What do an artist and a lawyer have in common? Kelli Proia lets us know.


What do an artist and a lawyer have in common? (Sounds like the start of a joke, right?) Quite a bit when it comes to understanding the concept of  personal value. Today’s conversation is with Kelli Proia, an experienced intellectual property attorney. Turns out we both have a passion for helping people (especially women) get a good grasp on their self worth. Kelli believes that often a person doesn’t understand their worth when it comes to negotiating contracts. In this lively discussion she describes what constitutes a good contract and the pitfalls of having a “not so good” contract.  (Warning: real life examples used by yours truly) We end the chat with an in depth discussion about Pinterest, which has been a hot topic as of late. It was fascinating taking a look at it all through an attorney’s eyes. She covers what you are explicitly agreeing to when you click “I agree.” You get to make the call! This is one episode that you won’t want to miss! We would love to hear your thoughts

P.S. If you make it all the way to the end, I may have thrown in a pre-taping blooper. Who says a lawyer and an artist can’t be fun?!
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  • Great interview Monica and Kelli! Lots of great information.

    • Monica Lee

      Thanks so much Lesley! You are such a sweetie 🙂

  • WOW! I am really rethinking my pinterest account now!! HMMM…this was incredibly thought provoking and helpful–and I shared it on FB.

  • great interview!!

  • So informative! I agree ~ bring that girl back!

    Love your back-and-forth banter too. Keeps things real, entertaining and non-boring when it comes to understanding law. 🙂

    I put my name on everything I send out into the world. HOWEVER I think it’s important to not get too hung up stealing and piracy.

    I actually encourage and ask people to spread my shtuff around… as long as they give credit. Of course, I know there will be people out there that take and not give credit. I think it’s worth the risk to be able market yourself.

    In the case of copyright when you have a contract with a manufacturer for a specific artwork that indeed makes sense to pull back and take that artwork offline, since you have an obligation to protect the contract.

    • Hi Barbra.
      Thank you for viewing my interview with Monica. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I think it is wonderful that you want your followers to spread your “stuff around…as long as they give credit”. You are giving them permission to do so, and as the copyright owner, there’s nothing wrong with that.

      Of course, there are many artists, photographers, designers, and others who don’t want their copyrighted work spread around.

      I actually believe the point about copyright infringement has not been made clear enough. Under copyright law, artists, authors, designers, photographers, etc. have the right to decide how their copyrighted work is copied. The artist has the right to control whether or not their image gets put on Pinterest at all. In other words, it’s not up to the person doing the pinning.

      And giving credit and a link back does not satisfy copyright law. You need permission, and that is what you are agreeing to when you accept the Terms & Conditions on Pinterest. You are saying that, before you pin, the artist gave you permission.

      There’s a big difference between permission and credit. The simple solution is to ask permission and give credit.

      • Hi Kelly! Exactly. I agree with you that most people don’t know what copyrights are all about and it needs to be more widely understood.

        I think you really laid out well what’s going on with Pinterest and I agree. Risky business, that Pinterest.

        Also… anytime you post another artist’s work on your blog that’s also potential copyright infringement. A point I think you also made in the video.

        I was just saying that on the artist’s side, you should consider what you’re comfortable with re: how your work is posted. I personally like to openly communicate that because it not only gives people THE permission but makes them realize they need to HAVE permission. And I think it’s good to do it in a gracious, classy way. I think it’s just good to be upfront about it.


  • Hi there!

    I just listened while trying to clean my studio. Great job Kelli and Monica! I actually forgot that I was cleaning (a dreaded task) because you were so interesting. Thanks

  • Wonderful info, and how can you not LOVE Kelli!?!

    • Monica Lee

      I agree! how you can you not LOVE Kelli!?

  • This was so informative, and a little scary! I used to paint floorcloths way back when. One of the reasons I stopped making them was that I became terrified that someone would slip on one on their floor and sue me!
    The legalities can be so overwhelming and a little paralyzing. Such an important topic. Thanks for covering it!

  • Anne Stone

    So glad you recommend Melinda Emerson @smallbizlady. She is a wonderful woman, all business, and social savvy! I was thinking of her jaunt when you led up to mentioning her. I highly recommend attending one of her events. She has presented many places, including National Assn of Community College Entrepreneurship. What it takes to BYOB (be your own boss!) education can empower so many!

    • Thanks so much for watching. Melinda is great. Anyone starting out in business for themselves today should read her book. Have you participated in her Wednesday night Twitter chat #smallbizchat? I have learned so much from her and her guests.

      • Anne Stone

        Thanks for the suggestion on the twitter chat. I am sure it is lively. Melinda’s preferred social network (other than in person!) is twittering think…

  • So much to think about–think I need to watch this interview again! You both gave good advice that can be applied to so many areas of life! Thanks you!!

    • Monica Lee

      Oh Thanks Carole! I LOVE that you applied it to all sorts of areas of your life!

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