Attorney Sarah Feingold
is the in-house lawyer at Etsy.com and has agreed to write a regular column for the print CROQ
! We are super excited to bring you more info to help you run your indie business. In honor, we asked Sarah a few questions to get to know her better. You can read more of her writing
at The Storque
‘s online magazine.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sarah Feingold. I was born and raised in Rochester New York and I currently live and work in Brooklyn New York. My parents are both artists and they started a business while in college which they continue to run this very day! And so yes, I was raised in a very creative and entrepreneurial home. I currently enjoy eating chocolate, going to the theater, reading, and making art.
When I was 12 years old I took my first metalsmithing class at our local art gallary and was hooked ever since. But I knew that as much as I loved metalsmithing, it was not my career path. My love of art made me very interested in the legal issues concerning designs. I minored in studio art in college and even completed graduate level metals classes while in law school. My professional experience includes working as an in house intellectual property attorney for a publisher, interning for a barrister in London, clerking for a constitutional law attorney, working as a legal journalist, and serving as a corporate and business attorney before joining Etsy as their in house attorney.
You’re the in-house attorney for Etsy.com. What does your day look like?
The best part about my job is there is no average day. From looking over contracts, to research, to writing, I do it all. Most people would probably not enjoy all the research and writing, but I find it fascinating. I’m always learning!
You’re also a jeweler. What are your favorite materials to work with?
I love creating jewelry because of the inherent challenges with the medium and scale. I like keeping my pieces wearable, yet geometric and unique, which is a challenge in itself. I have a soft spot for silver, but lately I’ve been getting into copper enameling. I’m also addicted to buying beads and stones of all kinds.
What’s the number one most important legal issue crafters should be aware of?
As an attorney, I have found that many crafters simply do not understand copyright law as much as they think they do. There is a lot of incorrect information out there. It’s important to learn about what copyright law does and does not protect. Sometimes a little research can prevent many headaches.
You wrote a book about copyright called Copyright for Artists, specifically directed at the Etsy community of artists. What inspired you to write it?
I became an attorney because of my fascination with art and my desire to help artists. I wrote my book because I realized that although there are dozens of copyright books out there, most books were really long and written in crazy legalese. My book contains the necessary information concerning copyright law in an understandable format tailored to the artistic community (my book also contains many visuals, like cartoons). And so far so good. I received some amazing feedback. My book is primarily sold at www.attorneysarah.etsy.com as an ebook so I can keep improving the content, keep the price down, and save trees.