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Resources
We are frequently asked to provide suggestions as to where artists, organizations, institutions, and arts professionals can learn more and find further resources. So...here they are...loosely organized by genre, our picks of websites, books, and articles we believe you will find informative, illustrative, illuminating, or merely amusing:

"Law and Disorder: Performing Arts Division"

"Raising the Curtain" Blog

Visas for Foreign Artists

US Tax Issues for Foreign Artists

Copyrights, Trademarks and Licensing

Contracts

Non-Profit and For-Profit Business Formation and Management

Legal Relationships: Agents, Managers, Producers, Independent Contractors and Employees

General Resources and Miscellaneous Links
E-Maestro!


"Law and Disorder: Performing Arts Division"

GG Arts Law is blogging on MusicalAmerica.Com as Law and Disorder: Performing Arts Division. From contracts to copyrights, visas to taxes, touring to recording, non-profits to limited liability companies, the members of GG Arts Law--Brian Taylor Goldstein and Robyn Guilliams--will discuss and answer your questions about basic legal and business issues, concepts, trends, problems, and practices important to the arts and entertainment field. GG Arts Law is honored to be a part of MusicalAmercia's list of national and international correspondents and bloggers in the field of the Performing Arts.

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"Raising the Curtain"

"Raising the Curtain", our regularly updated blog/newsletter featuring commentary, news, ideas, discussions, issues, strategies, solutions, opinions, and legal developments which we feel are important to the arts and entertainment industry.

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Visas for Foreign Artists

With limited exceptions, any artist or artist professional who performs or provides services in the United States—regardless of where they are paid, who pays them, or even whether or not they are paid at all—needs to obtain work authorization. Here's where you can learn more:

www.artistsfromabroad.org
The most highly regarded and authoritative on-line resource for obtaining work authorizations for foreign artists and arts professionals to perform in the United States. Produced and maintained by the League of American Orchestras and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the site also provides forms, sample documents, and links to key government websites.

"An Inconvenient Truth" (PDF, 620 KB)
If "Artistsfromabroad.org" seems too overwhelming, check out this overview of the entire visa process, which Brian wrote for the Winter 2010 edition of CMA Matters, a publication of Chamber Music America.

www.uscis.gov
The website for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Government Agency that replaced the INS and is now responsible for approving visa petitions and granting work authorizations. Their website provides explanations of various visa categories and requirements, downloadable forms, and on-line filing, as well as opportunities to check current visa processing times and to track your visa petitions on-line.

www.travel.state.gov
The website for the United States Department of State. Once USCIS has approved a petition for work authorization, the artist is going to need to apply for the visa and pick it up at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The State Department website contains links to all of the U.S. Consulates around the world, as well as information on making appointments, visa processing times, and application procedures, forms, and fees.

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US Tax Issues for Foreign Artists

All foreign artist and arts professionals who perform or work in the United States are subject to federal (and, in some cases, state) taxation. These are the resources we recommend to learn more:

www.artistsfromabroad.org
The most highly regarded and authoritative on-line resource for obtaining work authorizations for foreign artists to perform in the United States is regularly updated and revised by our very own Robyn Guilliams to include all the most current information on U.S. tax requirements for foreign artists — including information on withholding, tax exemptions, and central withholding agreements.

Basic US Tax Laws for Foreign Artists (PDF, 285 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to provide you with basic concepts and information about the US tax obligations imposed on foreign artists and performers. Its a complex (and often maddening topic), but this may give you a place to embark upon your quest for further enlightenment.

www.irs.gov
The website for the Internal Revenue Service contains information on how to research international tax treaties, as well as forms for claiming exemptions and applying for central withholding agreements.

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Copyrights, Trademarks and Licensing


Basic Copyright Concepts (PDF, 256 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to provide you with basic concepts, information, and ideas in the area of copyrights and licenses. While far from exhaustive, it's a place to start on your quest for further enlightenment.

"Busted! The Top 10 Myths of Music Copyright" (PDF, 263 KB)
Our list of the most commonly held, but incorrect, myths about music copyrights.

"Breezing Through The Winds of Licensing-How Not To Get Blown Away!" (PDF, 263 KB)
Brian's discussion of issues important for those who will be presenting or performing music composed by others.

