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SRQ DAILY Dec 28, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"A lot of authors haven't had as a practical matter an effective remedy because it costs more to sue than you would get."

- Bruce Lehman, Lehman Nilon & Associates founder

[Copyright]  Sarasota Expert Crafted Artist Protections in Federal Omnibus
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Tucked within the omnibus spending bill signed late Sunday by President Donald Trump is a new law aimed at protecting freelance artists from having their work used for unlicensed purpose by unscrupulous publishers. Part of that language was written with the help of Bruce Lehman, a Sarasota expert on copyright law.

Lehman, an advisor for the Artists Rights Society of the United States and for the Association of Medical Illustrators, has been one of the nation’s lead voices on copyright issues for years, including serving as President Bill Clinton’s Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He paid close attention to the crafting of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019. He noted enforcement of copyright law in the U.S. falls entirely under federal jurisdiction, which in the past has required artists fearful of infringement of bringing action in federal court, a costly and often inconvenient venue. The new CASE Act allows cases involving less than $15,000 in claims to be settled by a tribunal convened by the federal copyright office.

“It’s intended to deal with cases in which the damages would not be sufficient to justify full-scale federal litigation,” he said. “A lot of authors haven’t had as a practical matter an effective remedy because it costs more to sue than you would get.”

But such legislation inevitably becomes complicated— and it holds the potential for unintended consequences as well. Many of Lehman’s own clients in the medical illustration and visual art world, some of whom contract with international companies known to reproduce illustrations in multiple medical journals without asking, feared the CASE Act could eventually be turned against artists themselves. The fear is that publishers could push the artists into CASE Act arbitration against their will and settle a dispute for a small amount of money, then go about republishing the work excessively, potentially an action that would result in much larger damages.

Lehman helped craft language dealing specifically with this concern, and it was ultimately written into the CASE Act and the omnibus bill by Rep. Gerald Nadler, D-N.Y. The language makes clear the CASE Act “is intended to be completely voluntary for both claimants and respondents.” It also makes clear publishers can’t require original work-for-hire contracts for all arbitration go to a CASE Act tribunal rather than being taken up in the existing federal court channels. It’s a fine balancing act, Lehman said, trying to make sure artists have a cheaper way to settle small disputes without relinquishing their rights to seek major damages when appropriate.

It could all be especially important to the art world in Sarasota, where the Ringling College of Art & Design produces illustration majors, many of whom go into medical illustrations.

Of course, the spending bill itself has become controversial. Trump criticized a COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress that’s closely tied to the omnibus spending bill, but ultimately signed it into law to avert a government shutdown. Susan Nilon, managing partner for Lehman Nilon & Associates, has been tracking the legislation closely for the firm. She said the language survived into the final omnibus bill because the CASE Act provisions had bipartisan support in Congress. 

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Caldwell Trust Company-Managing Wealth—Preserving Legacy 

Read more from the Caldwell Trust Company BrandStory

[Holiday Donation]  Santa Visits Sarasota Memorial

In celebration of the Christmas holiday, Mr. Claus and his band of elves made a special stop at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, dropping off toys for young patients. Because of COVID-19, they remained outside the hospital and masked to keep everyone at SMH safe this holiday season. Underneath the Santa suit was Ben Kalish, and his elves included his parents, Sarasota Memorial Chief Legal Officer Carol Ann Kalish, and her husband Greg Kalish. This is the 38th consecutive year that Sarasota Memorial attorneys arranged for Santa to stop by the hospital.  

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Virtual: Bookstore 1 Sarasota: PoetryMic , January 10, 2pm

PoetryMic is a series that presents an array of varied and talented poets. This month's poets are Don McLagan, Liz Kelner Pozen, Mary Saily and Carol Sundberg. There is no charge for this first PoetryMic event on January 10, 2021 at 2pm. There is an optional fee of $7.00 to help defray the cost to the bookstore. Reservations required for Zoom link.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Center for Architecture: Designing Sarasota an Architectural History , January 12 – April 17, Gallery hours.

