Art Law Basics – Part 2

Art Law Basics -part 2

Originally Posted 23/04/2013

 Art and the Law? Part 1 
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Design art is different to copyright because it patents the shape, pattern and ornamentation
of the design, enabling the designer/ company to monopolize that particular design for 10 years.

Trade marks or ™  patents names and logos.  It is important to register your business name or domain main before someone else takes it and says you stole their name.

When enabling people to use or hand over patenting  rights you need a contract. Contracts can be oral, in writing, partly written partly orally or implied by people’s conducts or actions, but the best way is a written contract.

Contracts are like promises, which are legally binding and hold consequences if broken.  They are used to flush out issues and let each party know what is happening, without misunderstandings.

Licensing (giving permission Assignment rights (ownership)
Written contract yes yes
Verbal contract yes no
Retain ownership yes no
Time limit yes no
Royalties payed yes no
Geographic area yes yes
Moral rights yes yes
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Business structure

This was the area that I got a bit lost in, so I hope I can explain it ok (@.@)

You can either structure yourself as an unincorporated or incorporated business, which means is your business run by you as an individual or is the business an entity in itself.  Some examples of an unincorporated business (who works for profit) are sole traders, partnerships or joint venture and for incorporated it’s proprietary Ltd company and co-operative.

A person who is a hobbyist can earn income and doesn’t have to pay taxes, but at the same time they can’t deduct expenses from tax.  If they happen to make over a certain amount then they have to become a professional.

 The next point that was addressed was being an employee in a company compared to a contractor from another company/ or free lancer.  If you are an employee you have to work a certain amount of maximum hours, you have payed leave, workers compensation, tax and superannuation.  Also anything you create at work is copyrighted by the company you work in compared to as an individual.

Finally, the last point was on using your art for prizes and competitions.

  • They have their own terms and conditions
  • Are you eligible for it?
  • Is there an entrance fee?
  • What happens if you don’t win? (Do you keep your copyright?)
  • Do you license or assign your copyright
  • Non-exclusive licence
  • Moral rights
  • The use of your name and personal information (Do they give you credit for the final product?)
  • Warranties
  • Attendance at events (at your own expense)

 

Here’s an example of how artists can be tricked into signing off the ownership of their copyright. Presented by Catherine Moffat a lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah campus:

Say for example, some of your friends are in a band and want you to design their logo, in return they will pay you a few dollars or buy you a few drinks, or something like that and because you’re friends, you say ok.  All is going well until your friends make it big and start touring, meaning that the original logo that you designed is now being printed on merchandise such as CD covers, t-shirts, hats etc…  After seeing this, you then ask your friends if you could get some royalties, but they then tell you that they have signed their rights off to their recording company.  The recording company then says that you have no rights to the image anymore because you sold it off for those few beers in the beginning.

The moral of the story is when agreeing to design something for your friends (or clients), make a licencing contract in writing, which states that you still own the copyright, but you give them permission to use your image.  If one day they get famous or use your image for profit, they would then have to pay you back royalties.  

Art Law Basics -part 1

Preface:

Today I came across a situation where some people wanted to print and sell some T-shirts with a logo on it, thinking that it was perfectly fine.  However, is it? 

Two years as part of my Professional Practice course for my Bachelor of Fine Arts, I was required to blog about certain lectures such as the place of art within the law.  Inspired by the above situation, i’m going to re-blog my original articles for anyone wanting to know more about art and the law.


Art Law Basics -part 1

Originally Posted 22/04/2013

 Art and the Law?

<== Copyright: Am I even allowed to use this picture??

This week’s Professional Practice lecture was a bit special and was attended by the fine arts and design students on how consider the legal side of their practices, which was presented by Robyn Ayres from Arts Law. Arts Law is an organisation based in Sydney who gives advice to artists based on legal and business issues.

The first issue discussed was on Intellectual Property and copyright.

Copyright:

  • Is automatic and doesn’t need to be registered
  • © symbol acts as a warning to other people
  • When written “©Name of work, owner, date
  • Gives limited rights to creators over a limit of time – all their life and 70+ years after death (in Australia)
  • Can’t copyright thoughts, concepts or ideas, only the physical work or product
  • Can be owned by one person or by multiple owners
  • If employed, copyright goes to the company, not the individual
  • If you sell work, the copyright is still retained by the artist, unless stated otherwise
  • Copyright can be exchanged via a contract
  • Can give others permission to use copyrighted material with a licence.
  • Permission includes: copying, re-producing and using pieces of the work
Then we talked about Intellectual Property and it’s relationship to the internet and that having a website incorporates many opportunities and risks.  Websites can’t be copyrighted as a whole, but is broken down in to pieces such as pictures, text, animations/ film, music and computer programming (which is also included as text).
Advantages of a personal website:
  • Personal space on the web
  • can have an online presence
  • retain control
  • can customize your space and features
  • can show up on search results
Disadvantages of a personal website:
  • Cost to run it
  • need technical knowledge to build it
  • Needs to maintain it and keep it up to date
Advantages of using social websites:
  • Be able to connect to people via the social network
  • Find people with similar interests and connect/ build communities
  • easier to use compared to building your own website
  • can share and promote your ideas and works 
Disadvantages of using social websites:
  • Loss of control
  • Privacy issues
  • Signing over certain rights when entering a contract (terms and conditions)
  • Lack of customization
  • losing yourself as an individual within a large community 
Terms and Conditions offered by social networking websites:
  • Terms and conditions is a contract
  • Every website as a different set of terms and conditions
  • They are in accordance with the law.  Bigger companies often abide by US laws as opposed to Aus laws.
  • What permission are you granting them?
  • How will your work be used?
  • Policy infringement and the consequences
  • You’re responsible for your own copyright

Tips:

  • Online infringement is easy, so look out for it.
  • Use the © symbol on your works
  • Some features enable you to disable the right click so people can’t save your images
  • Stream V.S download when you have videos
  • Upload low resolution images of your work
  • Watermark your images
To be continued in part 2…

“Personal Branding; The art of good business”

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“Personal Branding; The art of good business” – Directed Study Reflection.

As some of you may know from one of my previous blog posts, I created this website for one of my university courses (Directed Study).  I didn’t set myself a specific outcome, but rather treated this project as an experiment to try bunch of new things and see the results.

My aim included:

  • Defining myself as an artist by defining my own brand
  • To create a professional online portfolio
  • To create social media accounts and establish a stronger web presence
  • Collaborate with other artists
  • Learn employment skills to use in the work force.

 

Looking back, I have successfully achieved all these goals.

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 6.44.02 pmOne of the obvious outcomes is the creation of this website. I used a visual style template to set everything out and an ordered structure.  Not only that, but the WordPress back room features make maintaining the website easy to use and manage, and the support forum was very helpful whenever I had questions.  I even learned about analysing web traffic and statistics to know which posts were popular, and who my readers are.

What I would change in the future is the web layout.  At first I though that the highly visual and graphic template was a good choice, however I think it’s too confusing.  There are too many elements going on that a first time visitor might not realise what my website is for (to be a portfolio).  So next time I would make the home page simple and to the point was a visible menu bar.

I also learnt that all social media websites function differently.  Some are easy to use, while others are complicated.  Also, each social community has it’s own features and systems which affect the activity and interaction of my accounts.  While I know that all the sites are different, i’m still trying to figure out what makes them different, and how I can use these systems to my advantage.

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I’ll combine these next two points together since they’re so similar.  Collaborating with other artists and defining my own brand.  A few month ago my friend Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together called Kamikaze Sisters, which I wrote about in a previous post.  This work was about showing our creative styles in both our daily lives and through our artistic practices.

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I am pretty versatile and work in a variety of creative mediums ( Drawing, modellingphotos and installations, writing, animations and more), so during this time, i’ve been working on unifying all their styles into a singular brand.  This is also a continuous process since i’m still developing and growing, however this experience has taught me to reflect on what I consider to be my style and which mediums I like using the best.

In some ways I feel as though my art is very scattered and confused like my website layout, yet in others I can see unifying themes.  Because I’ve done so much already, I don’t think the solution is doing something new again, but rather refining what I have.  Picking and choosing which aspects of my art that I like, and discarding what I don’t need.  This is another project that will take some time, but it’s good to keep in mind.

Over all I’m satisfied with all the work i’ve done so far with this project.  Because of it, I’ve been able to go further than I have before by learning more about myself and my goals for the future.

Don’t worry though, just because this class is over, doesn’t mean my blog is.  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for future updates.

-Jess

27 thank you

Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide

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It feels weird writing this post so long after the event, but I need to do it for uni, so here I go.

Back in September my friend, Manon and I collaborated and did a performance artwork together in two of the shop window at NANA gallery, Newcastle.  Now you’re probably wondering “what is a performance artwork?”, so i’ll explain that first.  In this particular instance, the artwork isn’t something static like a drawing, but an action; something that only exists within the time its created (it needs to be documented via photos if you want to see it again).

So what exactly was our action?  Well, Manon and I are artists who both have our own individual styles, (she sews and I draw and write), in this artwork we wanted to show how the life style of the artist can be as important as the finished works themselves.  So one of the days we went in and worked within the windows.

