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Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: My question is below.

Hi, I’m planning on getting the phrase ‘It is what it is’ tattooed on my forearm in either Anja-eliane font or Blacklet font. But because I do a little bit of acting, I don’t want to find out that someone has trademarked that phrase in the font I chose and wants to sue for showing their... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 26, 2022

There is a registration of IT IS WHAT IT IS for apparel. However, merely having the phrase tattooed on your body is not "use in commerce" and therefore does not function as a trademark. Consequently you would not be infringing a prior user or registrant of the mark.

1 Answer | Asked in Gaming and Copyright for Iowa on
Q: Can I rip a Nintendo game, turn it into a file, and use it for personal use, don’t plan on sharing it with anyone?
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 25, 2022

Thanks to the "first sale doctrine" in copyright law, you may make additional copies of the work for your own use so long as you do not distribute or sell them to others. The transformative copy you propose would also be permitted, with the same limitation on distribution or sale to others.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Q: Can a minor in Ohio register for copyright?

Hi, i’m 17 and I plan on launching a company. I was wondering if I can copyright the company at my age.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 22, 2022

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute an original creative work in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Minors may claim copyright, and the Copyright Office issues registrations to minors.

If, however, you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: A TV show used the same name for a black magic group that I used in my film and stories. Am I owed anything here?

The Tv show Archive 81 made use of a black magic group called the circle that committed abduction and murder. In my own photography and short films I created the same type of group with the same name. Do I have any rights.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 22, 2022

Probably not.

Consult with an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maine on
Q: So this question is about copy right if I want to use the monopoly man and board game for an NFT project can I?

Can I without being accused of copyright or do I need to get permission. And if I do need permission can I change the name and just have it be that like from monopoly to monopol-E

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 22, 2022

Don't do it. Consult with an attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: Can my book title use the phrase "that's not my" in its title. I wrote my book in mid 2000's but never published it.

I wrote a book in 2007 with my husband but we never published it. It has "That's not my" in the title. We sent a registered copy of it to ourselves in a still unopened envelope. We're not sure of the trademark rules and would be grateful for advise of whether or not we would... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 22, 2022

Titles of books are not copyrightable by themselves, even though the content of the book itself is.

However, THAT'S NOT MY has been registered by Usborne Publishing Limited (UK) as a trademark for a series of children's books. For that reason, you may risk infringing that...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Do I have to pay for a Cease and Desist?

I received a Cease and Desist from a German company called Zielinski Legal, that works with a company called PhotoClaim, for using a photographers image on a blog post of mine in 2015. They are requesting I take the photo down AND reimbursement for copyright infringement and damages.... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 22, 2022

If you have liability it would be under US law.

It would be prudent to remove the image, now that you are on notice of a copyright infringement claim. Whether or not you have liability for damages, and how much could be claimed, are determinations that should be made by an experienced...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Ohio on
Q: This may be a complex question, but I am trying to figure out the right way to ask.

This may be a complex question, but I am trying to figure out the right way to ask.

Lets say I legally research & purchase a dead trademark and/or copyright today. Pretend it is an old obsolete cereal & the purchased logo & word is (Dazzlecorn).

Now I want the domain... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 21, 2022

A trademark registration might have expired or been cancelled, but the owner might still have valid rights in the mark unless the owner has "abandoned" the mark. If another person begins using it, the owner can claim infringement. Whether the mark was abandoned would be determined by... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Hi, I want to know if stock ticker symbols are  trademarked or copyrighted?

Can my team and I can be sued for using them commercially?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 20, 2022

Many stock ticker symbols are also company names or trademarks. Your use of them would not be infringing unless it is to promote or sell similar goods/services. They are not copyrightable subject matter by themselves.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Business Law and Internet Law for New York on
Q: I am hiring a freelance to make an ad about the effectiveness of my vitamins. He says he is a Harvard graduate. If

it turns out he is not, am I liable? He comes from one of the largest freelance firms in US that list his credentials. I am in NYS

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 20, 2022

It will depend on what you use his credentials for.

Consult with an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: I want to make patches with marvel icons and quotes and put them on my bags for personal use. Is this ok?

