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Stories about business law and contracts

Art Dealers
Business Copyright

How Art Dealers Can Avoid Tax Fraud Allegations

The capital of the global art market, artwork sales in New York often impose hefty taxes on the purchaser – unless one of the several clever loopholes are employed. Amid allegations that several prominent galleries and collectors were employing tax evasion schemes that weren’t entirely up to...

Business Copyright

Four Reasons Artists Should Hire Lawyers

Artists and lawyers don’t have a ton of opportunities to work together, but when it comes to taking your art business to the next level, you’re going to want a lawyer in tow. Once you’re working as a successful artist, and your name is becoming more and more prolific, there are...

Art Forgery
Business Moral Rights

Using Synthetic DNA to Fight Art Forgery

Ever since humanity has created and sold artistic works or items of aesthetic beauty, there have been art forgers looking to relieve unsuspecting individuals of their hard-earned money. Over the centuries, purveyors of art have maintained a continuous struggle against art forgery, developing ever...


Equity Crowdfunding for Art is Finally Here.

Crowdfunding is an amazing way to get art projects funded, but an aspect that has been lacking is the ability to invest in art projects or the companies developing those projects. Recently, after years of discussion around the topic, Indiegogo announced that it will be offering equity crowdfunding...


Art Law Journal is now part of Orangenius, Inc.

To Our Readers,
The Art Law Journal is pleased to announce its integration with Orangenius, Inc. a new startup developing cloud-based tools that will help members of the art community manage and grow their businesses. As an online home for the visual artist, Orangenius will be the nexus between...

Picasso Women of Algiers
Business Industry

Is Arthena the Future of the Art Market?

We recently discussed the proliferation of forged artworks in today’s art market, a billion-dollar industry that could be headed for troubled times due to an increasing unwillingness by art experts and authentication committees to certify the validity of an artwork.
Much of the discussion...


The Basics of Insurance for Artists

There are many legal aspects of running an art-related business that could be fairly characterized as less than interesting, but few topics inspire more blank stares, or glazed-over eyes, faster than insurance. Like a lot of legal topics, thinking about insurance requires that we think about...

Licensing Art

How to License Your Art Successfully

In part 1, I talked about several methods for finding companies that would be the most likely to license your art for us on their products.  The next step is contacting those companies. Licensing decision makers, especially those working in large companies, are inundated with people looking to...

licensing art
Business Industry

Why Are Some People Great at Licensing Art?

Wherever you are right now, look around and you’ll likely see dozens of products that license some type of design element; maybe it’s a photo on the cover of a book, the geometric pattern on a scarf, the graphic design of a product label, or the illustrations on a holiday card.  We are so...

Seth Godin

Seth Godin and Marketing for the Art World

When I set out to write this article, I wanted to provide readers with some resources they could use to help grow their businesses by taking advantage of some of the new art startups I had discussed in my last article.   How can an artist sell their work for use in the Depict Frame? How will...

Art Business

Four Tips For Growing Your Art Business

Artists, photographers, designers, or anyone who starts a business to sell their creativity is an entrepreneur. Yet, ask most art entrepreneur’s for their 24-month Pro Forma Cash Flow Report, and you will find yourself looking into a blank uncomprehending stare as if were speaking in some...

License agreement
Business Industry

Congress Makes Unlocking Smartphones Legal

This week, the Congress approved a bill allowing anyone to unlock their cell phones, regardless of restrictions may have been required when signing cell phone contracts. The Senate passed a similar version earlier in the month and President Obama will soon add his signature. Given the ease at...

Model Release

Why Businesses Should Always Have a Model Release

Let’s start with some advice: Any graphic materials that promotes something; whether products, a businesses, or charitable causes, and the graphics contain images of recognizable people, — always have those people sign a model release. Of course, there are non-commercial uses that may...

Getting Model Release

When Do I Need a Model Release?

One of the most frequently asked questions Intellectual property lawyers hear from members of the art community is “When should I get I need a model release?” Given the litigious nature of our society, this is no surprise.  The fear of being sued is pervasive.  The question becomes more...

Breach of Contract

Tips on Contracts and Licensing for Artists

Every business needs a contract at one time or another.  They are everywhere.  Whether you are a struggling artist, world renowned photographer or a gallery owner, you will be inundated with contracts from art dealers, agents, exhibitors, publishers, ad agencies, museums as well as non-art...

Trademark in Business
Business Trademarks

Need a Trademark? Here are some tips.

Picking a name for a business or product is one of the first steps for any new venture. However, many companies don’t register their trademarks during the start-up phase, usually waiting until a later time when sufficient cash is available, if registered at all. That decision is a bit of a...

Art Law Negotiation

Contract Negotiation Tips for Visual Artists

In part 1, we looked at some general negotiating strategies. In part 2, we will look at questions you should be asking in any contract negotiation as well as reviewing provisions that you will likely see in your contract. For this discussion, let’s again assume that you are an artist negotiating...

Art of War

Licensing Strategies for the Visual Artist

An artist has her first show in a New York gallery, an author is commissioned to create a photography book, a set designer has been asked to work on her first play; after the initial excitement ends, they realize with mounting trepidation, that they must enter into contract negotiations and have no...

Work made for hire in copyright
Business Copyright

Who Owns Works Created by a Freelancer?

As a general rule, when an artistic or literary work is created, the author is the one that holds the copyright. Nobody can copy, distribute, or display the work without the author’s permission.  When a painting is sold, the buyer owns the painting itself, but does not have the right to use that...

Copywrong Movement
Business Copyright

Do we need to relax copyright law?

While the idea of copyright protection is near universal, not everyone agrees with how its implemented.  There is a growing movement among creatives who feel that the benefits afforded by copyright law strongly favor corporations and the wealthier members of society, leaving the majority at a...

Mickey Mouse Copyright
Business Copyright

How Mickey Mouse Keeps Changing Copyright Law

When the Copyright Act was first enacted in the United States, the copyright duration was only 14 years. Today Copyright duration can last over a century in some cases.  Why such a drastic change?  Some say it is all due to a cute little mouse named Mickey.
Copyright duration had some...

Schlackman Cuba Photography

Can’t find a good domain name? Help is on the way.

For those of you looking for a new domain name, you probably have found that most of your “insertcoolname.com” ideas were already taken.  You find yourself forced to go with a .net or a .co, instead of the more lucrative .com name.  That wouldn’t seem so bad if most of the domains actually...

Business Copyright

Copyright for Architectural Designs

It is a common misperception that you cannot copyright a building design. That is probably because before 1990, there wasn’t much protection for building designs. At that time, anyone could reproduce buildings that looked identical to those created by others, as long as they didn’t actually use...

Sony sues United airlines
Business Copyright

Don’t Make This Simple Business Mistake?

In negotiations is not the same as a signed agreement. Seems simple but his kind of thing happens a lot.  People get excited. They want to tweet to use it or tweet it to the world. Sometimes, it’s no problem, the agreement gets signed and life goes on.  Other times, it’s a different story as...

Mission Statement

What everyone should know about Mission Statements.

Every creative person that is trying to sell his or her work is running a business.  It may not be formalized into a separate company, it may not have any employees other than the artist, or it may not even be a full time effort, but regardless, every business venture should have a mission...