Category Archives: Legislation

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The Elephant in the Room: Ivory Ban Seeks to Curb Poaching

With the June passage of New York Senate bill S7890 and Assembly bill A10143, the Empire State’s elephant and mammoth ivory and rhino horn trade may be approaching extinction. The legislation, which will take effect after receiving the governor’s signature: Places a permanent ban on the commercial sale of elephant and mammoth ivory and rhino … Continue Reading

The Architecture of Copyright

This summer, Pacific Standard Time’s world-class exhibits highlight the architecture that gives Southern California its unique reputation for modern but relaxed style. This series of exhibits, a Getty initiative, titled “Modern Architecture in LA,” maps the aspect of Los Angeles architecture that is often overwhelmed by residential structures, instead focusing on infrastructure and urban planning, … Continue Reading

Caveat Consignor

Auction houses typically do not disclose the identity of the seller on their sales contracts. A recent New York trial court decision may drastically change that longstanding practice. The auction trade is supply-driven. As such, it heavily depends on sellers – and those sellers usually want to remain anonymous. Consignors have various motives for keeping … Continue Reading

Lend Us Your Ears: Museums Implore Senate

By Kathryn Hines and Manuel Gomez This year, visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art were able to view Rembrandt’s Portrait of the Artist (ca. 1665), on loan from the Kenwood House in North London and in the United States for the very first time. Also this year, visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art … Continue Reading

My Fellow Californians – Our Long National Nightmare is Over

By Christine Steiner In the same era Gerald Ford advised his fellow Americans that “our long national nightmare is over,” as he succeeded Richard Nixon as president, the California Legislation enacted the sloppily-drafted California Resale Royalty Act, Civil Code Section 986. The act was not exactly a nightmare, in truth it slumbered for most of … Continue Reading

A Murality Play

By Valentina Shenderovich and Christine Steiner Public wall murals have been the subject of much attention recently. Legislators for Los Angeles, considered the “mural capital of the world”, are reviewing a proposed city ordinance to preserve vintage art murals and to repeal an existing ban on private murals (enacted as an overzealous attempt to stem … Continue Reading

Fashion Designers: Legally Naked?

By Tyler Baker and Christine Steiner With New York’s Fashion Week upon us, the time is appropriate to examine the intellectual property protections available to some of the most prominent artists in popular culture: fashion designers. No one would seriously question the great artistic talents of many designers. Their imaginative, inventive, and daring creations and … Continue Reading

The Year In Review

By Lano Williams and Christine Steiner The past year was packed with litigation that ranged from broad constitutional questions to the ever present scourge of forgeries. Art Law Gallery presents highlights of some of the most important cases:  … Continue Reading

The “Starving” Intern: Legal Ins & Outs of Unpaid Internships

Everyone remembers the first day of their highly touted unpaid internship—nerves twitching, heart racing, palms sweating, eager to perform any mundane task with the utmost perfection to impress a new supervisor. For many, especially in art, fashion, and entertainment, these internships are an individual’s big break, granting entrance to a career of their dreams by providing … Continue Reading

Extreme Makeover: Arts Edition

The notion that the arts make our culture "richer" is commonplace in our vernacular, but an undeniable trend has emerged giving an entirely new meaning to the phrase: across the board, the country’s nonprofit arts and culture industry has grown by twenty-four percent over the past five years, generating over $166 billion in economic activity … Continue Reading

“Over the River” and into the Legal Fray: Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Often critics comment on the technique, the style, the grandeur of a work of art, and the dramatic and arduous so-called “artistic process”. Rarely, do we study or observe how art is shaped by legal and environmental restrictions, community resistance, and bureaucratic red tape. However, unlike a painting where an artist makes choices based on subjective decisions,  … Continue Reading

The Art Of Taxes: Major Changes To The Federal Transfer Tax System

Ars longs, vita brevis. Art is immortal, artists are mortal. Taxes impinge on every part of the art world and are a concern for both artists and collectors.   Planning for and administering estates of artists and owners of art collections raises unique business management, income tax, transfer tax, and estate planning issues.  Such planning often requires an interdisciplinary approach that addresses … Continue Reading

California AB 2765 Stops the Clock for Recovery of Wrongfully Appropriated Works: The Ramifications for Museums, Owners, Collectors and the Art Trade

For over three decades California courts and lawmakers have attempted to achieve an equitable balance between the rights of former owners and good faith purchasers of stolen works of art. In true Hollywood fashion, the thief has played his part and left the stage. Only the original owner and the good faith purchaser remain, and the legal … Continue Reading

The European Droit de Suite – An EU Effort to Strengthen the US Contemporary Arts Market?

In 2001, the European Parliament passed Directive 2001/84/EG, which requires all EU Member States to incorporate a so called “Droit de Suite” into their respective national copyright law codes by December 31, 2009. A key goal of the Directive is to eliminate competitive barriers that existed in the contemporary and modern art market between Member States … Continue Reading
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