Understandably, for those who have not spent years studying law, learning important legal rights and responsibilities regarding their creative output can seem rather daunting. Knowing what should and should not be done is not always straightforward and deciphering between fact and fiction can be challenging. The law sometimes seems as though it’s written in its own mystic language and decoding it can feel somewhat akin to wading through a quagmire! Yet, this very knowledge is so significant for many creative people. After all, misconceptions about such laws even have the potential to cause one a great deal of strife.
Thankfully in order to combat this, Melbourne intellectual property lawyer, Sharon Givoni, has written a new book titled ‘Owning it -A creative’s guide to copyright, contracts and the law’. It explains the Australian laws applicable to many creative fields and businesses, aiming to ‘empower’ readers ‘to take proactive steps to protect [their] creative output’, and business.
The book is set out in a very straightforward, succinct and easy to understand manner. It includes various chapters that overview the operation of the law for numerous creative professions. Some of these include; visual artists, graphic designers, photographers, fashion designers, craftspeople, architects, filmmakers, musicians, models, tattooists, writers and even bloggers.
Not only is this book a great guide to the laws relating to particular creative occupations, but it also considers insurance, contracts, trademarks, design protection, confidentiality and licensing basics. It even overviews legal considerations pertaining to the World Wide Web and social media!
Additionally, this hardback includes many real-life case studies, tips and tables, which helps to translate legal lingo into plain English. It is therefore extremely useful in assisting with ‘understanding about the law so that you can not only protect yourself, but also avoid breaching the rights of others’.
Of course, reading this book does not replace proper professional legal advice tailored to specific situations, but it will point its readers in the right direction. It might even keep some out of trouble!
Unlike most books about law, this one is full of beautiful, colourful drawings, photographs, diagrams, flowcharts and quotes. Book designer and publisher, Tess McCabe, has created a gorgeous user-friendly layout and many of the illustrations are even by the talented author, herself.
You may also recognise one of my images on page 126. My photograph of the limited edition Campbell’s soup cans featuring Andy Warhol’s famous works illustrates the title page for chapter 2.3 regarding ‘reproducing brands and trade marks in your work’.
It is very exciting to be a part of this fabulous book, which demystifies the law for creative people. Givoni has certainly succeeded in making the law easier to understand in her go-to guide. I assure you that this is one book well worth reading. It is informative and empowering.