I’m fascinated by legal cases about art.
Thefts. Forgeries. Copyright infringement. Gallery dealers and so-called experts who end up in front of a judge for defrauding collectors.
While most artists will never see the inside of a courtroom, you might be concerned with copyright infringement or receive unsettling news that someone is using your creative work without your permission.
Every artist (you) should know the basics for protecting their art.
My guest for this episode of The Art Biz is Kathryn Goldman, an intellectual property and internet law attorney who helps creative professionals protect their work so they can profit from it.
Our conversation is really a mini free workshop based on Kathryn’s Four Step Framework to help you identify, protect, monitor, and enforce your creative rights.
We covered each of the 4 steps.
- Identify what you create. What are your business assets and what can be protected? A crash course in copyright.
- Decide what to protect and how to protect it legally. This is where we go deeper into copyright, trademark, and contracts.
- Monitor the internet to see if your work has been infringed upon.
- Enforce any infringements. Kathryn provides a series of increasingly serious steps you can take with the infringer, which start with a polite email and could eventually be elevated to the copyright claims board.
Do pay attention to late in the episode when Kathryn mentions the new FARE Contract, an opportunity for you to protect the future financial interests of your work.
- Kathryn is an intellectual property attorney who helps creative professionals protect their copyrights, trademarks, and brilliant business ideas. (2:45)
- The four step framework that helps artists know what, when, and how to take action. (4:45)
- Copyright 101: identify the rights that a copyright protects and what is not covered. (7:13)
- Protect your artwork with a copyright registration. (12:25)
- Filing in small claims court for infringement can result in $15,000 payout. (15:33)
- Trademarks are source identifiers that protect against consumer confusion. (18:31)
- Keith Haring, Banksy, and other famous artist trademarks. (21:00)
- Does an artist need to register a copyright for every single thing they make? (30:35)
- Protection is the combination of copyright, trademark, and contract. (33:05)
- FARE contracts keep the right to control a piece in the hands of the artist. (35:09)
- Artists with a secondary market stand to benefit greatly from a FARE contract. (39:10)
- Monitoring your work to determine if it’s been stolen is up to you (and your community). (41:30)
- How I handled copyright infringement of my writing, and Kathryn's advice for what to do with new infringements. (46:24)
- The ladder of enforcement offers options for reaction when someone is stealing your work. (49:55)
- The recipe for registering your most valuable work is essential. (57:07)
- Kathryn’s upcoming programs and workshops. (59:05)
Kathryn Goldman Quotes
- “I like it when artists understand when they need to take action, what action they need to take, and how to do it effectively and efficiently.”
- “The right to control those kinds of changes to the art comes from the copyright.”
- “A lot of working artists have trademarks, especially those who are building a business on licensing their art.”
- “Copyright is not as strong as trademark, and trademark is not as strong as a good contract.”
- “With this combination of tools, I think we really are going to start seeing some interesting things happen with contracts in the art world.”
- “The best infringement protection is going to be your [fans and followers].”
About My Guest
Kathryn Goldman is an intellectual property and internet law attorney who helps creative professionals protect their work so they can profit from it. She believes sustainable businesses are built on properly protected creative assets. Kathryn runs the Creative Law Center website and membership program. The Creative Law Center provides innovative creatives with the affordable business and legal resources they need when evolving from artist to entrepreneur. The Creative Law Center offers understandable information, actionable strategies, and easy to use tools for the development of creative businesses. Kathryn practices law in Baltimore, Maryland.