"Copyrights—and Wrongs" (PDF, 263 KB)
An overview of copyrights and licensing issues for composer and performers, which, which Brian wrote for the Spring 2012 edition of CMA Matters, a publication of Chamber Music America.

www.copyright.gov
The website of the U.S. Copyright Office provides forms and instructions for registering copyrights, a searchable database to find the owner or publisher of a registered copyright, and resources and publications to answer basic copyright and licensing questions.

www.uspto.gov
The website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides forms and instructions for registering trademarks, as well as resources and publications to answer basic trademark questions. You can also use the searchable database to perform a basic trademark search to see if a name or trademark has already been registered.

www.ascap.com and www.bmi.com
ASCAP and BMI are the two most popular performance rights organizations. They license the right to "perform" songs and musical works created and owned by the songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers who are ASCAP or BMI members and also those members of foreign performing rights organizations who are represented by either ASCAP or BMI in the United States. Performance licenses include the right to sing or perform a musical work in a live concert setting (including cabaret's, nightclubs, etc) or to play a previously recorded performance on the radio, tv, or through a sound system at a restaurant, special event, store, or anywhere where there is a public gathering. A performance license does not include the right to perform a work "dramatically"—that is, as part of a play, staged performance, or any format where the music will be part of the plot or used to tell a story and/or where there are sets, costumes, etc. For those uses, you need a "dramatic license" which must be obtained directly from the owner or publisher of the work you need to license. ASCAP and BMI also do not issue mechanical licenses or synchronization licenses—just performance licenses.

www.harryfox.com
The Harry Fox Agency provides mechanical licensing, collection, and distribution services on behalf of composers and publishers in the U.S. A mechanical license is the right to make an audio recording of the performance of someone's music. So, if you're a singer or musician and you want to make a CD of featuring you performing music written by someone else, you would contact Harry Fox to obtain the necessary licenses. Harry Fox does not license audio/visual rights or anything where you will be using music as part of a film, video, or any visual media. For that, you need a synchronization license which must be obtained directly from the publisher or composer.

We also recommend the following books (yes, we all remember books...the things with real pages!) all of which are available through Amazon.com or the links indicated:

The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle by Joy Butler
Published by Sashay Communications
www.sashaycommunications.com
ISBN 0-9672940-1-0

Legal Guide The Visual Artist by Tad Crawford
Published by Allworth Press
www.Allworth.com
ISBN 1-58115-003-2

All You Need To Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman
Published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0-7432-4637-3

Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business by Richard Stim
Published by Nolo Press
www.nolo.com
ISBN 0-87337-438-X

A Guide To Producing Plays and Musicals Edited by Frederic B. Vogel and Ben Hodges
Published by The Commercial Theater Institute
www.applausepub.com
ISBN 978-1-55783-652-6

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Contracts


Basic Contract Concepts (PDF, 204 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to provide you with basic concepts, information, and ideas on drafting and understanding contracts. Again, it's just an overview, but, if nothing else, it will convince you to write things down.

We also recommend the following books (yes, we all remember books...the things with real pages!) all of which are available through Amazon.com or the links indicated:

The Permission Seeker's Guide Through the Legal Jungle by Joy Butler
Published by Sashay Communications
www.sashaycommunications.com
ISBN 0-9672940-1-0

Legal Guide The Visual Artist by Tad Crawford
Published by Allworth Press
www.Allworth.com
ISBN 1-58115-003-2

Business and Legal Forms for Theater by Charles Grippo
Published by Allworth Press
www.Allworth.com
ISBN 1-58115-323-6

A Guide To Producing Plays and Musicals Edited by Frederic B. Vogel and Ben Hodges
Published by The Commercial Theater Institute
www.applausepub.com
ISBN 978-1-55783-652-6

Contracts for the Film & Television Industry by Mark Litwak
Published by Silman-James Press
ISBN 1-879505-46-0

Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business by Richard Stim
Published by Nolo Press
www.nolo.com
ISBN 0-87337-438-X

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Non-Profit and For-Profit Business Formation and Management


Basic Business Structures (PDF, 243 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to provide you with basic concepts on C-corps, LLCs, non-profits, and other corporate formation issues. Even Microsoft and Sony had to start somewhere!

