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KRO vs The Swedish Embassy in Japan

Recent news of a legal dispute caused by an avoidance to use the MU agreement.

Five Swedish artists were recently asked to exhibit work at the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo. Having already bought their tickets from Sweden to Japan they were contacted by the Swedish Embassy to be informed that there was a possibility the exhibition would not take place. It is believed that this was because they would have to remunerate the artists according to the MU-agreement, and they had not allowed for this cost in their budget.

The Embassy then moved the exhibition to a new venue, hoping that this would mean that the MU-agreement was not applicable. According to KRO – the Swedish Artists’ National Organisation – this is not the first time the Embassy in Tokyo has tried to avoid paying artists according to the MU-agreement.

After having tried to negotiate with the Embassy for several months, KRO presented a law suit against the Swedish State in December 2014, for their breach to ensure that public authorities, such as the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo, enforce the MU-agreement.

The exhibition did take place in Tokyo, but in another venue. The Embassy has subsequently paid the five artists the intellectual property based fee (“utställningsersättning”) of the MU-agreement. However, discussions are still ongoing regarding how to solve these kinds of problems in the future.

Article originally published in January 2015.

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