Sunday, June 13, 2010

Twitter Bribe to Benefit Springboard

The gist: To benefit Minnesota Creatives, I will bribe the entire world to follow me on Twitter for $1 each.

I’ll also be drawing for 2 tickets to Springboard for the Arts' Bounce Bash to benefit the Artists' Access Healthcare program.

Here’s how this is going to work:

If I have 500 total followers by noon on June 25th, I will donate $250 to Springboard for the Arts. Follow me here:

For every follower (new or old) that sends out a tweet promoting Springboard and the Bounce Bash using the hashtag #bouncebash, I will enter them in a drawing for the tickets.

Not sure of what to say? Here’s the simple version for Twitter:

Kunkle_Law – Donating $1 to @Springboard #bouncebash per Twitter follower:

For more information on Springboard and the Bounce Bash go to:

If you are interested in doing more, please consider donating a few dollars directly to Springboard or coming down on the 25th to the Bounce Bash.

I hope you choose to participate and make a difference.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

AIGA Solopreneurs breakfast event

From AIGA Minnesota Website. Sign-up available at the AIGA website. Event is Thursday, June 24, 2010.

Discover your entrepreneurial spirit and business desire. If freelancing or self-employment is in your future, this event will provide ideas, possibilities and insight. Join us for this special event, where a trio of speakers awaits your questions. Hear from Doug Powell, Principal, Schwartz Powell; Dan Woychick, Principal, Woychick Design; and Kenneth Kunkle, Kunkle Law PLC.

Kenneth Kunkle is a local attorney whose practice is focused on working with creative professionals. Blogging at, Ken provides a wide field of knowledge in the areas of business, copyright and trademarks. His long history working in, and with, a variety of creative fields provides a unique understanding of creativity and the law. Ken will be discussing issues related to business structures, work for hire and independent contractor status.

Doug Powell − a designer, business strategist, entrepreneur, and curator of the blog Merge − will offer next steps to help you build your great new business ideas. Or maybe allow Doug’s inspiration to bust you out of a narrow way of working. He suggests the next generation of designers will have to find other ways of working, providing value and generating revenue. Learn tips to start and launch your design-driven business. and

Dan Woychick is a designer and creative strategist with over 20 years dedicated to helping non-profit organizations communicate more successfully. He has helped clients with brand identity and positioning, market research, and the design and production of print and electronic communications. Dan is experienced in building a network of collaborators, hiring employees, working from home and renting office space. He will share his thoughts on marketing yourself to find clients and focus your work. For more info, go to or read his blog, think + do: an exploration of non-profit marketing and design

Time: Doors open at 8:30 A.M.; Presentation from 9:00–10:30 A.M.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Magic Words for Copyright Transfer

Last week the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Minnesota) ruled in Thomsen v. Famous Dave's of Am., a case involving a copyright infringement claim by an independent signage designer that designed and built various signs and interior elements for Famous Dave’s Restaurant around the Twin Cities. Following a prior dispute between the parties, where Thomsen alleged infringement of his copyright (no work for hire agreement or other assignments were entered into), the parties entered into a settlement agreement. As a part of that settlement, the parties agreed that:
    Thomson ". . . is releasing all copyright, proprietary design and sign work to [Famous Dave's] in all other restaurants that he has worked on with the exception of . . ."

Adopting language from the 9th Circuit, the Bench ruled that
    " A transfer of ownership requires no "magic words" to satisfy copyright law; even "a one-line pro forma statement will do." (citing, Radio Television Espanola S.A. v. New World Entm't, Ltd. , 183 F.3d 922, 927 (9th Cir. 1999)).

While not earth-shattering, this opinion is interesting in that it appears to be the first opinion in Minnesota that explicitly adopts the position that simple wording in a copyright transfer can meet the necessary language needed to assign a copyright under Section 204(a) of the Copyright Act as long as the basic terms are of the transfers are spelled out.

For Creatives, this opinion makes clear the importance of having clear and understandable agreements in place. Reliance on technicalities is not in the best interest of the parties. While some aspects of copyright transfers and assignments require “magic words,” other aspects can be transferred or otherwise affected by ill-fitting language and contradictory clauses. Having a contract reviewed by an attorney can help by providing trained eyes to help make sure that what you think you are signing is what you are actually signing.