Law and the Arts
LAW AND THE ARTS is an investigation of specific legal rights and responsibilities (contractual and otherwise) in the arts and entertainment industries, including visual and performing arts and emerging areas such as multimedia art. The foundation for all activities in the arts is the contract. Accordingly, you will study contract law that will provide a clearer understanding of the requirements that must be met before a valid contract comes into existence. Contract interpretation and enforcement will also be addressed. In addition to contract law, we will also discuss tort law, agency law, corporate, partnership and limited liability company law, personal and real property law, labor and employment law, intellectual property law (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, rights of publicity, moral rights) and other laws specifically affecting the entertainment industries. Finally, typical performing arts contracts and contractual provisions will be reviewed and the concepts discussed in other parts of the class, as applied to those contracts, will be analyzed.
The overall objective of the course is not to turn the students into lawyers; rather, the goal is to develop an overall framework for legal analysis to enable the student to recognize legal issues when they are presented in order to enable the student to react to and manage legal situations which are commonly encountered in arts organizations. By the end of this course, students should be able to: • Understand the basic structure of how laws are enacted and enforced in the United States; • Become familiar with the area of contract law, including the concepts of agreement, consideration, capacity to make a contract, enforceability and breach, as well as new concepts that apply to electronic contracting; • In the area of tort law, learn the differences between tort law and criminal law and be able to recognize the differences between intentional and unintentional torts and concepts of negligence and strict liability; • Understand basic concepts of agency law, including the various types of agency; • In the area of property law, become familiar with the concepts of personal property and real property; • Understand basic intellectual property terminology and differences between patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets and the concepts of "fair use" and the "work for hire" doctrine in copyright law, the right of publicity and other IP rights affecting the visual arts; • Recognize how the various legal concepts studied in the course are applied and reflected in various types of contracts used in the entertainment and arts industries; • Learn about choice of entity, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies, including control, liability, structure and tax consequences of each and the advantages and disadvantages of each.