The impact of Intellectual property on the art market in Hong KongAAA IPRIGHT2
Art has always been the spiritual support for society. Accordingly, the protection of arts – the invaluable IP assets has been one of the main goals of society. In Hong Kong, this has been taken in particularly high regard, expressed clearly in the Online museum and the Licensing of Cultural IP.
Unlike other fields, the art market in the world hasn’t been affected that much by the Covid-19 pandemic. This might be because the art market is strong and hasn’t been as affected clearly as other markets. Or perhaps, art is a special type of IP asset that does not depend on the situation of society at the moment.
Nevertheless, despite the world going into chaos, the art market is still growing at a steady pace. According to the “Arts Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030,” the global art market would expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.6% from US$347.53 billion in 2020 to US$405.05 billion in 2021.
However, although the Covid-19 pandemic may not damage the art market yet, there is one other factor that may. Contrary to the Covid-19 pandemic which just appears 2 years, this factor has been with the art market for thousands of years – IP infringement.
Not just fake replicas made by hands, in the digital age, art can be infringed in a way more sophisticated manner. With technology, we can see a 99,99% match of famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa, The Starry Night, The Last Supper, etc.
However, it should be made clear that everything has 2 sides. Although technology might seem bad for the art market at first, it can also be utilized to develop it, making the art market thrive than ever before.
One of the most popular usages of technology in the art market is the appearance of the online museum.
With this digital museum, citizens from around the world wouldn’t have to go directly to the museum to watch historic arts, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic has made traveling between countries nearly impossible.
In a Business of Asia IP Forum held last December 2 and 3, 2021, Director of Hong Kong Palace Museum Dr. Louis Ng. has stated about online museums in the new world: “Museum, considered to be an intangible cultural asset, includes all the intellectual property rights owned by museums. Over the past year, more people have visited museums on business-to-consumer. And the number of visits to museum design stores on Tmall, a business-to-consumer platform, alone has topped 1.6 billion. Of these visits, 100 million users were born after the 1990s.”
Licensing of Cultural IP
Cultural IP is a rather delicate field and has been limited to a certain extent in the past. From now on, with the licensing of Cultural IP, museums will now have the means to promote their brand positioning and earn greater recognition.
One of the most commonly used methods for this to happen is the increasingly sophisticated ways that cultural IP is being executed on products.
Dr. Louis Ng, director of Hong Kong Palace Museum said: “Simply copying and pasting an artwork onto an iPhone case is no longer an option. Consumers demand unique, beautiful, and carefully crafted products and this calls for greater sensitivity with how cultural IP is used.”
He further reiterates: “We need to turn the artworks and artifacts into sophisticated stories and narratives that are far more engaging, impactful, and attractive to brands and consumers than just using a photograph of the artwork on a product, Remember that not all collaborations with museum IPs will be popular and the best-known successful museums are the Forbidden City, Dunhuang, and Sanxingdui.”
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