Tuk Law Offices and ArtsQuest Team Up To Provide Legal Training for Creators

Pleased to announce that Tuk Law Offices and ArtsQuest are teaming up for our first live event focused on legal issues that impact the arts and creators. If you are a photographer, web developer, or in publishing or social media, this event is for you.

We live in an economy of ideas. Every creative should have a working knowledge of copyright basics and licensing to protect the value of their work. In the age of social media, it becomes more and more important to know your rights in this area. This session will provide attendees a working knowledge of copyright law, licensing and current trends in social media on these topics. 

For tickets, please click on the logo!

The InVision Image Festival is a premier photo-based art festival that is designed to foster excitement and dialogue between a diverse group of participants around learning about and making art. The 3-day festival and complementary year-long programming provides professional development, networking and hands-on workshops for photographers, image-based artists, creative entrepreneurs, makers and DIYers. InVision leverages the unique attractions, history and landscape of the surrounding region and celebrates its diverse artistic and cultural community.

First Amendment Update: Federal Judge Rules Lehigh County's Official Seal Is Unconstitutional

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is very simple at first reading.  It provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...."  Those ten words have spawned volumes and volumes of legal analysis, countless lawsuits and provided a key issue in the culture wars that keep America in constant turmoil.  

An interesting ruling came down affecting the Lehigh County government: today a federal judge ruled that the County's official seal, which includes a prominent yellow cross, violates the US Constitution, specifically the Establishment Clause.  The fallout from this ruling is unclear, and there will be more developments shortly.  

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#TakeTheKnee, Part II: Why the NFL Teams Must Allow the Protests to Continue

The NFL is subject to a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the most recent version of which went into effect in 2011.  The term of the current CBA is ten years and it will expire in 2021 (the "NFL CBA"). 

In the overwhelming response to my prior writings on the #TakeTheKnee controversy (the first article from 2016 here, and yesterday's post here) one astute commenter asked whether the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement has any impact on the NFL's official stance on player protests in uniform.

In short, a close reading of the NFL CBA shows exactly why the NFL has no choice but to let the players protest, at least within the confines of the 2017-2018 season.  

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Free Speech, The NFL, The President & #TakeTheKnee

It was slightly over a year ago that I wrote about the new (at the time) controversy that was roiling the NFL, which was Colin Kaepernick's decision to take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the 49ers games.  The purpose of Mr. Kaepernick's actions was to draw attention to police brutality issues among other things.  The media and the talking heads on ESPN in particular seemingly couldn't stop talking about it.  

At the time, from a legal standpoint it was quite simply about the rights of an employee to voice their personal opinion in a very public way while working for a private employer.  The NFL, as you know, is not the US Government, nor is it a state or municipal government for that matter.  The NFL is a private entity, as are the 32 NFL franchises that employ the NFL players.   Because of this fact, there is no civil rights issue, and there is no free speech issue.  It is WELL settled that private employers can dictate employee conduct while the employees are on company time - for instance  when an NFL player is suited up on the field about to being playing a nationally televised game.  

Fast forward one year, and the debate has persisted.  Mr. Kaepernick was released by the San Francisco 49ers and and not been signed by another NFL team despite there being a clear need for starting caliber quarterbacks. 

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Music Law Update: It's Not About Just the Recordings Anymore

For the times they are a-changin' - Bob Dylan

It's no secret that since 1999, the high water mark in terms of sales volume for recorded music, sales revenue has been cut roughly in half due to the disruption caused by internet distribution (legal and illegal) and now by streaming services. 

In fact revenue is so scarce that recording artists are getting extremely creative in devising ways to great cash. 

For example, Gene Simmons (yes that Gene Simmons) will personally travel to your house - at his own expense - to deliver a 150 song boxed set.  The price tag? $2,000.00.

For my musician clients, this story is actually a very important statement about how the revenue in the music industry has evaporated.

While this seems like an outrageous publicity stunt, this goes to show that you have to turn to non-traditional techniques to raise money. I.e. if you can't sell records on their own, then pair the records with some other "experience" that will entice your fans to pay you. Could it be a culinary event? Wine or beer tasting?

The subtext here is that the marketplace doesn't value recorded music the same way it once did. As creators, that is a hard truth that isn't easy to accept.  Some out of the box thinking can go a long way to help generate revenue to support your artistic career. 

If you want to schedule a consulting session with me to help you grow your business, please contact me