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Questions Answered by Steve Charles Vondran
2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property, Internet Law and Trademark for New York on
Q: I have a question regarding cybersquatting/domain name sales

Hi We have a bundle of domains that are similar to a large corporation/org although the domain names are not trademarked (but are similar/in the same "family" to those that are) They had inquired about purchasing them -they do not like the price and are now suggesting its cybersquatting... Read more »

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answered on Feb 6, 2023

The legality of selling domain names that are the trademarks of other companies is a complex issue and one that has been the subject of much legal debate. In order to understand the law on this matter, it is necessary to look at both trademark law and domain name law.

Trademark law...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Criminal Law for Oklahoma on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to take photos off of my Facebook account of my child to post on there account

Someone I don’t know took photos I had posted on my Facebook account and posted them on their Facebook account pretending my child was theirs

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answered on Jan 24, 2023

If you took the image, it is your image (i.e., you own the copyright - even if you never registered it). Being that the use by the imposter would not appear to be commercial in nature, suing for copyright infringement may not be the most exciting option (especially since you cannot get attorney... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: I'm starting a video podcast. Can I use still images from various tv and movies?

When we mention a character, we'd like to be able to show that character without getting sued by Disney. And this podcast will be for profit, if that's relevant.

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answered on Jan 12, 2023

Generally speaking, when it comes to using copyrighted images in a video podcast, it’s important to understand the laws surrounding copyright and fair use. In general, it is illegal to use copyrighted images without permission. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, and one of them... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for South Dakota on
Q: Is it legally permissible to use text from a public domain book for commercial purposes?

I would like to use the text from a public domain book and print it onto fabric for a project I'm working on. Initially this was to be a personal project, but I'm considering the possibility of using the design for commercial purposes in the future and want to know if it is legal to use... Read more »

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answered on Jan 11, 2023

In the United States, copyright law provides authors and other creators of original works with exclusive rights to their creations. Copyright protection prevents others from reproducing, distributing, or displaying copyrighted works without the permission of the copyright holder. This is an... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Is web scraping (or crawling) from Wordpress blogs legal?
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answered on Jan 10, 2023

Web scraping from another person's Wordpress blog is a complicated issue that is often misunderstood and often debated. It is important to note that web scraping is a form of data extraction from a website and it can be used for a variety of purposes. Web scraping is not necessarily illegal,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Alabama on
Q: Can I use a portion of the GameBoy startup sound in my own song?

Im a musician and I'm writing a song about nostalgia. The Nintendo GameBoy was a huge nostalgia factor for me. The GameBoy startup sound is just one extended chord followed by an individual note. Could I possibly get sued by Nintendo if I put the chord from the startup sound into my song?

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answered on Dec 29, 2022

The issue of copyright infringement is one that has been debated for decades, and while most people are aware that they can be sued for illegally downloading music, many are unaware that they can also be sued for using a short note, or sound clip, from a song. This is because even though the clip... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I copyright a book under a pseudonym without having to give my real name?

I want to copyright my book. But I’ve written it under a pseudonym because I don’t want people know I wrote the book. Is there a way to do this without giving my true information? Maybe get a P.O. Box under the pseudonym?

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answered on Dec 17, 2022

Registering copyright for a book written under a pseudonym can be done without using a real name. The copyright registration process involves submitting your work, along with other necessary materials, to the copyright office. When registering copyright under a pseudonym, the copyright form should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Iowa on
Q: Opening a quilting business, and I want to sell basic patterns, how would I check if it is too similar to a ©️ pattern

I intend to start a retail quilting/diy store; if I base a design off of an idea that I’ve seen (Pinterest, family quilts, magazines, in-store etc) if I made something that was similar, but I didn’t follow their directions, (or theoretically, if I did) could I be infringing on copyrights of... Read more »

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answered on Dec 17, 2022

It is important to understand copyright laws when it comes to selling quilting patterns. While certain elements of copyrightable subject matter may be used without infringing upon existing copyright protection, the substantial similarity of a design can create copyright infringement issues. If a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Copyright for Texas on
Q: can I sell keychains coming from china with celebrities images at my e-commerce store online?

I'm looking to sell some stuff online at my store and it came to my mind some funny keychains with some celebrities images on it and just wondering about laws, copyright and I'm pretty sure I can't do that but doing some research like Etsy, Ebay and other e-commerce stores selling... Read more »

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answered on Dec 17, 2022

Though keychains featuring celebrities may be fun to collect, it is important to remember that it is not legal to sell these items without permission from the celebrity or their representatives. Doing so can infringe on copyright, trademark and right of publicity protections that are granted to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: Can I print t-shirts with the penguins of madagascar logo?

Want to sell some t-shirts with the penguins of madagascar on it

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answered on Dec 17, 2022

Selling t-shirts featuring trademark logos of professional sports teams without prior permission can lead to copyright infringement and cause large amounts of financial loss. It is illegal to use a copyright or trademark logo on any items such as t-shirts that are being sold without the copyright... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Copyright for Texas on
Q: What to add in an art contract to sell for profit later?

