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Legal protection for creative professionals, cultural institutions, and non-profits

Cultural institutions

Whether you need help with intellectual property asset management, administration and board governance, employment and volunteer management, or ethics and policies, we can help position your organization for ongoing success.

Why we can help

Cultural institutions must strive to be fiscally responsible while remaining true to their mission. We offer legal guidance to help your organization keep pace with today’s ever-changing ethical and professional standards.

Common issues we cover

  • Collections management
  • Cultural property
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Gifts
  • Loans

See our full list of legal services

Client stories

Museum’s story: Curator questions copyright ownership

The scenario

The Goldstein Museum of Design houses a permanent collection of costumes, decorative arts, graphic design, and textiles. The museum’s textile curator submitted a grant application to fund an exhibit of costumes. Some of the costumes were made by well-known fashion designers while others were homemade or their origin was not fully documented. Asked by the grantor how the museum intended to address issues of copyright ownership in the costumes, the museum curator contacted Lehmann PLC for advice.

Our solution

We explained that historically, recognition of a copyright in utilitarian designs has been extremely limited. Although there is legislation pending in Congress to address the specific issue of clothing design, currently there are no provisions in the US Copyright Act which specifically address copyright in clothing designs. Given the circumstances, we discussed what “best practices” would be appropriate. As a result, the curator was able to assure the grantor that their concerns about copyright protection would be adequately addressed.

Read more client stories