Copyright and visual arts: current issues


In the wake of the global pandemic, individual artists and small arts organizations are struggling to maintain their old programs and sources of income. This virtual program highlighted how a better understanding of copyright challenges and opportunities can help visual artists, galleries, libraries, archives, museums and arts organizations find their way to a post-COVID recovery. .

The program included presentations from copyright attorneys from the United States Copyright Office and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, who covered the following topics:

  • fundamental principles of copyright
  • current copyright issues affecting arts organizations
  • fair dealing doctrine and moral rights in the United States
  • steps artists and arts organizations can take to protect their intellectual property.

Question-and-answer sessions followed each presentation.

Presenters included:

Emily Lanza, Policy and International Affairs Advisor, US Copyright Office
Molly Stech, General Counsel, US Patent and Trademark Office
Katie Wagner, Executive Director, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts


Watch a recording of this event here.

Additional information

For more information about the program, contact Nadine Herbert of the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs.

This virtual program was hosted by the USPTO World Intellectual Property Academy, a unit of the USPTO’s Office of Politics and International Affairs (OPIA). The OPIA advises the administration and other federal government departments and agencies on national and international intellectual property legal and policy issues. He also provides technical assistance and training on intellectual property issues to US stakeholders and US and foreign government officials.


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