The artist gave me a drawing and says i will have total rights to do whatever i want with it. I want to sell the same drawing to multiple people and publicize it. What things should i include in the contract that basically says, the artist's drawing is no longer theirs and I can sell and do... Read more »

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answered on Dec 17, 2022

A copyright assignment agreement is an important document that makes terms between the assignor and assignee about transferring ownership of a copyright. The essential elements contained in a copyright assignment agreement include terms regarding the duration of the license and geographical region... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Gaming and Intellectual Property for Michigan on
Q: Is it illegal to make content using video game footage/pictures?

I want to make video game content like YouTube videos or screenshot pictures. Like game playthroughs or something. I also want to be able to monetize somehow, like with ads, affiliate marketing, or linking to Patreon.

But I'm worried about getting in trouble with copyright or getting... Read more »

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answered on Sep 13, 2022

My firm represents several large YouTube channel creators and here are a few general tips I can share with you:

1. when using a third-party video clip in your video, make sure to use only the "minimum necessary" to help tell your story. Most copyright owners do not object if you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Copyright for Texas on
Q: how do you sum up the case of Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc.,
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answered on Sep 7, 2022

To my best understanding of the case, Zippo Manufacturing Company sued Zippo Dot Com, Inc. for copyright infringement. Zippo manufacturers lighters, and Zippo Dot Com operated a website that sold a variety of lighter-related products, including cases, flints, and wicks. In its complaint, Zippo... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Missouri on
Q: If I take a photograph of the U.S. Capitol building, can I use it as part of the cover art for my novel?
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answered on Jul 26, 2022

Generally speaking, the photos you take are your own property, and can be protected by copyright. This means, as your property (IP), you can use it as you like. Some buildings can be subject to architectural copyright protection, but being a federal building (taxpayer funded), I would feel... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: unknowingly downloaded copyrighted material.

I downloaded a game which released in 2016 from torrent 3 days ago. I didn't know what is torrent and I didn't know what I was doing is illegal.I watched a YouTube video teaching how to download the game and so I followed the video step by step and downloaded it and torrent, they... Read more »

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answered on Apr 10, 2022

Having defended hundreds of these BitTorrent download cases (mostly Strike 3 Holdings, LLC movies), the best I can tell you (not legal advice) is to STOP downloading and sharing movies. If you are found to have downloaded, let's say, 20 or more movies - that is about the lowest number I have... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: Hi, I received a email saying that one of the images I used on my blog was copyrighted and I have to pay 1400

Hi, I received a email saying that one of the images I used on my blog was copyrighted and I have to pay 1400 to avoid legal action. But the email seems suspicious Am i obligated to pay? What legal action would I face if I ignored it ?

Here’s the email:

Please understand that as a... Read more »

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answered on Apr 5, 2022

These letters can be legit despite them sometimes looking like spam or a scam. You should have a photo infringement law firm look the letter over. Before we ever advise our clients to pay we like to look at the whole situation such as (1) who is sending the letter (2) do they have the legal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Wisconsin on
Q: How can I report a business with a logo violating a copyright?
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answered on Mar 18, 2022

If you have a REGISTERED copyrighted logo (meaning registered with the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") and someone has copied your logo, you can send them a cease and desist letter and being that they copyright was registered, you would have a right to sue in federal court for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Massachusetts on
Q: If someone takes a screenshot of my tweet and shares it without my consent, is that a copyright violation?

Someone took a screenshot of something I said on twitter and removed the context to make me look like a sexual predator. I consider this to be potentially libelous and/or slanderous. Do I own the copyright of the tweet and if so, is there anything that can be done about it?

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answered on Mar 12, 2022

Good question. Generally speaking, a tweet is not typically copyrightable as it usually contains just a short phrase with a limited amount of characters and according to the United States Copyright Office ("USCO") this can be considered de minimus as far as creativity is concerned. Now,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: How do I sign up for copyright if I bought a copyrightable work on fiverr?

Hi I’m intending on creating a book and other copyrightable works on fiverr. I would be the buyer but I want to make sure I have all the rights to the works I am buying. How do I do that? Especially on the copyright.gov website?

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answered on Mar 12, 2022

This is a very important question. You always want to make sure when you buy something on Fiverr that you own the exclusive rights to the intellectual property created, and that the creator retains no interest in any projects done on your behalf. I have used Fiverr quite a bit and I will say it... Read more »

4 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: What do I do when you become aware someone is using your registered trademark in another state?

I obtained my trademark for "The Cheesecake Fairy" last year. I have been in business for over 7 years and finally decided to trademark my name. A bakery in another state is now calling themselves "The Cheesecake Fairy" and I fear this will cause great confusion for when I... Read more »

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answered on Mar 12, 2022

Generally speaking, if you were in business FIRST and got the federally registered trademark FIRST, then you may want to contact a trademark lawyer to look at all the facts and consider sending a cease and desist letter. Best of luck! See you at the top!

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