Law for Art’s Sake Book and CD Launch

Last December 16, 2011, artists, art lovers and lawyers came together for the launch of “Law for Art’s Sake: An Introduction to Legal Gobbledygook.” Authored by Prof. J. Sedfrey Santiago, the book is a lively and successful attempt at making the law understandable, particularly in the world of art and art-related transactions. It addresses relevant questions like – What does the law provide for artists? How is creative work protected? When is copyright violated? How different is copyright infringement from art forgery? The author clarifies many such issues through the use of arresting visuals and a lucid discussion of relevant cases resolved in court.

The launch was held at the MVP Basement (beside the Ateneo Art Gallery) of the Ateneo de Manila Loyola campus. Prof. Santiago is a popular teacher at the Marketing and Law Department of the the John Gokongwei School of Management of the Loyola Schools.

In recognition of Prof. Santiago’s longstanding advocacy of the interests of indigenous communities, seven (a sacred number for the artists) works the Talaandig visual artists were shown in a one-day exhibit entitled “Sa Bebelek Hu Dalantad” (Colors of the Earth). Seven beautiful art works, painted entirely using soil, were displayed for the audience’s appreciation. The collection featured the works of Balugto Necosia, Salima Saway-Agra-an, Soliman Poonon, Raul Bendit, Nino Tecson, Intonda Kinuyog, and Nympha Bendit, and gave us a glimpse into the fascinating world of the Talaandig tribe of Lantapan, Bukidnon. Art cards, greeting cards and other items made by the artists were also displayed and sold.

The program, emceed by Atty. Tanya Lat, began with a ritual held in the garden outside the venue led by Waway Saway, and featured a musical number from the Talaandig artists as well as remarks from Ms. Maricon Baytion, head of the Ateneo University Press, Prof. Santiago, Mr. Saway and Atty. Ma. Lourdes Sitaca, the President of CD Technologies Asia, Inc. (CD Asia). Mr. Saway, who is a datu, artist, musician and educator, mentioned in his speech that he introduced soil painting to his community as a way for them to share their cultural heritage. The program ended with a book signing and cocktails among law librarians, lawyers, students and friends of the esteemed author.

The launch and exhibit was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Ateneo University Press under the energetic leadership of Ms. Baytion and Mr. JV Castro who curated the exhibit; Atty. Lat whose efforts made possible the participation of the Talaandig artists; and CD Asia, the publisher of Law for Art’s Sake on CD-ROM. The book’s electronic version features the full-text of the cases and laws referenced in the print publication, programmed with a search software for ease of use.

The print copy of the book is available at the Ateneo University Press. CD Asia sells the book bundled with the CD-ROM for P1,795.

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