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Day ​​4 blogs - July 20, 2016

Artists' Rights

Blogger:  ​3L Jordan Hartsell

We started the morning with class, where we discussed trademarks and artists’ different rights. I have taken an intellectual property law class in the past, so I had a general idea of what trademarks consisted of, but I had never discussed them in an artistic setting. I knew many artists signed their paintings or painted in such a way that their style was recognized, but I was unaware that artists could obtain protection for their work because of their style or signature.

We went onto discuss VARA (Visual Artists Rights Act), which only applies to certain visual works, but not all. VARA has many standards that a piece of art must meet in order to qualify for protection.

Prof. Carpenter teaching class in ItalyWe discussed the organization and structure of museums, the Uffizi Gallery specifically, since we visited there yesterday. We discussed how not only our tour guide, Viola, but also apparently many Italians were surprised a German was appointed director of the Uffizi, an Italian museum. Evidently, this director was a new step for many not only in the museum world, but also in the art world in general. However, our class discussed several different aspects of the Uffizi and artists’ moral rights, which I was unaware of before this class. Professor Carpenter ​then discussed the moral rights of artists, which are much more prominent in Europe than in the United States.

Overall, I believe it was a very informative class and helped explain what rights artists who do not have a registered mark or copyright actually have. I was surprised to learn an artist has the right to simply decide whether their works could be altered or destroyed once sold or given to another individual.

Above: ​The Uffizi Gallery
Below: Street art outside of the Uffizi Gallery


Blogger:  ​​2L​ Neal Galloway

I just watched the moon rise over a Tuscan mountain from the open courtyard at Santa Chiara. 

Today we started with a class on trademark and artist’s moral rights. The trademark reminded me a lot of “Mad Men,” specifically the scene where Don blew a contract with Hershey’s. He told them they didn’t need any advertising because people already knew what a Hershey bar was. They wrapper was emblazoned with the name and the wrapper was brown like what was inside. It was chocolate and sweet, something he was given as a child when he had been good. Every part of that is a trademark. Not just the name, but the entire package evokes the maker. This is a part of intellectual property that hasn’t seemed accessible to me until now, something that has an inexplicable connection with the good. There is more to IP than patents.

After talking with Professor Carpenter, intellectual property seems more accessible than I have previously believed. A lot of people believe that intellectual property is a specialty for people with a hard science background, but Professor Carpenter herself taught Spanish before getting into law and found the specialty because of her love of art. I don’t know if I will follow that path, but it is comforting to know that it is open.

After class we went to the local pool. When I went to the high diving board, I chickened out of doing a flip but most of the girls here did one.

luna di giorno TAMU study abroad
'Luna di giorno' photo courtesy of Texas A&M University Study Abroad Programs.