This is what the blurb and invitation looked like:

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Manon Marguerite and Jessica McLeod-Yu present:  “Kamikaze Sisters – The Worlds of Two Girls Collide”
Inspired by the movie Kamikaze Girls, a story where two girls of different styles come together and become friends.
These two girls will install their artworks in two shop windows, one representing the artist’s atelier, and the other as a commercial public display.  To exhibit not only the artworks produced by the artists, but also to present the idea of the artists’ image and lifestyle as a part of their discipline.  Both of the artists work in different mediums and have their own individual aesthetics, yet they both work towards a common goal of creating their own brands.  
The exhibition will be on display from the 23rd – 30th of September, however on Thursday the 25th both Manon and Jessica will perform together within the Shop windows from 11am – 12pm

And here are some shots I took while setting up:

It’s was had to take pictures in the day because of the glare, however Manon managed to take a photo at night which I think looks heaps better than in the day.

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For me, this whole project was an experiment for uni to learn new ways of identifying my Artist Persona and discovering new ways of presenting my art in a new spaces, though I have to say that the process was very tiring and time consuming (preparation included).  To be honest, I don’t think the Fine Art world is for me, but at least I can say that I tried it.  As I said before, this was an experiment to see what would happen.

Also, I had a lot of fun getting to know and working with Manon.  She’s an awesome girl who did more than her share of work, especially when she packed up my stuff when I went to hospital, so working together with her was definitely my favourite part =)

Jessica McLeod-Yu ‘Dreamer, courageous, a star among the stars’

A lovely article about my novel The Wish Bringer written by Tania Elizabeth, an amazing woman, and fellow aussie author. Please check it out!

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Writing about oneself is no stranger to a writer than is breathing. We often include elements of our own persona into our characters, and or, we write about how we dream ourselves to be.

10532468_855854517775460_3814544656364510401_nMiss Jessica McLeod-Yu is no different. She wrote a story about the person she desired to become, and then, well… Jessica made the choice to follow in her character’s footsteps. Through her words she inspired – she inspired the most important person any one of us can inspire – oneself. Though Jessica dreams of being remembered for having inspired others along the way too.

Here is a young woman whose spirit is free, unbound by space and time. In Jessica’s ideal world, we as a people would rise above fear, existing only from a place of love.

img_0850091Jessica McLeod-Yu is an artist and an author. She uses art and writing to help her understand the world…

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TWB Book Opening

 Once upon a time, in a land of crystal towers blue, is a garden known only to those in desperate need. There, lonely souls beseech the help of the King of Wishes only to fall prey to his curse and dance for eternity within his ballroom of dreams. A fairy tale—that’s all it was . . . until now.

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Back in June my family and I held a book opening for the release of my novel The Wish Bringer.  It was a great night celebrating not only the success of the book being published, but also celebrating the people who helped and supported me throughout my writing journey.

The launch was held in the Marian Hall of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, which we decorated with framed drawings of the story’s conceptual art, an installation, a selected music playlist, as well as other decorative elements including a banner of the book and decorated cake.

The main idea that I wanted to convey with these props was to invoke the senses.  Many of the people who attended that night had yet to read the book, therefor we wanted to transport everyone into the fantastical nature and environment of the book by appealing to their senses, which I think was quite successful.

 
Video of the speeches
 

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Photos taken by my friend Miguel Zaragoza

 

For anyone interested in getting a copy of the book, you can click here to buy it from the online book store here

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Touring an Animation Studio!

Two weeks ago I was privileged to visit the Sticky Pictures animation studio in Sydney for a tour.

Sticky Pictures is an Australian animation company who specialises in children’s programs such as: Pearlie, The Dukes of Bröxstônia and Pirate Express, which is currently in development.

As some of you know, one of my passions is art and animation, however sometimes it can get disheartening sitting in my room all by myself being overwhelmed by such huge tasks, and not knowing whether I’m doing the right thing or not.

Therefor it was great being able to see how the professionals work within the animation industry.

At Sticky I met a lot of the team including Michael; one of the script writers who personally guided me around explaining their processes, Stu; one of the producers and script writers and Suren; one of the animators who sat down with me to critique my portfolio, as well as giving constructive advice on how I could get better.

At the time that I visited they were working on a new series called Pirate Express, which is cute cartoon about pirates mixed with Greek mythological influences.

The studio was set up with a bunch of computer stations with pirate reference materials around the room in timelines, planners and concept art hung up on the walls.

When I was there the animators were creating character and prop sheets for Pirate Express using Photoshop and Flash. These sheets are then used as reference (for the animators in Canada , whom they were working with this time).  These sheets are then used so that the characters and props are consistent in colour and size, when the actual animating takes place.  Michael then explained that because they are a small company, Sticky collaborates with other companies overseas in the UK and Canada, and delegates the work depending on the type of project they’re working on.

Over all I can say, it was a pretty cool adventure, and I’ll continue to work hard at improving my own art!