In collaboration with the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation and the AIA Gulf Coast Chapter, this exhibit will examine the unique history of architecture in Sarasota from the time of Native Americans to the present and will run from January 12 until April 17, 2021. Timed reservation information will be available soon.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Virtual: Speaking of the Arts with Francisco Serrano , January 12, 1pm

Arts Advocates continues its Speaking of the Arts series with Francisco Serrano, a member of England's Royal Ballet. Serrano will share his star-studded journey from Sarasota to London via New York and Havana, as well as video clips of him performing and rehearsing. "Speaking of the Arts... Meet Francisco Serrano, Artist with England's Royal Ballet” is on January 12, at 1pm and is free via Zoom. Registration, which is limited, is required. Arts Advocates is pleased to offer this Speaking of the Arts program in collaboration with the award-winning Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS), led by Serrano's parents, Cuban-born Ariel Serrano, artistic director, and Wilmian Hernandez, managing director.

[SOON]  THEATER: Virtual: Florida Studio Theatre: Discovering Heritage , January 14, 11am

FST audiences may remember the work of husband and wife creative team Jason Odell Williams and Charlotte Cohn from their Winter Mainstage play, Handle With Care. Now, we reconnect with the couple as they share about their latest work - a musical - which continues their creative exploration of Cohn's Jewish heritage. As the Nazis plan to round up all of the Danish Jews for concentration camp assignment in the fall of 1943, one family of five attempts to elude capture by hiding in a fishing boat traveling to Sweden - and freedom. In this FST Forum on January 14, 2021 at 11am, we will examine what it takes to bring such an emotionally-charged story to life and how to tell a true story with justice, authenticity, and heart.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Urbanite Theatre: Outdoor Reading Series: Thirst , January 14 – January 16, 6pm

Thirst by Ronán Noone and directed by Brendan Ragan will be read outdoors on January 14, 15 and 16 at 6pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus. Set in the Tyrone family kitchen during Eugene O’Neill’s classic play Long Day’s Journey into Night, Ronán Noone’s Thirst explores the comedy, tragedy and triumph of two Irish immigrant servant girls’ search for love, success, and a sense of belonging in their new world. 

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Downtown Campus

[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel: Cabaret by the Bay: Michael Ross Quartet , January 15 – January 16, 7:30pm

On Friday, January 15, 2021 and Saturday, January 16, 2021, enjoy live jazz with the Michael Ross Quartet in the Van Wezel's Grand Foyer with food and beverage by Mattison's. Doors open at 7pm and the performance begins at 7:30pm. "Get a good sound, swing hard and play the bass like a bass," says Michael Ross about his one and only instrument: double bass. A fixture in Florida's jazz scene, he has lived by those words for some 37 years. Dynamic jazz and world music vocalist Fred Johnson, who has toured with Chick Corea, Roy Haynes, Christian McBride, Richard Elliot and more, joins him alongside keyboardist Ron Reinhardt and drummer Walt Hubbard. Tickets to the general public go on sale on Friday, December 18 at 10:00am.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: The Ringling: 2020: (Di)Visions of America with John Sims , January 16 – January 25

The John and Mable Ringling is pleased to welcome Sarasota based artist and
a 2020-2021 Ringling Artist in Residence John Sims to the stage of the Historic Asolo Theater for the premiere presentation of 2020: (Di)Visions of America. The work marks the culmination of artist John Sims’ 20-year long multimedia project Recoloration Proclamation, which features a series of Confederate flag installations, performances and exhibitions that explore the complexity of identity, cultural appropriation and visual terrorism in the context of Confederate iconography and African American culture. In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Sims will offer a live-streamed presentation on Jan. 16, with recorded broadcast performances available for viewing January 17 and 18, 2021. The artist’s fall residency at the museum was dedicated to planning and producing the new work. After the performances, the Historic Asolo Theater will be open to visitors for AfroDixia: The Ringling Museum Session, a flag viewing and listening experience available January 18 to 25, 2021. This audio-visual-poetic pop-up exhibition will present a giant version of the artist's signature Afro Confederate flag, in conversation with the audio screening of The AfroDixieRemixes. Tickets to the performance are $15 per household, $13.50 for museum members.

Historic Asolo Theater

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Embracing Our Differences 2021 Outdoor Exhibit , January 20 – April 1, Hours vary.

Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has used the power of art and prose to promote diversity. One way it accomplishes this is through its annual, juried international outdoor art exhibition consisting of 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quote. The response to the call for artwork and inspirational quotes brought 15,912 entries pouring in from 128 countries and 48 states. Students from 412 schools around the world submitted artwork or quotes to the juried exhibit. The winning quotes and art will be showcased in the 18th annual exhibit, January 20 through April 1, in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park.

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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