The California Art Preservation Act (CAPA)


The State of California enacted the California Art Preservation Act (CAPA) of 1979, eleven years before the United States Congress enacted the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). CAPA was intended to protect the works of California visual artists. An understanding of VARA is critical because the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution provides federal law preempts state law. To the extent these laws conflict, the terms of VARA shall apply. However, there are some differences between VARA and CAPA which are critical to artists and businesses dealing with artwork in the State of California.

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Intellectual Property Risks in Coworking Spaces


Coworking is growing rapidly in popularity, especially in creative industries such as gaming, technology and design. For those who are unfamiliar, coworking is essentially a big room filled with freelancers and small-business owners working, networking and sipping pretentious coffee in a shared environment. There are national players in the space such as Regus and WeWork; niche local providers such as Cross Campus and Impact Hub LA; as well as small one-offs such as CTRL Collective and LAX Coworking. Continue reading “Intellectual Property Risks in Coworking Spaces”

Campaign Music – “I Told You So” Edition

campaign music

When will these politicians stop making such ridiculous mistakes with their campaign music? Almost exactly a year ago I wrote about Donald Trump’s objectionable use of music in his presidential run, which unsurprisingly has continued since my original article. However, a new political figure has now entered the ring to challenge the king of objectionable campaign music use. Continue reading “Campaign Music – “I Told You So” Edition”

Tattoo Copyright Infringement

tattoo copyright infringement

A tattoo copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in February in New York federal court by Solid Oak Sketches, which claims to own the copyright in several tattoo designs featured on the body of LeBron James. The lawsuit also makes claims to tattoos on the bodies of Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe. Solid Oak is suing Take-Two Interactive Software and other companies associated with the videogame NBA 2K16 for unauthorized reproductions of those tattoo designs. Continue reading “Tattoo Copyright Infringement”

Tattoo Copyright – Protecting Tattoo Designs

Tattoo Copyright

What is the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA)?


Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA)

In 1989, Richard Serra’s controversial Tilted Arc (1981), the site-specific, 120-foot-long, 12-foot-high massive steel sculpture bisecting Manhattan’s Foley Square, was cut into three pieces and dismantled in a single night. Mr. Serra had no recourse. The federal Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), enacted in 1990 in the wake of the removal of Tilted Arc, was intended to prevent such an act in the future. Continue reading “What is the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA)?”

Intellectual Property for Start-Ups – Identify

intellectual property for start-ups

Part 1 in a Series of 3

I may be biased, but in my well-founded opinion the most critical element to protect when forming a start-up is the intellectual property of the business. Intellectual property for start-ups is a critical element to identify and protect if a business ultimately wants to be successful. Although it has become common knowledge to a large degree, many start-up founders fail to address it properly. Large established companies are already spending millions of dollars to protect their intellectual property. Continue reading “Intellectual Property for Start-Ups – Identify”

The Art Gallery Lease

Art Gallery Lease

If you are contemplating opening your own art gallery there are numerous relevant legal issues at play prior to entering into an art gallery lease. I have already addressed legal issues relevant to the art studio lease in a prior post, and many of those considerations will apply to an art gallery lease as well. However, an art gallery lease is even more complex. Signing an art gallery lease may appear like renting an apartment – you simply agree to pay a certain monthly rent to a landlord and then open up the gallery for business. Right? Not even close. Negotiating an art gallery lease requires preparation and thoughtful analysis. Continue reading “The Art Gallery Lease”