Indianapolis, IN asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Contracts for Indiana

Q: Is it legal to use art for commercial use from a minor, if said art was bought as a comission?

We're making a show, and for the show we need art, we have a very talented artist that wants to help us but the problem is they are underage. We're wondering is it possible to use the art from the minor for commercial use if we bought it as a commission? If not, would we have to end up having parents sign off for the minors art work to be used for commercial use?

1 Lawyer Answer

A: When you say "use" the art, what do you mean? You are able to resell a painting, like you could resell a book. However, buying the item does not give you rights in the copyright associated with the work.

Because a minor is involved, you need to tread carefully. Minors are not bound by contract nor can they give up their rights. You would need to work with her parent/guardian. Because it is complicated and each state's law as to treatment of minors may differ, it would be wise to work with an attorney familiar with the laws of your state.

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