Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Peter H. Karlen


The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) may represent the most important artists' rights legislation in the history of the United States. Yet, according to the author, VARA is replete with ambiguities, trouble spots, omissions, and potential problems which will only be resolved in the courts or, preferably, through early legislative amendments. This article analyzes the key portions of VARA dealing with subject matter, ownership, rights, duration, waiver, works in buildings, and preemption. Each area of the statutory text is followed by the author's commentary.