Art and the Law


Course Code:
LAW 3502
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Formerly Law 236) This course covers the legal, public policy, and ethical issues that concern artists, art dealers, auction houses, museums, collectors, and others who comprise the world of visual art. Our focus will be on artists' rights (including copyright, resale royalties, moral rights, and freedom of expression issues), how the market in art functions (such as the artist-dealer relationship, auction rules, and issues faced by collectors), and the legal and ethical rules governing the collection, donation, and display of visual art, particularly for museums and their donors. The course focuses on certain recurrent themes: How do statutes and courts define (or attempt to define) art-and how is art defined differently for different legal purposes? How does the special character of art justify or require different treatment under the law from that accorded other tangible personal property, and how does (and should) the expressive nature of art affect the way it is owned, protected, regulated, or funded? We anticipate having two or three visitors to the class during the quarter, such as a gallery owner, auctioneer, and museum director. In addition, we will also have the students participate in at least one or two interactive negotiation simulation exercises inspired by real situations and controversies in the art world. Graduate students from other departments are welcome to take this course with the permission of the instructor. This class is limited to 30 students, with an effort made to have students from SLS (25 students will be selected by lottery) and 5 non-law students by consent of instructor. Elements used in grading: Class participation, attendance, final exam.

Current Offerings

2017-2018 Autumn

Art and the Law LAW 3502 Section 01 Class #1078

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 25

Notes: In-class Final.

    • In-class Final
    • Self Scheduled
  • Room: TBA
  • @
  • Tue
  • Room: Law95

Past Offerings

2015-2016 Winter

Art and the Law LAW 236 Section 01 Class #45261

  • 2 Units
  • Enrollment Limitations: Lottery 30
    • 1L Winter Elective

Notes: In-class Final. Open to First-Year JD Students.

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