Dedicated to supporting the arts in the state of Washington since 1976.


What is Trademark?

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office defines a trademark as “a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.” So what does that mean for you? Well, if you want to promote your death-metal band with an awesome symbol that is so unique that anyone who sees …

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How do I get a copyright?

If your work is in a tangible form (e.g., recorded, taped, written down, or typed), it already has copyright protection, although certain exceptions apply (see the U.S. Copyright Office’s Copyright Basics, pp. 2-3 for details). It is not necessary to publish your work to gain copyright protection. Although you have copyright protection as soon as your tangible work is created, …

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What is Intellectual Property?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property as “creations of the mind,” a broad definition that includes the following: literary, artistic and scientific works; performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts; inventions in all fields of human endeavor; scientific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations; protection against unfair competition; and all other rights …

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Art Law Institute

Art Law Institute was a huge success, the first all-day workshop sponsored by WLA.   Workshops and Presenters included: Intro to Social Media Law, Brian Rowe of Northwest Justice Project and Adjunt Professor at Seattle University School of Law and the University of Washington Information School Advanced Film Contracts, Matt Hooper of Foster Pepper PLLC Copyright Year in Review, Doug …

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Employment Issues for Filmmakers by Janelle Milodragovich and Matt Hooper

Seattle attorneys Matt Hooper and Janelle Milodragovich provided an industry-specific examination of employment laws every filmmaker needs to know. The March 2011 presentation, part of Washington Lawyers for the Arts legal workshops program, examined cutting-edge employment issues affecting filmmakers, including employment laws, labor negotiations and specific CBA provisions from SAG, DGA and WGA. In addition, Matt and Janelle addressed treatment …

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Art Law for Jewelers and Craftspeople by Mark Walters

This presentation, given in December 2010 as part of the WLA legal workshop series, focused on the various forms of intellectual property law available to jewelers and craftspeople interested in protecting the novel shape or three-dimensional design of a product. It focused on three main areas of intellectual property protection for shapes:1) copyright, 2) design patent, and 3) trade dress. …

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Intellectual Property 101 by Mark Walters

This presentation, given in March 2010 as part of the WLA legal workshop series, was a general overview of the various forms of intellectual property protection, covering basic information concerning copyrights, patents, and trademarks. The presentation discussed the registration process for copyrights and the scope of copyrightable subject matter. Fair use defenses to infringement and moral rights for authors were …

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Rights of Publicity by Robert C. Cumbow

What is the risk in my creating an artwork that includes an image of a famous person? Is it different if the person is not famous? When do I need permission, and in what form? These questions we hear frequently from artists invoke the comparatively little-known area of law called Rights of Publicity. In April 2012, as part of the WLA …

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What Composers and Copyright Lawyers Can Learn From Each Other by Sean O’Connor

In January 2010, Sean M. O’Connor, Professor of Law and Faculty Director at University of Washington, and WLA member, gave a multimedia presentation as part of the WLA Legal Arts workshop series. It focused on music copyright law issues, especially with regard to what parts of songs are protectable, how different elements such as guitar riffs are treated, and who …

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Featured Member Artist: Mark Gentile

Mark has crisscrossed the country a few times during his lifetime, setting up residence in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City and, currently, Seattle. Born in South Florida, his periodic travels have been for reasons of education and adventure. Along the way, he’s spent much of the last 15 years working as a graphic designer, ultimately as the Creative Director …

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