Thank you to everyone who came out to our May membership meeting Contract Rights & Wrongs. We want to give an extra special thanks to our generous panelists Robyn Williams, Skinner, Lillian Laserson, Stu Rees, and Thomas Crowell.
Recently, CBLDF has been receiving a number of requests from artists to help them navigate their contracts. New technology, digital copy sales, rights, and merchandising have all been issues that concern the community. Our panelists had a great discussion addressing these contract issues from both legal and creative perspectives. A sentiment echoed by both Skinner and Stu Rees was, embrace the process.
New media played a substantial role in the discussion. Using an example from the dawn of the VHS, Thomas Crowell gave an example of assignment clauses and how to protect your work when new media emerges. Lillian Laserson and Robyn Williams weighed in on NFTs and clarified some of the finer points. Later on, Skinner brought up the question, what is the moral obligation of large corporations in response to new media and contracts?
The conversation also included:
- the intersection of self-worth and market value
- tiered royalties and milestone payments
- artist rights and digital originals
- contract traps to look out for
- tips on making your contract work for you
If you weren’t able to attend the event and would like to hear the full conversation, catch up by viewing the embedded video below or head over to our YouTube channel.
We hope you will join us on June 24th for our next membership meeting. We’ll be holding a panel entitled Recoding Censorship. The Comics Code may be gone, but its specter remains. We’ll be discussing how censorship has changed and evolved and what it looks like today. Check back soon for our guest panelist announcement.
You can register for the event here. There is no need to be a member to join!
CBLDF is here to support the comics community. If you need legal assistance or advice in regards to store policies and compliance, leases, or contracts don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss out on our past membership meetings!
Featured Panelists for Contract Rights & Wrongs
I’m a partner with the law firm of LaneCrowell LLP (www.lanecrowell.com) where I counsel clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues. My clients range from award-winning comic book publishers to the creators of some of the world’s best-known superheroes; from television production companies to independent film producers; from videogame companies to sculptors, painters, magicians and 80’s cover bands.
My clients’ work is seen in the pages of Marvel and DC comics and on movie, TV, computer, and mobile screens across the world.
My latest book is “The Pocket Lawyer for Comic Book Creators” (Focal Press, 2014) — is the very first dedicated legal guide for the comic book industry.
Lillian Laserson is a sole practitioner representing artists, writers, producers, publishers, and others in transactional matters primarily involving comic book publishing, licensing, copyright and entertainment law.
Prior to forming her own firm, Lillian was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DC Comics where she established and ran the company’s in-house legal department for twenty years. She began working in the area of character rights when she joined Jim Henson Productions as the company’s Associate General Counsel and became Kermit and Miss Piggy’s go-to girl for legal and business affairs.
Stu Rees graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1997. He opened his San Diego based solo practice in 2000. Stu developed a niche in the Intellectual Property field, specializing in the needs of syndicated newspaper cartoonists.
Notably, Stu has represented more than 200 cartoonists in their negotiations with the major newspaper comic strip syndicates, and more than 500 cartoonists and writers in a mix of online, licensing, greeting card, book, television and movie deals. He also handles copyright and trademark filings.
In 2007, Stu earned the National Cartoonists Society’s prestigious Silver T-Square Award for legal services provided to the organization and its member cartoonists.
Oakland based artist Skinner creates psychedelic nightmare paintings, otherworldly animation, toys, murals and more. Commercial work for Warner Bros, Adult Swim, Vans, Apple, Quentin Tarantino, Fender guitars, and Juxtapoz built a client list to balance out the psychedelic, graphic experimentations he is known for.
Robyn Williams is an Associate at Devlin Law Firm LLC. During law school, Ms. Williams worked as a law clerk in the Intellectual Property Group for a top-ranked law firm in the areas of intellectual property litigation and trademark law. She was also an intern in the Global Patents Group at GlaxoSmithKline.
Ms. Williams’s practice focuses on intellectual property and business matters. Ms. Williams assists clients with growth and protection for their business, wherever it is in development, by offering tailored business plans or prospectuses, entity formation, contracts, as well as managing their intellectual property and brand portfolios.