From the banning of books to physical attacks against cartoonists, it is more important than ever for comics creators to understand their legal rights to best protect themselves and their intellectual property. The creators workshop Comics Experience has designed an online program called “Comic Book Law for Creators” to help aspiring and long-time artists and writers learn the ins and outs of copyright law, contracts, and censorship.
Led by Joe Sergi, author of The Law for Comic Book Creators and former contributor for CBLDF, the six-week program will teach creators not only about the laws and policies that most impact the comics world, but will also equip creators to better promote and defend themselves if they become involved in a legal situation.
The legal landscape of the publishing world is a dangerous place. A wrong step can cost you your creation, your money, and, in some cases, your freedom. In order to avoid potential liability, creators must understand complex concepts like work for hire, public domain and fair use. This course provides a basic background in the areas of intellectual property, copyright, trademark, contracts, business entities, and censorship. All aimed at helping creators gain an understanding of the types of things that can and cannot be done.
In an evolving and growing industry it has become paramount that one understand their rights. “This is my thing: helping creative people achieve their goals,” Andy Schmidt, founder of Comics Experience said in a recent interview with the New York Times. Whereas other classes will teach you to draw or write, “Comic Book Law for Creators” will help professionals understand the legal and business background of the industry. “It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a lawyer, but it’ll give you the background to know what you’re talking about when you do,” notes Schmidt about the course.
Over the course of six weeks, you’ll interact in live, online sessions with Joe and your classmates, learning how to navigate the legal situations that affect comics creators. This course doesn’t intend to replace the advice of a lawyer. Instead, it provides you with the tools to minimize legal costs and approach your projects with clarity and confidence!
To find out more about the course, which runs October 5 – November 9, visit the Comics Experience site here.
Contributing Editor Caitlin McCabe is an independent comics scholar who loves a good pre-code horror comic and the opportunity to spread her knowledge of the industry to those looking for a great story!