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Stories about receiving copyright protection and dealing with infringement

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...

Tattoo Art

Who Owns the Copyright in Your Tattoo Art?

You’re considering a lot of different things when thinking about inking a new tattoo, but copyright infringement probably isn’t one of them. But copyright laws come into play in various ways when tattooing new work – whether you’re the artist whose designs are being inked, the...

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...


Could Due Diligence Have Saved the Knoedler Gallery?

What Art World Players Can Learn from the Knoedler Fraud Scandal
Whether you’re already a successful artist or gallery owner or doing your best to get there, understanding the legal issues of warranty and due diligence are essential to shielding yourself from devastating lawsuits that could...

Mickey Mouse Copyright

Is Copyright Duration Too Long?

The United States has been waging a battle against several other countries over how long a copyrighted work should be protected.  Copyright duration has been one of the major sticking points in the massive free trade agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated in secret between...

Copyright Online Piracy

Ashley Madison is Cheating with the DMCA

Controversial cheating website AshleyMadison.com dealt quite the blow to its 36 million users last week when they reported that the website had been hacked. The notorious site, which helps married men and women connect and meet for extramarital affairs, was the target of a major hack, and this week...


Can Twitter Really Copyright Your Jokes?

Social media website Twitter is all about the re-posting and re-blogging of content. An excellent resource for news outlets, bloggers, and freelance writers, Twitter allows you to build a fan base through your words. You can link to articles that interest you, post those articles that you actually...

Library of Congress

Is a new Copyright Office on the Horizon?

While there are many words or phrases used to describe the Copyright Office registration system,  “excellent,” “easy-to-use,” or “visually appealing,” are not among them.  In fact, don’t be surprised if the Obamacare rollout disaster has a higher approval rating than eCo; that is...

Apple Ad
Copyright Trademarks

Pop Artist Romero Britto Sues Apple

Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto is suing Apple, Inc, and two artists, known as “Craig & Karl,” over artwork Apple used in its “Start Something New” campaign. Britto, whose work is characterized by his use of bright colors, fanciful patterns, and happy subject matter, has often been...

Prison Music Infringement

Record Companies Sue over Mixtapes for Prison Inmates

Some of the biggest companies in the music industry, UMG, Capitol Records, Universal Music, Polygram, and Rondor, (collectively “UMG”) have banded together to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit to stop distribution of copyrighted song to prison inmates. Keefe Group and Centric Group sell...

Copyright Act

The Next Great Copyright Act? A View from Washington

Chris Reed is a former senior policy advisor to the Register of Copyrights and author of Copyright Workflow for Photographers.
If you’re a regular reader of the Art Law Journal, you’re likely well aware that copyright law provides certain exclusive rights to authors of creative works for a...

Pixsy and Infringement
Copyright Industry

Pixsy: Find and Get Paid for Image Theft

Visual artists consistently find themselves in a quandary: Should they upload their high-resolution images to social media? On the one hand, social media marketing is critical to success for many artists’ businesses. It is highly cost-effective and has great reach to many different types of...

Copyright Infringement

Christian Mom Rewrites Harry Potter

For all those people worried about their children becoming witches from reading the Harry Potter books, your worries are over. Last week, FanFiction.net received an upload from an Evangelical housewife; Grace-Ann Parsons (codenamed, “proudhousewife,”) entitled, Hogwarts School of Prayer and...

Fox News

Fox News Can’t Suppress Clips of Its Shows

Fox News often finds itself the brunt of criticism by competitive networks and cable favorites, like the Daily Show. Clips from Fox shows are To discover material needed, these shows use online services like TVEyes, which provides a searchable database of clips from major TV and Radio stations...

Gillian Street Art Infringement

Terry Gilliam Sued by Street Artists

Did the AholSniffsGlue lawsuit against American Eagle Outfitters usher in more street artists standing up for their rights? This week finds director Terry Gilliam in hot water over the use of street art in his new movie, Zero Theorem. Gilliam is a master storyteller, with a unique aesthetic that he...

Monkey selfie

The Telegraph is Wrong about the Monkey Selfie.

In the summer of 2011, the infamous monkey selfie went viral. Nature photographer David Slater was shooting in North Sulawesi Indonesia, when his camera stolen by a female crested black macaque monkey. Curious about the seemingly bizarre contraption, the primate began pushing buttons, accidentally...


Did American Eagle Rip Off a Miami Street Artist?

Graffiti or Street Art has come a long way since the raw style adorning New York Subways or marking gang territories in the 1970’s. Street artists have gained a healthy following of fans enamored by their non-traditional approach to shape and color; an aesthetic highlighting socially relevant...

Write a story about Sherlock Holmes

Now Anyone Can Write a Story About Sherlock Holmes

It has been over a hundred years since Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print. Now, thanks to Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, anyone who wants to write a story using the infamous sleuth or any other character’s from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon are free to do so.

Stairway to Heaven

Did Led Zeppelin Steal Stairway to Heaven?

In 1968, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s guitar player and songwriter, wrote what is arguably the most famous rock song of all time, Stairway to Heaven. According to Randy Craig Wolfe, Founder and guitarist for the band Spirit, the Led Zeppelin masterpiece is just blatant plagiarism of his song...

Hyperlink and copyright

Will Hyperlinks Become a Copyright Infringement?

In 1996, the U.S. signed onto the WIPO Internet Treaties which requires its member states to give authors of creative works the exclusive right to decide how, when and where their works are made available and communicated to the public, including on the Internet or other digital platforms. The U.S...

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...

Phoenix Copyright Notice
Copyright Industry

Some Copyright Holders Are Ridiculous

While it is a good idea to enforce your copyright against unscrupulous Internet thieves, some copyright holders overreach their authority to their own detriment. Take the French Band “Phoenix,” and their label Liberation Music, who threatened to sue one of the most famous and well-respected...

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...

Creative Commons Art Alw

Why should I use a Creative Commons License?

Go to Flickr, Deviant Art, Sound Cloud, or even Wikipedia and you will see the term “Creative Commons License” peppered throughout attached to images, music files, and videos. Creative Commons licenses enable the owner of an original copyrighted work to allow use of their creative work by...

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...


How to Submit a Copyright Takedown Notice

If a U.S. website is using your images without your permission, the easiest and fastest way to stop the infringement is to send the website a “DMCA Takedown Notice.” DMCA stands for the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”  Websites that host user generated material are immune from...

Copyright Symbol all rights reserved
Copyright Industry

Do I Need to Use the © Symbol?

The copyright symbol © is one of the most recognized symbols in the world.  The reason it is so well known is that for quite a long time, it was required that creators display the © symbol on their artistic works to receive the benefit copyright protection. Look at any movie poster and you will...

twitter and copyright

Are My Tweets Copyrighted?

Twitter; a bastion of free speech, extolling thought-provoking 140 character diatribes from some of our most famous cultural icons, including Kim Kardashian’s eloquent “Watching Cash Cab and these questions are so hard!”  to Paris Hilton’s “No, No, I didn’t go to England, I went to...

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...

Copyright Online Piracy

Etsy: A Home for Copyright Infringement

Part 1: Etsy, the online e-commerce website focusing on handmade goods, crafts and vintage items, has continually come under fire due to incessant copyright infringement.  Here is a typical scenario: An artist is surfing through Etsy looking for a Mother’s Day gift, when on the screen they are...

Work for Hire

Who Owns the Copyright in a Work-for-Hire? Part 1

Most people believe that when they hire someone to create an artistic work, that the work is fully owned by them for their unlimited use.  It makes sense; you contracted for that work, paid for it, so you own it and can do whatever you want with it. However, this is not always the case.  The...