Questions for arts lawyer at upcoming event

Here is your opportunity to submit questions you hope to have answered at our October 2nd event with a lawyer specializing in legal issues for artists. There will be a question-and-answer period. However, with a large audience there may not be time for every question. Also, the questions posed here may serve as a guideline for the lawyer when he prepares his presentation. Post your questions as comments below.

Initially, the lawyer was told that we’d be interested in hearing about:

• registering visual arts copyrights in Canada AND in the USA, the benefits of registering, and the advantages/disadvantages of doing so in one country vs. the other

• what to do when someone has infringed copyright

• what constitutes Fair Use, especially on the internet

• tips for writing contracts (common pitfalls, etc)

• the proposed new copyright legislation in Canada and how it might affect illustrators

• any relevant interesting cases he’s had or has heard about

These are fairly general topics. What specific questions do you have?

Related to this event, you may wish to read the special issue on Artist’s Rights recently published by the Journal of Biocommunication.  -Emily


6 responses to “Questions for arts lawyer at upcoming event

  1. When registering a copyright in Canada or the U.S., one is asked to provide the Date of Publication. For works of art, I understand this means the date the work is first made available to the public. I am not certain how to interpret that. Is it the date I first send a final illustration to a client? What about the drafts that may have preceded the final illustration? As a practical matter, if I create a dozen related illustrations for a project and want to register the copyright for all of them in one application, could I do so if each has a slightly different publication date?

  2. Forwarded here via a notice from the BMCAA.

    I would also be interested in hearing about cases where Creative Commons Licensing was involved.

    Also, in the case of digitally stored artwork, what is the relationship between intellectual property and the physical location of the artwork? Are there things Canadian artists need to be aware of if their artwork is going to be hosted on servers outside of Canada?

  3. I would be interested in gaining more insight about fair use of copyrighted works for teaching , especially teaching illustration where it is essential to introduce students to a wide range of examples of other contemporary illustrators’ works, for all reasons including learning content, media, style, etc.
    What are the laws around using school library collections for teaching, such as showing/using exerpts in lessons, projecting imagery in class (i.e. as in a powerpoint show), or giving out handouts? Are the laws similar or different if a teacher wants to use his/her personal books or reference collection in his/her teaching versus materials from a school library?
    What about displaying work in class from the internet – does the law differentiate between introducing students to websites, versus downloading imagery or information from web sites to incorporate into lesson plans, handouts, or power point shows?

    Also – can you suggest any resources we could pass along to students that would help them understand how to avoid copyright infringement when using reference (i.e. photography or other illustrations) in developing new original work?


  4. Pingback: Q&A with a copyright lawyer « Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators·

  5. Pingback: Q&A with a copyright lawyer - SONSI·

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