Author - Steve Schlackman

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art and law. Should you have any questions on Intellectual Property contact him at [email protected] His photography can be seen online at Fotofilosophy.com or on display at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City.

Police stop
Intellectual Property

Can the police stop photographers from taking photos?

The shooting of unarmed 18-year old, Michael Brown, in Ferguson County, Missouri has once again made police brutality a topic of conversation across the media landscape. Some may think that police brutality is on the rise, but more likely, its mobile technology that has brought these incidents to light. With the majority of people in the U.S. owning a smart phone and a high-resolution camera...

Monkey selfie
Intellectual Property

The Telegraph is Wrong about the Monkey Selfie.

In the summer of 2011, the infamous monkey selfie went viral. Nature photographer David Slater was shooting in North Sulawesi Indonesia, when his camera stolen by a female crested black macaque monkey. Curious about the seemingly bizarre contraption, the primate began pushing buttons, accidentally taking a series of selfies. Slater posted the photos on his social media only to find that they were...

AholSniffsGlue
Intellectual Property

Did American Eagle Rip Off a Miami Street Artist?

Graffiti or Street Art has come a long way since the raw style adorning New York Subways or marking gang territories in the 1970’s. Street artists have gained a healthy following of fans enamored by their non-traditional approach to shape and color; an aesthetic highlighting socially relevant themes that appeal to a demographic that shuns the ordered and mundane art of the traditional gallery. In...

Etsy DMCA Safe Harbor
Intellectual Property

An Etsy Store Stole My Art. What Can I Do?

It has been about a year since I wrote about the excessive complaints permeating the web regarding copyright infringement on Etsy, the popular ecommerce site dedicated to handmade and vintage goods. Unfortunately, not much has changed since then, at least not from an anecdotal review of complaints on the web. That’s not surprising as the company’s claims DMCA Safe Harbor Protection (Digital...

Getting Model Release
Right of Publicity

When Do I Need a Model Release?

One of the most frequently asked questions Intellectual property lawyers hear from members of the art community is “When should I get I need a model release?” Given the litigious nature of our society, this is no surprise.  The fear of being sued is pervasive.  The question becomes more difficult given the amount of disinformation across the web, leaving many photographers scratching...

Drone Photography Law
Intellectual Property

The Law of Drone Photography

Drone photography discussions seem to abound nowadays across the Internet. Today, for around $1600 anyone can buy a drone like the Turbo Ace X830-D, attach a Go Pro Hero 3 Black edition camera, and have an aerial studio which can fly around for 25 minutes, taking either 12 megapixel stills or 4K video. Compare that cost to renting a helicopter, the only way a photographer could get that aerial...

Breach of Contract
Corporate Law

Tips on Contracts and Licensing for Artists

Every business needs a contract at one time or another.  They are everywhere.  Whether you are a struggling artist, world renowned photographer or a gallery owner, you will be inundated with contracts from art dealers, agents, exhibitors, publishers, ad agencies, museums as well as non-art industry members like landlords and contractors. If  a contract is supposed to make sure that both parties...

Trademark in Business
Intellectual Property

Need a Trademark? Here are some tips.

Picking a name for a business or product is one of the first steps for any new venture. However, many companies don’t register their trademarks during the start-up phase, usually waiting until a later time when sufficient cash is available, if registered at all. That decision is a bit of a gamble.  In reality, businesses should prioritize trademark registration for their brands or company...

Art Law Negotiation
Corporate Law

Contract Negotiation Tips for Visual Artists

In part 1, we looked at some general negotiating strategies. In part 2, we will look at questions you should be asking in any contract negotiation as well as reviewing provisions that you will likely see in your contract. For this discussion, let’s again assume that you are an artist negotiating gallery representation. As I discussed in part 1, make sure you know what you want before starting the...

Art of War
Corporate Law

Licensing Strategies for the Visual Artist

An artist has her first show in a New York gallery, an author is commissioned to create a photography book, a set designer has been asked to work on her first play; after the initial excitement ends, they realize with mounting trepidation, that they must enter into contract negotiations and have no idea what to do. The artists are entering into agreements that include terms and concepts they do...