “secure positive futures for this iconic community and family”.

Copyright Agency has decades of experience in licensing artworks and images, ensuring that artwork is reproduced to a high standard, attributed correctly, protected by a licence agreement and fair payment for its use received.

The National Gallery of Australia recently opened an exhibition of Albert Namatjira’s work, however because the copyright was not available, the gallery could not use any of his images to promote the exhibition. Copyright Agency is now providing licensing solutions for the NGA to publish a forthcoming catalogue in conjunction with the exhibition, which closes in April 2018.

Some of the reproductions licensed by Copyright Agency include images in books, film and television, websites, advertising, sales catalogues, posters, on merchandise and more.

Copyright Agency manages the end-to-end licensing process for Viscopy licensing. Find out how to licence an artwork in four steps.