required to properly obtain a copyright or
Gabriel Fortoul of the Fortoul Broth-
ers, Phoenix-based artists who exhibit their
work in New York City, Los Angeles, and
Colombia, asks if there is such a thing as a
time-saving “blanket” copyright to save on
paperwork. If not, could an artist copyright
a certain body of work?
Nebgen responds that while a “blanket”
copyright does not exist, a certain body of
work might be copyrighted. “But it must
$150,000 have been made,” he says.
Understanding that selling art is a business and forming a limited liability company
is another important guideline the attorney
recommends. Becoming aware of the principles and structure of contract law is yet
another critical area.
“Always have a contract in writing,” he
insists. “Remember what Samuel Goldwyn’s
famous malapropism pointed out: ‘A verbal
contract is not worth the paper it’s written
Winner in 2011 and 2015 of this maga-
zine’s annual art competition for attorneys
in the painting category, Mark Bockel of
Tucson is also well aware of treating art as
a business and maintaining strict vigilance.
“Our increasingly diverse and technological culture adds a layer of complexity
to the areas of both art and law,” he says.
“While a visual arts creator is entitled to
copyright protection the instant a piece is
created, casual Internet exposure may lead
to unintended consequences. Vigilance is