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copyright lawyer for artist

Do You Need a Copyright Lawyer to Be a Successful Artist?

By John DiGiacomo

It depends on what you mean by “successful.” If by “success” you mean your ability to create genius-level art that mesmerizes and brings forth powerful emotions, then, honestly, no, you do not need a copyright lawyer to be successful as an artist. On the other hand, there is the “business side” of being a successful artist meaning that you’re getting paid for your creative genius. If you mean “successful” in the sense of business and “getting paid,” then yes, you are going to need a copyright lawyer.

Most artists get focused on the copyright itself and how that can be registered with the US Copyright Office. Yes, that is important — and an experienced copyright lawyer can help you get all of your copyrights registered. But equally as important are all the other aspects of artistic success, including things like protecting your art from copyright infringement, keeping others from copying and using your work (or, conversely, making well-considered decisions on what common use license you are willing to grant), etc.

To be successful in protecting yourself financially and legally, yes, you need a copyright lawyer like the ones here at Revision Legal. Call us at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474. Our rates are very reasonable. Let’s look at just one example: copyright license agreements.

A Copyright Lawyer protects your rights in copyright license agreements

It is always exciting when someone wants permission — a license — to use your artwork. It is a measure of success, and you are getting paid! But the details and the fine print of the license agreement matter very much. When a written copyright license agreement is put in front of you, you NEED a copyright lawyer to help protect your rights because you could unknowingly give up all of your rights. Say, you are being offered $500. That is great, but if you sign the wrong licensing agreement, likely, that is the sum total of the money you will ever see for that particular creative effort. Questions to ask include:

  • What is the term of this license agreement? — Does it give the licensee perpetual/forever rights? If there is no term — time limit — listed, what does that mean? If the license agreement is silent, does that mean the law implies a perpetual license?
  • What is the geographical limit for the license? — Is it the US, worldwide, or solar system-wide? You may laugh at the latter, but why? Your art may be on the Moon someday.
  • What is the medium? — just book rights or rights to movies, films, television, video games, graphic novels, etc.? For $500, you want to give a very narrow copyright license.
  • What about derivative rights? — copyrights include your ownership of any derivative of your creative work — is this written license agreement asking you to give away your rights to the derivative works?

Hopefully, this one example shows why your financial success as an artist may depend on hiring talented copyright lawyers.

Contact the Copyright Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the experienced Copyright Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.

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