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Münster (upm/ja)

First "Art Law Clinic" in Germany

Institute of Media Law at Münster University and Münster Academy of Art launch unique collaborative project
Flyer accompanying the project<address>© WWU - ITM</address>
Flyer accompanying the project
© WWU - ITM

The widespread model of a so-called Law Clinic – also an established institution in Münster – with students providing legal advice, is to be extended at Münster University to include assistance in the field of art law. The new Art Law Clinic will be a service offered jointly by the Department of Civil Law at the Institute of Information, Telecommunications and Media Law (ITM) at the University and the Münster Academy of Art.

Law students in higher semesters are to give legal advice to art students who find themselves facing legal questions in connection with their artistic activities. "The idea of having law students give advice to art students in legal matters, under qualified supervision, is unique worldwide", says ITM Director Prof. Thomas Hoeren, the initiator of the project.

The idea, which kicks off officially on 26 February with a lecture event, was inspired by the rapid changes in the understanding of art in times of digitalization. The sale of pictures, or the desire to use an artist’s motifs on T-shirts to advertise an exhibition, throw up a whole series of questions on trademark or brand rights. "This can quickly trigger extremely high claims for damages", says Hoeren, who is also a lecturer at Münster Academy of Art.

The new institute is located at the ITM on the Leonardo Campus in Münster. Here, three students will handle written and spoken enquiries relating to art law. Members of the Advisory Board of the Art Law Clinic include Prof. Nina Gerlach from Münster Academy of Art and lawyer Norbert Burke.

In addition, legal guidelines are being drawn up for artists and agents which students can also refer to. One of the aims is to promote an understanding for law on the part of art students, and for art on the part of law students.

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