Liability of Artists in AA

Anime would be nothing without art. This forum is here for artists to discuss the art show and artists' alley.
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marikotoeii
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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:45 am

So I have just taken a day job with an insurance company and have been learning all about the wonderful world of liability.

I had some questions about where liability falls in the Artist Alley.

Now most of us in the Artist Alley are not corporations or businesses as much as we are individuals.

I was curious as to where liability for injury and damages caused by artists and their displays to other artists , staff, or attendees would fall.

i.e. Say an artists's display falls and causes injury to an attendee. Who is liable for the attendess medical bills?

Is there a provision in the purchase of a con badge that takes away the cons liability?

This may sound silly, but consider the fact that the minute you create and sell an itrm there is a certain amount of liability there.

For example, if you make crafts and there are rough or sharp edges and someone gets hurt, there is a liability there too.

This is not something that I have ever seen really discussed at a con before and as someone who has a very involved set up and operation there, it is something I'd like to know.

Liability can come from something as simple as transporting your display. Say you slip, drop your stuff and it flies off hitting someone in the face.

If we could get some info as to our liability for setting up shop I think it would be a great help.

Definately something worth knowing :)

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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by BlackSunRising » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:12 am

[quote=marikotoeii]

I had some questions about where liability falls in the Artist Alley.

Now most of us in the Artist Alley are not corporations or businesses as much as we are individuals.

I was curious as to where liability for injury and damages caused by artists and their displays to other artists , staff, or attendees would fall.

i.e. Say an artists's display falls and causes injury to an attendee. Who is liable for the attendess medical bills?

Is there a provision in the purchase of a con badge that takes away the cons liability?

This may sound silly, but consider the fact that the minute you create and sell an itrm there is a certain amount of liability there.

For example, if you make crafts and there are rough or sharp edges and someone gets hurt, there is a liability there too.
[/quote]

Generally, if an artist causes harm to an attendee, either by faulty merchandise, falling displays, or other accidents or acts of carelessness, the liability would be on the artist. It is unfair to expect that the convention would pick up the medical bills for something that is not the fault of AB.

If an artist's display falls and hurts someone, the liability is on the artist for not ensuring the stability of their display.

It is the responsibility of the artist to ensure the safety of all products and displays they may possess.

There is a fine line between "liability" and "personal responsibility," and it is unfortunate to think that the convention would be held liable for someone selling something faulty.

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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by pulsedemon » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:21 am

http://www.animeboston.com/about/conrules/

[quote=Anime Boston 2011 Rules of Conduct]
Attendees are at their own risk with respect to the dangers incidental to Anime Boston, including personal injury. Acceptance of your membership constitutes consent to the use of the wearer's image or likeness in any recording, transmission, or reproduction of Anime Boston and consent to ejection without refund for inappropriate behavior or failure to comply with the Anime Boston Rules of Conduct.[/quote]

That's not quite exactly what you're talking about, though.

http://www.animeboston.com/events/artis ... rules_faq/

[quote=Artists' Alley Rules and FAQ]
Are there restrictions on how I set up my table display?

Yes. All table displays must be stable. If putting a tall display on your table, it must not be taller (when on the ground) than you are. Try not to block your neighbors' views either.

If your display BENDS, it will be considered unsteady and you will be asked to take it down before it has the CHANCE to fall down and wreak havoc. Anime Boston is not responsible for injuries or damage caused by your display's collapse, but we don't want to see anyone's fun spoiled by some knucklehead's shoddy construction.[/quote]

That's a little less legal-ese than I think you're looking for, though. It's probably not a bad idea to make it more legal-ese.

I guess consider it the way we do for the Dealers' Room.

[quote=dealers' room contract]
LIABILITY. Anyone visiting, viewing, or otherwise participating in Exhibitor’s exhibit is deemed to be the invitee or licensee of Exhibitor, rather than the invitee or licensee of Promoter.
Promoter shall not be liable for any injury whatsoever to the persons conducting or otherwise
participating in the conduct of Exhibitor’s exhibit or to invitees, licensees or guests of Exhibitor.

Exhibitor assumes full responsibility for the actions of its agents, employees, or independent
contractors, whether acting within or without the scope of their authority and agrees to hold
harmless the Indemnifed Parties from responsibility or liability resulting directly or indirectly, or jointly, from other causes which arise because of the actions or omissions of its agents, employees, or independent contractors.[/quote]

There's some other language in there to define terms, but you get the idea.

Since nobody's actually signed up for space yet, it would be pretty easy to add some extra language to the rules. Nikki, what do you think?
Last edited by pulsedemon on Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:24 am, edited 0 times in total.
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marikotoeii
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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:25 am

Its really not to hard to believe that someone would hold AB responsible. I am sure the con itself has some type of insurance liability coverage, or the executive staff have some kind of contingency plan.

I am asking this because of the "what ifs" in life. I think we all need to be aware of our liability in the alley as people coming in and selling things. Especially with a con this size.

It would involve the con from the standpoint that it happened during the event. Would be similar to an attendee tripping over the wires in a video room or what have you.

I think that it would be good to have some official documentation on that, stating where legal liability lies for those participating in the artist alley.

I think the connection to the con in general is stronger becuase we are renting the space. If there is a legal passing of risk, I think its important to get that in writing as a part of the artist alley sign up documents.

You could also delve deeper into this area for legal liability when it comes to non delivered commisions etc. Or equipment or works destroyed by attendees.

A lot of this might get very complicated, but I think that tbere are more and more of us in the Artist Alley that are doing this as a "jobby" somewhere between being actual businesses and hobbies.



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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:32 am

Yes Thats actually exactly what I was looking for!

I would like to point out that people are attending Anime Boston "at their own risk" from what the codes of conduct sounds like, they would not be able to sue if they are injured at the con.