For Profit vs. Nonprofit: What's the Best Fit for Your Organization? (PDF, 285 KB)
An article by Robyn published in the Winter 2014 newsletter of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.

"A Legal Tutorial for Fundraisers" (PDF, 285 KB)
As creative fundraising strategies are to be encouraged, Robyn created this overview of the numerous rules that govern fundraising practices.

www.emanagementhelp.org
A collaborative effort by a number of entities which covers nearly every aspect of effective management of both for-profit and non-profit entities, with sections ranging from human resources to cloud computing to stress management. Resource tools include fact sheets, forms, sample policies, and board manuals.

We also recommend the following books (yes, we all remember books...the things with real pages!) all of which are available through Amazon.com or the links indicated:

Form Your Own Limited Liability Company by Anthony Mancuso
Published by Nolo Press
www.nolo.com

Music Law: How to Run Your Band's Business by Richard Stim
Published by Nolo Press
www.nolo.com
ISBN 0-87337-438-X

A Guide To Producing Plays and Musicals Edited by Frederic B. Vogel and Ben Hodges
Published by The Commercial Theater Institute
www.applausepub.com
ISBN 978-1-55783-652-6

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Legal Relationships: Agents, Managers, Producers, Independent Contractors and Employees


A License To Manage (PDF, 202 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to assist both agents and artists in a general understanding of state licensing requirements for anyone who books engagements for artist in exchange for a commission,

Who Have You Been Sleeping With? Understanding Legal Relationships in the Arts (PDF, 202 KB)
A memorandum created by GG Arts Law to assist you in pulling back the sheets to discover the various roles the same individuals can play in legal transactions. When you book an artist, are you hiring the artist or the manager? When you represent an artist, who is the "client"? What does it really mean to be an "agent"? When is someone an independent contractor or an employee? Who really should be getting a 1099? These issues impact everything from contract liability to tax obligations to licensing to ethical duties and should be understood by artists, producers, presenters, and managers/agents alike. Don't be fooled by titles alone!

Guidelines for Determining Independent Contractors versus Employees in the Performing Arts (PDF, 16 KB)
These are surprisingly helpful guidelines provided by the New York State Unemployment Insurance Division, the Division of Labor Standards and the Division of Safety and Health, to establish whether the relationship between a performing artist and the party engaging their services is an employment relationship or that of an independent contractor. While they are written by the State of New York, the concepts are consistent with most other states and jurisdictions and assist you in performing at least an initial analysis of the situation.

"Can You Be Fired?" (PDF, 16 KB)
A publication from the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York discussing when employment termination may or may not be illegal. While you should check the specific laws of your own state, many of these same concepts will apply.

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General Resources and Miscellaneous Links


www.vlany.org
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City delivers pro bono and low cost legal services and information to over 10,000 members of the arts community each year. In addition, VLA plays a national role in educating individual artists, arts professionals within arts and cultural institutions, attorneys, students and the general public about legal and business issues that affect artistic and creative endeavors. VLA also plays an important role as an advocate on behalf of the arts community in different ways, ranging from participation in litigation, making public statements about matters of interest to the arts community, and making recommendations about pending legislation. Lastly, through its MediateArt program, VLA pairs artists with mediators to mediate or resolve arts-related disputes outside the traditional legal framework.

www.napama.org
North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents ("NAPAMA") is an organization comprised of a diverse group of managers, agents, self-managed artists, affiliated business vendors, and presenters – all industry colleagues in the field of the live performing arts. NAPAMA offers educational programs and resources, as well as critical industry information, databases, services, updates, and support. Brian Taylor Goldstein serves as NAPAMA's Legal Advisor and all NAPAMA members receive a discount on the services of GG Arts Law.

www.iamaworld.com
The International Artist Managers Association ("IAMA") is the only worldwide association for classical music artist managements. It is dedicated to serving all its members' needs including Affiliate and Group members and it strives to raise professional standards in the business of music. Services include: International tax and legal helplines, work permits, regular newsletters, an international mediation & arbitration scheme, an international watchlist, discount schemes for publications and world meetings, seminars, social functions, trade missions, an international young artist programme and access to a team of dedicated staff. Brian Taylor Goldstein serves as IAMA'S U.S. Legal Advisor and all IAMA members receive a discount on the services of GG Arts Law.

