Legal

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts

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"The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use was created with and for the visual arts community. Copyright protects artworks of all kinds, audiovisual materials, photographs, and texts (among other things) against unauthorized use by others, but it is subject to a number of exceptions designed to assure space for future creativity. Of these, fair use is the most important and the most flexible. (Appendix A is an essay by Peter Jaszi presenting a perspective on fair use.) The Code describes common situations in which there is a consensus within the visual arts community about practices to which this copyright doctrine should apply and provides a practical and reliable way of applying it." Click here to download the full guide.Courtesy of the College Art Association
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Get it in writing! Fresh Arts Contract Workshop 2014

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THE PRESENTATION FROM THE WORKSHOP DESCRIBED IS EMBEDDED BELOW. Get it in Writing!Understanding & Crafting Contracts with Emily Watts and attorney Erin RodgersMay 6, 2014(For artists, collectives, and nonprofits) *This workshop hosted at the Dance Source Houston Headquarters, The Barn (formerly Barnevelder).The Barn, 2201 Preston St, Houston, TX 77003Are you an artist lending your work to a business for exhibition? Are you a performing arts organization that hires independent artists to perform? Are you renting space for a performance and exhibition? In all these instances, contracts and/or letters of agreement help protect you and your work, as well as prevent misunderstandings and other problems.TOPICS TO BE COVERED INCLUDE:- Understanding basic contract language and common clauses (glossary of common legalese)- Defining correct parties- Terms and options- Intellectual property ownership- Work for hire- Liability- Consideration ( making a contract binding)- Breach and dispute- Cure options (how to remedy a breach of contract)- How do you know when you are breaking a contract- Combining contracts with Letters of Agreement (LOAs) and riders- Contract addendums and red-lining- Recourse upon broken contracts Fresh arts Get it in writing! Contract Workshop from Fresh Arts
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Fresh Arts Fundamental HR/Employment Policies for Organizations 2014

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THE PRESENTATION FROM THE WORKSHOP DESCRIBED IS EMBEDDED BELOW. Fundamental HR/Employment Policies for OrganizationsFor arts administrators of small to mid-sized nonprofitsMonday, June 2, from 4-6 p.m.@ Fresh Arts, 2101 Winter Street, #B11, Houston, TX 77007Presenters:Bob Lawson, Director of Administration & Education, Theatre Under the StarsElaine C. Becraft, Counsel, Labor & Employment, LyondellBasellNot sure who on your team should receive a 1099 or a W-2? Are you supposed to be paying unemployment taxes? Do you know the rules around interns? Join Bob Lawson, of Theatre Under the Stars, and employment lawyer, Elaine C. Becraft for a crash course in what you need to know and what you didn’t know you didn’t know. This is a great opportunity for administrators to have questions answered by an expert in the field and address some of the unique challenges we all face in keeping our small or mid-size organizations in compliance with HR standards.Topics include:- Basic distinctions between 1099/W2 employees, as well as exempt/non-exempt- How to avoid abusing interns- Basic options for offering benefits- Basic reporting for new hires- Unemployment taxes (when you need to worry about them)- The advantages and timing of outsourcing, rather than handling HR in house- Common questions re: employment law- Basic best practices for interviewing/hiring- Employee reviews + HR advocate on board of directors for smaller nonprofits (i.e. to provide an additional outlet for reporting HR problems)- The "Absolute Musts" of any employee handbook (great resources from ADP on this subject) Fresh Arts Fundamental HR/Employment Policies for Organizations 2014 from Fresh Arts
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Fresh Arts Development Finance and Operation Basics 2014

