Posts Tagged ‘Leonard DuBoff’

What you don’t know about your photocopier…

…that can seriously hurt you!


This is a guest post from one of my smARTist Telesummit presenters, Attorney Leonard, DuBoff.

Mr. DuBoff, a pioneer in the field of art law and practicing attorney, represents museums, galleries, dealers, photographers, artists and craftspeople. He has taught at the Stanford Law School and written 9 books on Art Law in plain English.

Given how fast we upgrade our vast array of computerized objects, with a good number of these not even looking like computers… and given how much of our privacy has already…

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5 Things No One Told You About Copyrights

I was amazed to find the lawyer who practically invented the concept of Art Law, Attorney Leonard DuBoff. Besides his 15 books on Law in Plain English, his Oregon firm specializes in artists.

You can imagine how happy I was to have him come to the smARTist Telesummit to explain the ins and outs of copyrights in his presentation Art Law: What Artists Must Know About Copyright.

Here are 5 surprises about copyrights that came out of his presentation:

1. If you are living outside the USA, there are 3 multinational treaties that govern 135 countries. To find out if your county is one of them…  …go to>

  • The Berne Convention provides reciprocal rights, and “moral” rights, for copyright owners in all member nations.
  • The Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) protects copyrights using this international symbol © for member nations.
  • The Buenos Aires Convention (North & South Americas) protects copyrights using this symbol ©, plus adding the legend, “All Rights Reserved.”

2. Yes, we have the standard, automatic copyright protection. But did you know that you also have to also affixed the symbol ©, your name, and date first made public to all work you plan to sell if you want to be covered under all possible circumstances?

I know, there’s controversy over dating work, but it’s important to weigh this against copyright considerations. One idea is to put this information on the back of paintings, or under the base of sculpture – where it isn’t easily seen and so not likely to affect a sale.

3. Besides the copyright symbol, registering your work means you can get back either your attorney’s fees or “statutory damages (up to $150,000) if you ever have to go to court because someone is stealing your work.

4. Copyright infringement has a 3-year statute of limitations. So pay attention! Goggle your name, titles of your work, anything that might come up as “you” on a regular basis.

5. Garment design, wearable art (think clothes and jewelry), and functional art cannot be copyrighted directly. You can, however, work around the limitations to some degree, like registering the fabric design even when you can’t register the pattern of the garment.


P.S. Attorney DuBoff goes into more details about how to copyright, how to register, why a trademark is a good idea… and so much more. I’ve put together a cool new smARTist Exclusive bundle where you can get this and 2 more bona fide experts to help you Protect Your Art. Protect Your Income. And Protect Your Health.