I have recently taken up embroidery and want to make some custom patches and put them on my bag. I also really love Marvel and would like to use icons such as the Avengers logo and the iconic Captain America shield. This would be just for myself. I want to know if this is ok before I spend time on... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 20, 2022

Fair use is a doctrine in United States law that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. The doctrine extends to trademarks as well, if they are not used for commercial purposes.

If you do not profit from the limited...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Utah on
Q: I want to make some NFT art. Is there a way i can use comic characters, people's likenesses or mythical gods legally?

My art wouldnt be a copy and paste situation. For example, Its more or less a 3d sock puppet that looks like superman.

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Jan 19, 2022

Generally speaking, you need to be careful when tying to use copyrighted pictures, images, characters, or real living third party persons in your NFT's. I know this is a new area of technology, but traditional principles of copyright law still exist. Unless you are making a COLLAGE, for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: Can you copyright a children book in another name but still be paid a check in real name by store owner?

Rough background and other family members wants privacy.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 17, 2022

The short answer is YES. It is perfectly fine and common for authors to be identified by pseudonyms (for instance, Dr. Seuss was actually Theodor Seuss Geisel). The copyright in the book by a pseudonymous author is registered in the author's real name, and legal transactions such as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: I want to recreate old jewelry (1800s) with slight mods to brand and sell. Would this be a copyright violation?

I like discovering strange vintage pieces and I don't necessarily want to make "replicas" as I do want to make some alterations to the antique designs/make them more modern/brand-able. I just want to make sure I'm not stepping on anyone's toes/ violating some... Read more »

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Jan 14, 2022

Jewelry is copyrightable, but from your description its copyright has long since expired. See: https://guides.library.cornell.edu/copyright/publicdomain

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on
Q: Is it considered copyright infringement if someone uses copyrighted initials in part of their name?

For instance, CPK is copyrighted by the Cabbage Patch Kids company. So if someone uses CPKCLAIRE would that be infringement? Specifically the ending of a URL, like blogspot.com/cpkclaire.

Update: In regards to Michael’s answer, CPK is a registered trademark, so if someone uses it with... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jan 13, 2022

No, because you cannot copyright initials or even a signature. But, you can trademark initials and signatures.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: I have an art project I want to sell for profit. It is a book produced by Disney with added black light art on the pages

Am I allowed to sell this work if I use phrases and images that refer to Disney characters? I don’t know the extent of fair use and wish to understand how to go forward

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 12, 2022

Disney is diligent in registering copyrights (as well as trademarks) for all of its content and character depictions, and very aggressive to abate any infringements, so you should be advised to steer clear of any adaptations.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Communications Law for Ohio on
Q: My child was included in a broadcast on a news channel. Am I entitled to a copy of the broadcast?

Child is underage and I am the guardian/parent. Sent email requesting it and they claim they can't due to some copyright excuse. I've never heard of this from other requests I've made of other news outlets.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 12, 2022

Whether they must give you a copy would depend on the terms of the agreement you made with them when you gave them permission to make a video using your child. They own the copyright in the video recording, but can only use it and broadcast it within the terms of your permission and agreement to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Colorado on
Q: Need to know if I am allowed to us an alias name for a musical artist career.

The name I will be using is “Digitone”. Needing to make sure this doesn’t compete with trademarks under the name that are already in use. As I will not be making products that compete with these said companies that currently hold the trademarked name which seem to be around 5+ companies.

John Martin Hilla
John Martin Hilla answered on Jan 12, 2022

You certainly can use an alias or stage-name for your musical career. That name can also be registered as a trademark under the right circumstances.

I am a former professional musician-turned-trademark lawyer, and I specialize in assisting musical artists across the country with trademark...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Colorado on
Q: Need to know if I am allowed to us an alias name for a musical artist career.

The name I will be using is “Digitone”. Needing to make sure this doesn’t compete with trademarks under the name that are already in use. As I will not be making products that compete with these said companies that currently hold the trademarked name which seem to be around 5+ companies.

Kevin Michael Strait
Kevin Michael Strait answered on Jan 20, 2022

Yes, you can use a stage name that is a word or phrase that already exists in another line of business. Trademarks and, more generally, the words and phrases you use to distinguish your performances, are subject to a broad legal test that focuses on likelihood of confusion. The confusion in... Read more »

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