Resources that provide information for artists on
copyright, trademark, and patents. The resources
will help artists become knowledgeable and better
understand copyright, trademark, and patents.


Artists Rights Society
A membership organization and the preeminent copyright, licensing,
and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States.
Represents the intellectual property rights interests of more than
60,000 visual artists and the estates of visual artists from around
the world  painters, sculptors, architects, photographers and others.
California Inventors Assistance Program (CIAP) California
Lawyers for the Arts
A new pro bono program designed to assist financially under-resourced
independent inventors and small businesses.
Canadian Artists Representation Copyright Collective (CARCC )
Negotiates the terms for copyright use for Canadian artists affiliated
with the organization.
Copyright Office
Copyright application forms can be obtained from this address.
Also sec various website listings in this section.
Design and Artists Copyright Society
Collects and distributes royalties to visual artists and their estates
through three programs: payback, artist’s resale rights, and copyright licensing.

European Union Intellectual Property Office

United States Patent and Trademark Office

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CARFAC Advisory Notes
For Canadian artists. Includes information on Trademarks and Trade
Names. PDF format. Free to CARFAC Ontario members.
Publisher: CARFAC Ontario

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Art
Provides visual arts professionals with a set of principles addressing
best practices in the fair use of copyrighted materials. Available free online.

Publisher: College Art Association
Publication Date: 2015

The Copyright Guide: How You Can Protect and Profit from Copyright
Author: Lee Wilson
Publisher: Allworth Press
Publication date: revised 2018.
Explains everything you need to know to make copyright work for you, including
how to license your copyrights, how to acquire the right to use the works of others,
what copyright infringement is, how to protect your works from infringement, and
how to avoid infringing on the works of others.

The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide For Photographers and Artists
In The Digital Age

Authors: Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki
Provides specific information on the legal rights of photographers, illustrators,
artists, covering intellectual property,

copyright, and business concerns in an accessible manner. Also discusses what is
and isn’t copyrightable, copyright registration, fair use, model releases, contracts
and invoices, pricing and negotiation, and more.

Publisher: Focal Press
Publication Date: Revised 2015 

The Creative Artist’s Legal Guide: Copyright, Trademark and
Contracts in Film and Digital Media Production

Author/Editor: Bill Seiter and Ellen Seiter
A user-friendly guide that supplies artists with the essential legal concepts
needed to swim safely with lawyers, agents, executives, and other experts
in intellectual property and business law.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 2012
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Fair Use, Free Use, and Use by Permission: How to Handle
Copyrights in All Media

Author: Lee Wilson
Written by an attorney who specializes in intellectual property. The book
provides information on what constitutes fair use, how to get permissions, and
how to protect a creative work, what constitutes copyright infringement,
public domain, and much more. It includes a copyright duration chart,
form agreements, form letters, resources, and checklists.

Publisher: Allworth Press
Publication Date: 2005
Guide to Copyright Basics
Authors: Terry Mahoney and Sue Greenberg
A free downloadable publication.
Publisher: Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts
Publication date: revised 2015

Legal Guide for the Visual Artist
Author/Editor: Tad Crawford
Description: Revised. Contains five chapters on copyright, including Registration;
Works for Hire and Joint Works; Infringement, Fair Use, Compulsory Licensing,
and Permissions; and the Digital Revolution
Publisher: Allworth Press
Publication Date: 2010

Patents for Beginners
Author/Editor: David Pressman and Richard Stim
Revised edition. Defines what a patent is and what it can do for you, and step- by- step
explains how to: use basic patent principles, document an invention, conduct a
patent search, acquire patent rights, “read” an application, determine patent
ownership, analyze disputes, find patent information, and interpret international patent law.
Publisher: Nolo Press
Publication Date: 2012
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Permissions, A Survival Guide: Blunt Talk about Art as Intellectual Property
Author: Susan M. Bielstein
Explores intellectual property law as it pertains to visual imagery, including what does
“fair use” really mean? Is it ever legitimate to use the work of an artist without permission?
And much more.
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 2006

Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright
Authors: Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi
Publisher: University of Chicago Pess
Publication Date: 2011. Clears a path through the confusion regarding
fair use and copyright laws.

Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name
Author/Editor: Stephen Elias and Richard Stim
Revised to reflect changes that have come about because of the advent of cyberspace,
it offers clear instructions on initial selections, searches to ensure availability, state
and federal registration procedures, correct use, and adjudication of any disputes that result.
Publisher: Nolo Press
Publication Date: 2013


Copyright Registration for Online Works
Description: Circular 66.  Background registration information
Copyright Registration for Visual Arts
Description: Provides good background information about obtaining
a copyright for visual art.
Electronic Copyright Office (eCO)
Description: Website for registering copyrights online. 





Categories: Legal