Even More Useful Info On Copyright And Intellectual Property


By: Joe Patti

In: Arts Admin, Legal,

Recently the Harvard Law School’s Technology and Intellectual Property Legal Clinic recently published a really helpful guide to copyright, trademark and intellectual property rights.

Now if you are thinking, “Joe, didn’t you already publish a really helpful guide to copyright, trademark and intellectual properties rights on ArtsHacker?”

Why yes, I did and thank you for remembering. However, copyright can be a confusing subject for people so its helpful to get your hands on every guide that explains it well.

The information I cited in the previous guide has tools that help you discover whether something is under copyright based on when it was created. The Harvard guide provides more detailed explanations and examples about how you can (or can not) use existing materials as part of your own creative expression.

While the Harvard guide is titled, “The Cyberlaw Guide to Protest Art: Roadmap”, it is meant for:

So really it is helpful for anyone who is concerned about the law even if you aren’t necessarily protesting anything. The guide is well organized and has these illustrations throughout which helps make it all easy to read.

Many guides about copyright and trademark deal with questions of fair use. This guide goes a little further with some additional content not found in many guides like how to identify and contact rights holders and what information to provide when requesting permission and licensing content. Likewise, they provide guidance about licensing and merchandising your own creative work.

Because this guide is aimed at protest art, they provide information on permitted use of the likeness of a public figure.

Of course, because it was written by lawyers, it also has a prominent disclaimer which applies to us at ArtsHacker as well.

This guide is not intended to provide individualized legal advice, and its authors are not your lawyers. Using this guide does not form an attorney-client relationship between you, the authors, the Cyberlaw Clinic, or any member of the editorial board. It will not tell you if a particular use of another’s work is legal or not. Use this guide as a starting point for your learning.

And they have an illustration that makes this disclaimer fun and easy to process, too.

Joe Patti
Joe Patti
In addition to writing for ArtHacker, I have been writing the blog, Butts in the Seats (buttsseats.com) since 2004. I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (https://www.creatingconnection.org/about/) I am currently the Theater Manager for the Rialto Theater in Loveland, CO. Across my career I have worked as the Executive Director at The Grand Opera House in Macon, GA, at University of Hawaii-Leeward Community College, University of Central Florida, Asolo Theater, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Appel Farm Arts and Music Center and numerous other places both defunct and funky.
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