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THE PRESENTATION FROM THE WORKSHOP DESCRIBED IS EMBEDDED BELOW. Development Finance and Operation Basicsfor the Jack-of-All Arts Administrator(Gift Acceptance, Disclosure Rules & Basic Financial Reporting)For arts administrators of small to mid-sized nonprofitsWednesday, June 4th, 2014@ Fresh Arts, 2101 Winter Street, #B11, Houston, TX 77007PRESENTERS:Amy Lampi, Associate Director of Development, Alley TheatreJoanna Torok, Director of Advancement Operations, Houston Grand OperaAre you in charge of fundraising AND finance within a small organization? Do you struggle with creating a regular routine for acknowledging donations? Do you know how to present your financial position effectively to your board? Are you certain you’re in total compliance with the IRS when accepting gifts? Administrators can expect to walk away from this workshop better equipped to manage broad financial concerns along with a simple check-list of things to do each day to ensure you are staying in compliance.Topics will include: - Creating simple systems for fund development management and operations- Timing, rules, and language for donor receipts- Common mistakes in communicating the tax benefits of donations- How to determine Fair Market Value for special events, etc.- Basic financial reports- Forecasting revenues- Reconciling fundraising activities with greater financial goals Development finance & operation basics for nonprofits_Fresh Arts 2014 from Fresh Arts
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Freelancers Union Contract Creator

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Establishing clear expectations before beginning work with a client will help you avoid conflicts and get paid — and a contract is the best way to do that. Contract Creator is a tool which will guide you through creating your own contract and allow you to edit it to fit each job. https://www.freelancersunion.org/contract-creator/ Don't worry if you find a section that doesn't apply to your work. The final contract can be downloaded as a Word-compatible text document, which you can edit to your heart's content. Contract Creator created in partnership with Furnari Sher LLP. Furnari Scher LLP helps freelancers, consultants and independent contractors start and build thriving businesses, while avoiding common legal pitfalls cost thousands to resolve. Visit www.FurnariScher.com to get a copy of their free mini course 7 Deadly Legal Mistakes that Cost Entrepreneurs Thousands.
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Legal Handbooks: Family, Elder, & Consumer Law (2011-2012)

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 Legal HandbooksThe HBA (Houston Bar Association) has three legal handbooks available in English, Spanish, and Chinese for the public and some handbooks available in Vietnamese and Korean. These handbooks are prepared by attorneys who are experts in their respective fields, and are written in an easy to read, question and answer format. The handbooks are updated after every Texas Legislature session (every 2 years.) Also available is a medical directive to physicians and family or surrogate, commonly referred to as a "Living Will." Click here for link. To find out how to get a copy of one of the handbooks mailed to your address, click here. 2011-2012 HBA Family Law Handbook - English [Download PDF]                                                                         - Spanish [Download PDF]                                                                        - Chinese [Download PDF] 2011-2012 HBA Elder Law Handbook - English [Download PDF]- Spanish [Download PDF]                                                                       - Chinese [Download PDF] 2011-2012 HBA Consumer Law Handbook - English [Download PDF]                                                                      - Spanish [Download PDF]                                                                      - Chinese [Download PDF] 
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Dispute Resolution Center of Harris County, Texas

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 The Dispute Resolution Center offers residents of Harris County a free alternative to legal action. Services include community-based mediation, court-ordered mediation, arbitration, and moderated settlement conferences. Trained mediators and moderators help parties reach agreement before the problem leads to a costly lawsuit or violence. If you have a problem or lawsuit, mediation may be beneficial. For more information, please call (713) 755-8274Established in 1980, the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) is a non-profit corporation sponsored by the Houston Bar Association and funded through Harris County.  
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Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program

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 HVLP is the recipient of the 2011 State Bar Pro Bono Award being recognized as the Pro Bono Program of the Year.HVLP helps low-income citizens that other programs often cannot serve, such as those who may not meet the financial criteria of other legal assistance programs or non-US citizens. This is what makes HVLP unique. HVLP’s commitment to helping those in need strongly reinforces how deeply the legal profession cares about the Houston community.WEBSITE
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Houston Bar Association: Services for the Public

