On Monday, September 19, 2011, Law2sm’s founder, Deborah Gonzalez, Esq. presented on “Artists, Social Media & the Law” at Binders Art School in Buckhead, Georgia (http://www.bindersart.com/store/department/32/Art-Classes-&-Workshops/). The session looked at the legal and business considerations of putting art online using the newest social media platforms. This session was the latest in The Binder’s Art & Law Series Deborah offers every other month as part of her pro bono services to the creative community.
The presentation began with exploring the reasons why artists are online: so their art can be found, so art buyers can verify them, so their art can be purchased, and so they can engage with others in the artistic community.
But there are other non-traditional reasons to be online as well. Some examples include:
- Artist John T. Unger, who used Kickstarter to raise funds to cover legal expenses in a copyright infringement case (http://www.kickstarter.com/profiles/johntunger/projects/created). To listen to an interview with Unger about his experience click here: http://tcattorney.typepad.com/tc/2010/06/artist-uses-social-media-to-fund-legal-defense-.html.
- The case of Stevie, an independent designer, who posts on her blog how Urban Outfitters “ripped off” her necklace design; It became a national tweeting trend calling for a boycott. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/urban-outfitters-vs-independent-artist-artist-wins/2011/05/27/AGr8wjCH_blog.html).
And artists aren’t the only ones online. Museums, seeking for a new generation to enjoy their exhibits are hosting “tweet-ups” (http://law2sm.com/tweetup-at-the-high-museum-of-art-atl/) and art galleries are going virtual (http://socialtimes.com/the-role-of-the-art-gallery-in-the-digital-age_b41829).
In addition artists are using social media as a medium to create new kinds of art or as the message of the art work itself.
- NYC Poetweet with the Mayor – Facebook Page (April) http://www.facebook.com/#!/piypnyc?sk=app_7146470109
- LA Street Artist’s Unfiltered Take on Facebook as “Social Cigarettes”; 2Wenty (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/04/06/l-a-street-artists-unfiltered-take-on-facebook-social-cigarettes/)
- CNN: Social Media Art Brings Virtual Audiences into Cyber Galleries (http://www.cnngo.com/sydney/play/social-media-art-brings-virtual-audiences-cyber-galleries-600841#ixzz1Xkcf2BGc)
The session concluded with a quick review of other legal concerns online
- Intellectual property issues (copyrights and trademarks, including domain and social networking account names)
- Defamation and artistic criticism/review
- Censorship and obscenity laws
- Social Art Collaboration and Crowdsourcing
Are you an artist using social media? Are you an art buyer who reviews art online? What are your thoughts about these issues?
For a free electronic copy of the PowerPoint of the session email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.