In Mexico, there is a lack of legal awareness in many areas, and the artistic and creative life is no exception. In my experience, most of the legal issues faced by artists and authors could have been avoided with fairly simple contracts that were not signed because they were deemed “unnecessary,” “industry practices differ,” or “I didn’t know I needed one.”
In the context of the activities carried out by authors and artists, it is not only important to safeguard the legal aspect of the rights to their work but also to protect the rights of the author as a service provider for the physical and intellectual work they create.
It is quite common for authors to complete works and not be fully paid for their services or not be reimbursed for the expenses incurred as agreed upon (often verbally). In fact, this issue is more common than violations of their copyright. It is also common for artists to lose control over the physical copy of their work when it is displayed in various exhibitions (galleries, restaurants, etc.) without any contracts or documents in place to ensure the safe return of their work, its preservation, maintenance, and protection from unauthorized exploitation.
A simple service contract would empower the artist to clearly specify the obligations regarding their work and creation and ensure that they have fulfilled these obligations. Similarly, it would establish their rights to receive payments, and reimbursements, and have control over the use of their creation, providing them with security. These contracts also serve as an opportunity to determine who owns the rights to the work and how it should be used, both by the creator and the user.
Finally, it is essential to understand that such contracts provide the creative industry with a formality that benefits all participants, providing them with security under the law.
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