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The Houston Bar Association's 11,250+ member attorneys have a continued commitment to serving the legal profession and the community.  Established in 1870, the Association's purpose was to maintain high standards in the legal profession and provide legal education for Harris County attorneys. Today, the HBA, the fifth largest metropolitan bar association in the nation, still adheres to those basic principles, but has expanded its goals to include public service and better access to legal services for all citizens in the Greater Houston area.   Public Information Brochure   Download PDF Each year, the HBA publishes a brochure for the public that provides information and phone numbers for the association's many community and legal services programs, in an effort to get the word out about the many types of help available through HBA programs. The brochures are widely distributed at forums such as the Houston Public Library, the Law Day Naturalization Ceremony, the People's Law School, the Harris County Jury Assembly Room, churches, social service agencies, and other groups. More than 51,000 copies were distributed during the past year to more than 80 groups.    Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program  Through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, attorneys volunteer their time to provide legal services in civil matters for Houston's needy citizens. This program helps those who cannot get help through other legal aid programs and is based on income eligibility. Special units within the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program handle family law, Bankruptcy, HIV/AIDS, problems of the elderly, and victims of domestic violence. To reach the program, call (713) 228-0732 or click here to visit their website.    Saturday Legal Advice ClinicsThe HBA's Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program offers Saturday Legal Advice Clinics at various community centers throughout Houston on the first Saturday of each month. The clinics are free, run from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., and no appointment is necessary. Click here to see upcoming dates and locations for 2011.     Dispute Resolution Center  The Dispute Resolution Center offers residents of Harris County a free alternative to legal action. Services include community-based mediation, court-ordered mediation, arbitration, and moderated settlement conferences. Trained mediators and moderators help parties reach agreement before the problem leads to a costly lawsuit or violence. If you have a problem or lawsuit, mediation may be beneficial. For more information, please call (713) 755-8274 or click here to visit website.  Houston Lawyer Referral Service  Provides access to competent legal representation in all areas of the law according to legal need, financial resources and geographic preference. Attorneys are screened and selected based on experience. The first 30-minute consultation is $20.00 after which the attorney will negotiate normal fees. HLRS assists over 125,000 individuals annually in Harris, Montgomery, Ft Bend, Brazoria and Galveston counties, TX. To speak to a trained staff member, call 713-237-9429 or click here for the Houston Lawyer Referral Service website.  LegalLineThe Houston Bar Association offers free legal advice over the phone through LegalLine. The Mexican American Bar and the Hispanic Bar, together with the Houston Bar Association offer Consejos Legales for Spanish speakers.LegalLine Brochure click here to download PDF The Houston Bar Association offers free legal advice over the phone through LegalLine. The Mexican American Bar and the Hispanic Bar, together with the Houston Bar Association offer Consejos Legales for Spanish speakers.For all of these programs, call 713-759-1133 during the time specified. 
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Photography Laws

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Courtesy of PhotographyBay.com The materials offered on and through this website are provided for informational purposes only, and are believed to be accurate, but are not intended to be and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice regarding any specific topic or matter. Further, the information contained herein does not reflect the legal opinions of Photography Bay or its authors and is not intended to be a solicitation or to render legal advice. If you think you have a legal issue regarding photography or your rights as a photographer, seek the advice of an experienced licensed attorney in the jurisdiction in which you live.This page is a work in progress. I’m going to try to pin down the relevant laws relating to photography for jurisdictions throughout the United States and post those here on this page. In some cases, as you will see, rather than try to summarize the law or post the language of statutes, I will refer you to an outside source that is relevant to the topic at hand. If you have a suggestion or direction, I’m all ears.As a general resource of frequent and developing topics, I highly recommend reading Carolyn Wright’s Photo Attorney blog.Copyright for Photographers – Copyright is often one of the first topics that comes up with regard to photography and the law. Rather the regurgitate what countless others have already written, let me simply post some sources for your consideration and review:United States Copyright Office: This should be a no-brainer. There is a wealth of information available through the Copyright Office’s website. It has a intro to copyright page, which includes everything from “What is Copyright?” to the forms you need to apply for your copyright. There’s also a tutorial on how to register a visual arts work (a photo) and, if you’re a real nerd, you can be like me and subscribe to NewsNet to get updates on hearings, deadlines for comments, new and proposed regulations, new publications, and other copyright-related subjects. Use the site, our tax dollars pay for it.NatureScapes.net – How to Register the Copyrights for Your Photos: Speaking of Carolyn Wright, this is a great intro/tutorial that, as the title implies, explains how to register the copyrights for your photos.ASMP’s Copyright Application Tutorial: The American Society of Media Photographers has an in-depth tutorial for your copyright application (not the table of contents on the right of the page).Model (and Property) ReleasesA lot of folks get confused when it comes to model releases (e.g., why they’re needed, whether you can register your copyright, etc.). Model releases are a different animal of their own. Specifically, a model release is needed with regard to the subject of the photo’s rights to privacy and commercial use of their image.
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