Design and Artists Copyright Society Appoints Mark Stephens CBE as New Chair

DACS (the Design and Artists Copyright Society) announce the appointment of Mark Stephens CBE as the new Chair of the Board of Directors, replacing Andrew Potter who steps down in December 2011.

Mark Stephens joins the organisation at an important time as debate continues about the future of copyright, and the global recession and public funding cuts impact on visual artists. DACS’ role in helping artists to sustain their practice and livelihood is even more critical than ever.

Mark is a senior partner of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent, specialising in media law, intellectual property rights and human rights. Mark was instrumental in the establishment of DACS in 1984 – law firm Stephens Innocent was a home to DACS in the first years after its establishment.

DACS Chief Executive Gilane Tawadros says: “We are sad to be parting with Andrew Potter, who has been an exemplary Chair of DACS over the past six years, and delighted to be welcoming Mark Stephens as our new Chair. He has played such an important role in DACS’ formation and will now play a vital role in its future development.”

Mark Stephens says: “Throughout the past 35 years I have advocated for artists’ rights. I am thrilled and delighted to be offered the opportunity to chair DACS at a time when the economic rights of artists are under threat as never before, not least because of digitalisation and multiplatform delivery.

“I intend that DACS should remain at the forefront of the development of new economic models to safeguard the ability of artists to contribute in such vital ways to our cultural life.”

Outgoing Chair, Andrew Potter says: ”I am absolutely delighted that the DACS Board has chosen Mark Stephens to succeed me. Mark’s energy, enthusiasm and expertise will contribute greatly to continuing DACS’ excellent progress in bringing value to the work of an increasing number of creators in the digital era. DACS is a mighty force for good and I have enjoyed every minute of my time working with its excellent Board and management team.”

Mark Stephens is an avid art collector and son of a fine artist. As a senior partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, he has undertaken some of the highest profile cases in cultural property law and litigation. He is regularly in the media, often appearing on TV & radio. Mark is also Chair of the University of East London, the Contemporary Art Society, the Management Committee of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy Wolfson College, Oxford Centre for Socio Legal Studies and sits on the board as a Trustee of Index of Censorship, the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Commonwealth Lawyers Association and Human Rights Council of the International Bar Association.

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