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  3. Protecting Australian Indigenous art
  4. Background information
  5. Mechanisms for protection in Australia
  6. Trade Practices Act (and equivalent State legislation)
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Trade Practices Act (and equivalent State legislation)

There are provisions in the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (Sections 52 and 53) and equivalent State legislation (such as the Fair Trading Act 1982 (NSW)) which prevent corporations and individuals from engaging in commercial conduct that is misleading or deceptive. These provisions are primarily geared to protecting consumers and may be used against individuals and organisations who mislead consumers into thinking that products are the work of Aboriginal artists or originate from a particular Aboriginal community. It may also protect against a distributor who misleads consumers into believing that reproductions have been made with the permission of Aboriginal artists, or that the sale proceeds are being returned to the artists (see 3.4 ‘Case study 4: Carpet art’). As discussed above, the March 2006 announcement by Senator Kemp of an investigation into irregularities into the Indigenous art sector will focus on how improper trade practices in the Indigenous art sector can be prosecuted under the Trade Practices Act. While proponents of ICIP rights are supportive of these measures, they warn that any protection measures should focus as much on the rights of Aboriginal artists as the protection of consumers.

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Trade Practices Act (and equivalent State legislation)