Saturday, 19 November 2005

Free IP and other advice for writers, artists, designers etc

If you want free advice on intellectual property law, including contracts (and indeed even copies of sample contracts), try the Ownit Creative London Intellectual Property Advice Service, set up by various London colleges. (I don't know of any outside London except a free IP advice clinic in York.)

They have:
  • FAQs on IP generally (trade marks, patents, confidentiality, copyright, moral rights, designs) as well as on art, graphic design, fashion design, product design, film and television (nothing on music or for musicians, booo)
  • factsheets on copyright, patent, confidentiality, registered designs, Creative Commons and film and TV clearances
  • a glossary of IP terms.

Free IP law advice

If you register, which is free, you can ask for advice on any IP issue. Of course the advice will only relate to the position in the UK. If your query is one which needs legal advice you can have one free meeting (max 45 minutes) with a lawyer from Own It’s associated intellectual property law firms. (This service is only available if your operating profit is less than £75,000).

Free events

Also, registered members can go to their very useful sounding free events with advice and networking opportunities.

Free legal documents

Registered members who login have access to a huge range of free template legal documents for use in the creative industries and arts (though they make the point that you should consult a lawyer before using them as everyone's situation is different and the standard stuff in the documents may not suit your particular position).

There are contracts, licences, releases and waivers etc. for film and TV, artists, merchandising, multimedia (technology and software), music (yay), publishing, and a huge range of general and miscellaneous areas like trademarks, design rights, moral rights, confidentiality, patents, consultancy, even a stage designers agreement adaptable for lighting and costume designers! Also don't forget, this is for the UK only, the documents probably won't work in say the US except with a lot of tweaking.

Free business advice

For non-IP advice, e.g. on setting up business in the creative industries, finance, marketing etc, The Enterprise Centre for The Creative Arts will provide a one to one session with one of a range of specialist creative industry business advisors.

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