Copyright Law for Artists with a Lawyer

Artists need to know how to protect their artwork, but copyright info online is often confusing and not specific enough to an artist’s needs.

This video explains: what to do if someone steals your art, if you can copyright a style or idea, whether Instagram owns your artwork, whether fan art is copyright infringement, defining fair use, using libel in your artwork

Still Life Drawing in Crayon, Clara Lieu, banner

Also discussed is when it’s necessary to register your artwork with the US copyright office, if there is a way to prevent people from pirating your artwork images online, and more.

Discussion led by Lawyer Greg Kanaan and Art Prof Clara Lieu.

Lauryn Welch, Deepti Menon, Clara Lieu

Video Walkthrough

  • Concrete actions to take if what to do if someone uses your artwork without your permission.
  • Strategies for negotiating with someone who steals your artwork.
  • Can you copyright an artistic style or idea?
  • Are “Derivative” artworks copyright infringement?
  • If I post my art on Instagram, does Instagram own my your artwork?
  • Is fan art copyright infringement?
  • Can I sell my fan art?
  • What is fair use?
  • Can you be sued for using libel or defamation in your artwork?
  • The benefits of registering your artwork at the US copyright office.
  • Is there a foolproof way to keep people from pirating your artwork?
Guest Speaker

Greg Kanaan

The [Legal] Artist

Greg Kanaan is a New England-based attorney who focuses on intellectual property, business law, and contract issues for artists, filmmakers, and creative entrepreneurs.

Greg Kanaan
Photo credit: RISD Alumni Association

On top of providing legal services and counsel to a wide variety of creative people, Greg regularly speak at colleges, non-profit arts organizations and professional associations about how the law affects their artistic endeavors.

Greg writes for a variety of publications including a two-year stint at MovieMaker Magazine and is the founder of the blog The [Legal] Artist® which was chosen in 2015 by the ABA Journal as one of its top 100 legal blogs.

Greg Kanaan

Before earning his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Greg received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and was a documentary television producer for seven years, working for Discovery Channel, TLC, Court TV and A&E. Greg is licensed to practice law in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.