General Question

pleiades's avatar

Is it illegal to sell art on the streets in California?

Asked by pleiades (6576points) June 12th, 2014

If I post up at a park in San Diego, can I sell my art? Why or why not?

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8 Answers

Dan_Lyons's avatar

It depends on the custom of that area of the city. And it depends on your courage in the face of police harassment.

There is a Federal Appeals Court ruling which states that artistic expression is protected by the 1st Amendment and the artist needs no permit to sell their artwork on public lands

This ruling was appealed by the City of New York. The Supremes refused to even grant them a Writ of Certiorari, thereby upholding the Lower Court decision.

This ruling is a huge weapon in the pocket of the artist who wishes to sell his own artwork on public lands.

zenvelo's avatar

In a lot of places one needs a vendor’s permit.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

You need to check with the City of San Diego, not us.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

And check with your state sales tax department to see if you need a sales tax permit. They can confiscate your inventory.

Coloma's avatar

I’d take my chances, so much for “free” enterprise. Screw it, give it a whirl and if you get harassed, then, jump through the hoops of bureaucracy. Everyone deserves one warning and you might make a profit before you have to pay the damn city. Pffft.
The cops have better things to do, like catch psycho shooters not harass artists.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Here’s a little secret for you. the cops will ticket you for selling without a permit, but to get a conviction they must be able to prove their case in a court of law.
This means fighting a ticket for sales when you know all they have you on is displaying will always mean a victory for you.
However, keep in mind that Southern California is fairly lenient on selling on public lands in places like Venice Beach. There may be places in your neck of the woods which are untended by the minions of the law.

pleiades's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Well the funny thing about that is, this is a Q & A site… Let’s not ruffle our feathers over such a brief question

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@pleiades No, no. No ruffles. I just thought it was good advice.

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