Now guys i am not talking about shirking responsibilities because of a shoddy display (BTW mine is rock solid with about a million ZSipties and constant monitoring, and I have one of the bigger displays out there)

Liability issues and law suits are just very scary serious business and you just have to be cogniscent of your exposures.

(Ive already been working in insurance too long lol)

But I think Christian stepped in and cleared it up nicely. I am sure as such a large con AB has had to deal with the ins and outs of these issues before.

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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by BlackSunRising » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:44 am

[quote=marikotoeii]
It would involve the con from the standpoint that it happened during the event. Would be similar to an attendee tripping over the wires in a video room or what have you.

[/quote]

I feel as though you're making an unjust comparison. If an attendee were to trip over an unsecured wire in a video room, the convention would be liable because it is the responsibility of Anime Boston staff to ensure that all cables were properly marked/taped down/what have you.

Anime Boston staff does not examine each individual piece of merchandise sold in the Artist Alley on good faith that these items within specified guidelines.

As each artist is acting as an individual vendor, it is the responsibility of each vendor to ensure "quality control" of both merchandise and displays.

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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:59 am

if you look in the excerpt Christian posted above it states that AB is nort accountable for personal injury attained at the con, and as a condition of accepting the badge congoers assume that risk.

that statement alone kinda of sums up the whole liability issue.

There is one sticky area:

Now if you are in the dealers room, while you are at the dealers booth the liability is on the dealer, BUT this is not the case when in the Artist Alley per the guidelines that currently exist.

So the comparison would be valid. Enterin the Artist Alley would be like entering the gaming room or any of the other common areas of the con, UNLESS they extend that liability as they have in the vendor room.


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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by Tuberat » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:48 pm

okay, color me confused but


i thought christian's answer was pretty good - and showed the artists alley was pretty much saying the same thing as the con and the dealers room, just more on an 'easier read' then 'legaleze' style of wording.

christian, we can def. work out something more official sounding for sign up confirms if you feel it necessary...
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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by pulsedemon » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:52 pm

Sam, we do actually take a look at things as the weekend is going on, but it's hard to check every single thing all the time.

For exhibitors, for example, I usually get asked about 'is this okay' when someone has something in mind. I'm pretty sure people in the Alley are just as diligent, though Nikki would have a better idea than me. Hell, Samantha might actually know better than me, since I'm tied up in the Dealers' Room at the time and she's been there for setup before. :P

We 100% absolutely have general liability insurance, special liability insurance, special auto insurance, and all of the policies that are required by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (as in 'the state'). I think the topic is covered in language that's 'clear', but we could pop a more legal-ese sounding set of rules up there, too. Basically, I think we've done our part to explain that we don't have control over what everyone does and that there's a potential for random things happening to potentially cause harm and at the same time, we've explained to exhibitors and artists what our expectations are in this realm. Accidents always happen (that's what insurance is for), but a few minutes spent checking on some of these things can help reduce that possibility. Again, I think this was made pretty clear in 'plain' language, but it might be a bit spread out.
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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by BlackSunRising » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:28 pm

[quote=pulsedemon]
For exhibitors, for example, I usually get asked about 'is this okay' when someone has something in mind. I'm pretty sure people in the Alley are just as diligent, though Nikki would have a better idea than me. Hell, Samantha might actually know better than me, since I'm tied up in the Dealers' Room at the time and she's been there for setup before. :P
[/quote]

That's why I specified "Artist Alley." Generally, things are either cleared beforehand or are things we notice during setup, such as "your setup is wobbly."


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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:12 pm

Ive gotten everything I need to know. My basic pain point was making sure that my artist alley business was not going to put me into a zone of liability.

I was talking with a colleague who mentioned I might have to take on m y own business insurance policy to cover anything that might happen at cons where I sell.

But after looking things over it looks like that would not be neccesary.

This is all just part of the complications that arise during the "jobby" stage that I have been entering into.

I am sure there are a lot of other artists who have found this information useful as well.


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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by Kogarashi » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:49 pm

[quote=marikotoeii]I am sure there are a lot of other artists who have found this information useful as well.[/quote]

It's an interesting discussion if nothing else. ;)

It's actually quite similar to dealing with that "jobby" status on places like Etsy. It's in the artist's best interests to do what they can to cover their own rear end, because for the most part there's little they can do to pass blame off on the venue (be it Etsy's site or AB's staff). When it comes down to it, the artist is responsible for making sure their display is stable, their products safe, etc. Even if a con attendee tried to hold AB itself responsible for an artist's display falling on him or an artist's product injuring him, I doubt it would get very far.

I am not a lawyer, of course, so don't quote me on this. :D

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Post by marikotoeii » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:54 pm

i never underestimate the crazy things people will do for money 0-_-

But I wonder what all of us "jobbiests" are going to do? At what point do we move on and create an actual business?

would be a good topic for a panel...

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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by SailorAstera » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:38 pm

Sounds like a pretty good panel to me! (or maybe at least a new thread)

I know we're getting a little off topic here, but this is the first year I will be filing taxes for my sales.
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Liability of Artists in AA

Post by pulsedemon » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:53 pm

If you wanted to be super careful and really cover your ass, then you could definitely take out a policy. I mean, you could insure just about anything if you find the right company. There is language in the general terms of membership that do say there's always a possibility of some kind of accident (not in exactly those words, though) but if someone got hurt as a result of something where a case of negligence could be made, then there'd definitely be some kind of liability.

Spelling things out explicitly, though, reduces the possibility of a person even finding counsel willing to represent them in a case where they constructed some kind of elaborate wire rack thing going over their head at an Artists' Alley table that ended up falling on them because of lousy assembly.
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