California Art Law Attorney

I am attorney Lawrence (Larry) Townsend, and from my office in Concord, I represent clients in a wide range of art law-related matters. If you are looking for an attorney to assist you with an intellectual property legal matter, please call my office at 415-906-2792 to learn how I can help.

Serving A Wide Variety Of California Artists

Some of the creators whom I have assisted with matters in the area of art law are:

  • Photographers
  • Illustrators
  • Graphic designers
  • Graphic artists
  • Painters
  • Sculptors
  • Fine artists

Providing Skilled Counsel And Guidance To California Businesses

Some of the businesses in the area of art law that I have assisted include:

  • Advertisers
  • Advertising agencies
  • Art publishers
  • Artist representatives
  • Commissioning parties

I can offer advice on agreements and defining the relationship between artist and client, including licensing (exclusive and nonexclusive), assignments and works made for hire. In addition, I have extensive experience litigating cases involving art and design, involving copyright, breach of contract, unfair competition, and infringement of an artist’s moral rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) and California’s own law recognizing a visual artist’s moral rights, California Civil Code Section 987 et seq. (The California Art Preservation Act).

What Are “Moral Rights?”

Moral rights refer to an artist’s right to control the fate of their work. This protects not only the monetary value of a piece of art, but also the personal and reputational value to the artist. In the United States, visual artists’ moral rights include the right to prevent alteration or distortion of their work, regardless of who owns the work. For example, an artist who creates a mural on the side of a building may have moral rights that override the property owner’s right to alter or destroy the work.

In the United States, moral rights are primarily protected by the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA). VARA protects visual artworks including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs, existing in a single copy or a limited edition of 200 signed and numbered copies or fewer. California also has its own statute protecting moral rights, the California Art Preservation Act. If you have concerns about your rights to a work of visual art, I would love to help you understand your options.

Get The Legal Counsel You Need

For more information or to schedule an appointment to speak with me, attorney Larry Townsend, please complete this online contact form.