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, commercial and civic buildings, and housing experiments, among others. Architecture is an art form, and it is also a distinct practice in and of itself. When considering the relationship between art and architecture, it is interesting to see how these practices are at once similarly and differently protected by the law. The Copyright Act of 1976 and the Berne Convention have all resolved to give architects the protection they deserve. But is this protection enough?Continue Reading The Architecture of Copyright

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 their identity anonymous. They may want to avoid having relatives or creditors know they sold family valuables, or do not want the public knowing what is "none of their business". Dealers may not want the public to know they are selling stock. There may also be unsavory motives at play, though reputable auction houses carefully vet both the seller and the goods.Continue Reading Caveat Consignor

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 experienced Van Gogh Up Close, an exhibition featuring some of the artist’s most innovative paintings, on loan from private collectors and museums worldwide, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, and the Hague. And, on the west coast from July 3 to September 23, 2012, visitors to the J. Paul Getty Museum will have the opportunity to see Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line, the first retrospective fully dedicated to the drawings of the popular modern artist, on loan mostly from the Albertina in Vienna.Continue Reading Lend Us Your Ears: Museums Implore Senate

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 its thirty-plus lifetime. It seemed more honored in the breach than the observance. Recent awareness of the resale royalty obligation, though, has caused confusion and consternation for California sellers, for California artists and for the art trade nationwide. Some have, in fact, described it as a nightmare. As of late last week, the nightmare may be over.Continue Reading My Fellow Californians – Our Long National Nightmare is Over

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 graffiti). Wall murals are the focus of attention in other cities as well. Murals are visible and public “public art”, presenting social, political and aesthetic ideas in and on everyday media.Continue Reading A Murality Play

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 their lasting legacies have pushed artistic limits of the fashion world for decades. And yet, despite being undoubtedly artists in their craft, fashion designers do not enjoy the same protection in their work under current U.S. intellectual property laws that their artistic peers enjoy in the worlds of visual arts, film, music and dance.Continue Reading Fashion Designers: Legally Naked?

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 Year In Review

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 hands-on experience and access to priceless networking opportunities. While unpaid internships have seemingly been a mainstay of the creative industries—even Stephen Spielberg, Tom Ford, and Sylvia Plath found themselves fetching coffee at one point—many other for-profit employers are venturing down the unpaid internship route. What many employers would be surprised to learn is that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s ("DOL") Wage and Hour Division, there are very few circumstances where a for-profit employer can offer an unpaid internship and still be in compliance with the law. With a struggling economy and a significant increase in unpaid internship programs offered by for-profit employers, this issue has been thrust into the spotlight. Internships are increasingly becoming a crucial component of the business world, and while employers can provide an invaluable opportunity for interns, state and federal regulators across the country are focusing on ensuring employers are not taking advantage of wide-eyed, eager students looking to jumpstart their career.
 Continue Reading The “Starving” Intern: Legal Ins & Outs of Unpaid Internships