www.artspresenters.org
The Association of Performing Arts Presenters is a membership organization, dedicated to bringing performing artists and audiences together by providing visionary thinking, professional development, resource sharing, and advocacy, in support of its members and all those who create and disseminate the performing arts. Representing both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors of the industry, Arts Presenters members hail from all 50 states and more than 15 countries across the globe and range from large performing arts centers in major urban cities, outdoor festivals and rural community-focused organizations to academic institutions, individual artists, artist managers, and performing arts administrators. Its over 1,900 members bring performances to over 2 million audience-goers each week. No other association membership rivals the breadth of creative expression, representing disciplines ranging from all forms of dance, music, theater and family programming to puppetry, circus, magic, attractions and performance art.

www.operaamerica.org
Opera America serves the opera community with an array of publications and online resources, regional workshops, an annual conference, and network-specific services such as conference calls, e-mail listserves, and direct contact with staff with expertise in opera production, administration, and education.

www.americanorchestras.org
Founded in 1942, and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League of American Orchestras leads, encourages, and supports America's orchestras while communicating to the public the value and importance of orchestras and the music they perform. The League provides a wealth of services, meaningful information, learning and leadership opportunities, and grass-roots advocacy to its diverse membership, which encompasses nearly 1,000 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes, and links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers, board members, volunteers, staff members, and business partners.

www.danceusa.org
Dance/USA is the premiere national service organization for professional dance. Dance/USA's members include over 400 ballet, modern, ethnic, jazz and tap companies, dance service and presenting organizations, individuals, and other organizations nationwide.

www.americansforthearts.org
Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. With offices in Washington, DC and New York, and more than 5,000 organizational and individual members and stakeholders across the country, they are focused on three primary goals: foster an environment in which the arts can thrive and contribute to the creation of more livable communities; generate more public- and private-sector resources for the arts and arts education; and build individual appreciation of the value of the arts.

www.musicalamerica.com
Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts contains more than 14,000 worldwide contacts and is distributed to approximately 11,000 international readers. The award-winning MusicalAmerica.com features daily international news, contact information, photo archives, blogs, press releases and more in addition to having 80,000 visitors and an average 400,000 page views a month. The third Musical America Worldwide product is the free weekly E-newsletter, which is published and distributed every Friday to more than 20,000 performing arts professionals. Musical America offers a variety of advertising options to expose your talent to a worldwide audience and is an essential resource for those looking for talent, resources, and services in the arts.

www.ednalandau.com
The incomparable and legendary Edna Landau, founder of IMG Artists, one of the largest and most powerful management companies in the world, is available for consultations for artists, ensembles, and organizations. Edna also writes "Ask Edna", a free weekly career advice blog hosted by MusicalAmerica.com. For those looking for wise, sensible, and valuable career and organizational advice in the performing arts industry, look no further. Managers don't come with more expertise or class than Edna!

www.accountingcoach.com
An excellent resource for learning accounting and bookkeeping basics.

www.lordfoppington.org
Admittedly, this has nothing to do with arts law, or any kind of law, but Brian insisted that this be included. For those of you who receive emails marked "From the Desk of His Lordship..." this will explain all.

www.emacdesign.com
For all of your graphic design and illustration needs, including imaginative embellishments, artistic trappings, and other creative inspirations, we recommend Eric MacDicken to all of our discriminating clients.


We also recommend the following books (yes, we all remember books...the things with real pages!) all of which are available through Amazon.com or the links indicated:

Brand, Buzz & Success by W. Blake Althen
Published by Morris Publishing
www.humanfactor.net
ISBN 978-0-9816472-0-3

The Stage Producer's Business and Legal Guide by Charles Grippo
Published by Allworth Press
www.Allworth.com
ISBN 1-58115-241-8

A Guide To Producing Plays and Musicals Edited by Frederic B. Vogel and Ben Hodges
Published by The Commercial Theater Institute
www.applausepub.com
ISBN 978-1-55783-652-6

The Performing Arts Business Encyclopedia by Leonard DuBoff
Published by Allworth Press
www.Allworth.com
ISBN 1-880559-42-0


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