The British Literary and

    Artistic Copyright Association


    The British Literary & Artistic Copyright Association, BLACA,

    is the UK national group of the International Literary and Artistic Association (ALAI)

    founded in Paris in 1878 under the Presidency of Victor Hugo.

    It provides a forum for discussion of matters affecting the rights of authors and other copyright owners.

  • Next seminars



    Save the date for our upcoming seminars

    • 11 July 2024: BLACADebate: Who owns Ravel’s Boléro? 6pm at Bristows

    As previously announced, we will experiment with a new format at our next BLACA meeting: rather than listening to one or more speakers, we will meet informally around a table for a discussion on the authorship and copyright ownership of the world-famous Boléro, which was composed by Maurice Ravel in 1928. It is not too late to sign up for this exciting meeting.


    Taking as a starting point the judgment rendered by the Tribunal Judiciaire de Nanterre on 28 June 2024, which confirmed Maurice Ravel as the sole author of his Boléro, we will explore the legal situation from a UK perspective and discuss whether Ravel as the composer of the work is its sole author or whether, under UK law, other creative contributors to the ballet, such as the choreographer and/or the set designer, could make the Boléro a work of joint authorship. The case raises challenging questions regarding the applicable law as well as the rules regarding joint authorship and thus offers an opportunity to revisit the Martin v Kogan litigation.


    At the beginning of the meeting, there will be a brief introduction with information on the circumstances of the creation of the Boléro and the judgment of the Tribunal Judiciaire de Nanterre by Brigitte Lindner and a recapitulation of the main principles of joint authorship by Professor Alison Firth in order to facilitate the discussion.



    Recommended reading and audiovisual materials




    Joint authorship under UK law



    Recent news and updates



    • ALAI European Authors' Right Award - Supported by GESAC - 2024/2025 Edition - Deadline for applications is 15 November 2024. You can download the relevant information here: Flyer in English and French; Guidelines in English and French; Application form in English and French.
    • As members know, BLACA is the UK group of ALAI, the Association Litteraire et Artistique Internationale. This year’s annual ALAI Congress will take place in Santiago, Chile on 24 and 25 October, focused on ‘Copyright, International Trade and Cultural Diversity’. Here is a link to the Congress website. Further information about the congress will be made available on that website in the coming weeks.


    • On 17 February 2024, ALAI adopted a Resolution concerning the impact of AI on copyright, accessible here.










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    The annual subscription is £50. This covers attendance at all the regular meetings and entitles members to a substantial discount on the fee for joint BLACA seminars. BLACA members are automatically members of ALAI with entitlement to discounted fees to attend its international Congresses and Study Days each year and to receive free copies of the proceedings (A special registration fee is available for registered students). Enquiries to Stephen Edwards.

  • Contact us

    Stephen Edwards, Chairman: sedwards@ReedSmith.com

    Sara Witton, Secretary: sara.witton@bristows.com
    Dr Maria Mercedes Frabboni, Honorary Treasurer: m.m.frabboni@sussex.ac.uk


  • Directions

    Seminars in presence will be held at Bristows,
    100 Victoria, Embankment, EC4Y 0DH