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Florida Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Do I need permission to publish photos of the exterior of a business in a book of then and now photos

I am publishing a book of then and now photos. The "then" photos are public domain and some of the "now" photos contain the exteriors of a business shot from the street. Do I need permission from the business to publish the photo?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on May 15, 2022

You do not need permission from the business to take a photo from a publicly accessible location, and as the photographer you will own copyright in the photo with the right to publish it.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Can I counter an intellectual property infringement notice from Etsy shop for using "But did you dye?" on my design?

I received an email from Etsy that another shop owner accused me of intellectual property infringement. The products were both shirts that have the phrase "but did you dye?" on them (different designs). Her shirt does have "TM" after the name in the product title, but I looked... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 28, 2022

You should definitely consult with an attorney.

She may have rights to a brand even if it is not registered.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Civil Litigation for Florida on
Q: someone stole my artwork from a social media site, slightly altered it and used it for profit. What can I do?

I originally created the image for a fan page on Facebook, Facebook changed their policy on using pseudonames and deleted the page the image was originally posted on, I still have the original.

Jane Kim
Jane Kim answered on Feb 18, 2022

It depends what you mean by "slightly" altered. And how do you know how much profit that person generated?

In any event, if you believe you were first in time to create it, you can have a lawyer send Cease and Desist letter to this person not to use it again. If this artwork is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Copyright for Florida on
Q: Can I sue an employer as a 1099 for claiming credit for my work?

I am a wedding coordinator. An all-inclusive venue hires me to coordinator their weddings for their couples. They do the same with every vendor, they hire the DJ, the caterer, everyone. They give credit on social media to every vendor except me. They tag themselves as the Coordinator. We do not... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 10, 2022

Can you successfully sue the vendor for not giving you credit (i.e.: free advertising) for the work you do for them? No; just because they give others who work for them, they don't have to give you credit. How have they tried to prevent you from advertising your business?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: I print art for frame shops. How can I protect myself should they send me art that is copyrighted?

I own a small business that prints artwork wholesale for individuals and businesses. We take every necessary precaution that we’ve purchased rights to most of the art that we print, but some art comes to us by email from businesses that assure us they have permission to reproduce it. What if... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 4, 2022

Have them provide proof of permission.

Either a license, contract or similar.

Have them sign your terms where they become liable and protect you.

And check with professional liability, to see if you can buy protection for copyright infringement.

Consult with an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Is it legal to copy copyrighted text from an email to a txt for personal use? Is it also legal to copy the txt to a USB?

Note that this is assuming the email was obtained legally.

Thomas James
Thomas James answered on Feb 1, 2022

If, as you say, it is copyrighted material that you are copying, then copying it could be infringement even if no distribution occurs and even if no commercial use is made of it. It would not be infringement, however, if the portion copied is not protected by copyright. For example, if the only... 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 Florida on
Q: Is Font copyrighted?

I am a music producer and am in the process of creating an emblem and font style for my artist name. I found the font online. It is the "Alien Resurrection" font. Am I able to use this font to spell my name out to be represented as such or is that not aloud?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp answered on Jan 6, 2022

The copyright law does not protect typeface or mere variations of typographic ornamentation or lettering. 17 U.S.C. § 102(b); 37 C.F.R. § 202.1(a), (e). Typeface includes typefonts, letterforms, and the like. Specifically regarding the "Alien Resurrection" font designed by Film Himmel... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: If I paint a picture that I see on Instagram from Someone’s personal Instagram page is that infringing on any copyright

For example if I am on Instagram and I see a handsome man or beautiful woman and I paint that man or woman as close as I can to the original in a totally different setting and then sell that painting can I be Infringing on any copyright laws.

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Dec 28, 2021

Yes, it's possible that your paintings might infringe the copyright of the person who owns the copyright in the photo. It depends on whether your image is "substantially similar" to the photos. From the sound of it, it is your intent to paint the image as similar as possible to the original.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: If you pay someone to create artwork, but they, unknowingly to you, traced over copyrighted artwork, who is at fault?

The artwork would be used in a commercial game. The artist would be paid to create original artwork on a website like upwork or fiverr.

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Dec 14, 2021

Potentially both of you would be on the hook - copyright law doesn't require that you intend to infringe. You discuss particulars with an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Can I give the copyright responsibility to my client for their wedding video?

I own a video production company and some of my clients like to use popular songs for their wedding videos. I am personally not against it but I don't want a client to not fully have the option to use it. so is there a way that I can add to my contract that they can use the song of their... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Dec 9, 2021

I do not think that covers you.

You would be the accessory to the violation.

You could license the songs in your client's name and add them to the video and that way everybody is covered. You could charge your client for the licensing of the songs.

Consult with an attorney and best luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: I was fished by SMG and paypal was frozened.They said i infringe copyright.How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

I was fished by SMG and paypal was frozened.They said i infringe copyright.I'm a foreigner and not in US,SMG just send an email to me and no substantive documents were served.Is that legal?And does Florida court have jurisdiction?How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?Can you help me win the case?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Dec 2, 2021

Do you mean "phished"? If so, you may be correct; it appears to possibly be a scam of some sort. Just because someone sent you an email claiming to be "SMG" doesn't mean that you have actually been sued.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: Hi, I’m currently making a collection of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) based on Nike’s popular line of Jordan and dunk.

The NFTs are going to be cartoon recreations /drawings of the Jordan and Dunk silhouettes. I was wondering if publishing and selling these would be legal.

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Nov 29, 2021

I would suggest that the question is not so much whether publishing and selling the NFTs is "legal," but whether Nike can and would assert their legal rights (trademark and copyright rights) against you for doing so. The answer is probably "yes" to both.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Florida on
Q: I want to start an animal rescue. How do I trademark the name or copyright it so no one else can use it?

Don't want to get sued if someone else uses the name either.

Thomas James
Thomas James answered on Nov 14, 2021

A trademark is what you are looking for. In the United States, they are established through use in commerce ("common law trademark.") To protect your rights in it, though, you should register it. Trademarks can be registered with a state or a federal government office. Federal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: As a song author, how can I protect a song without having to initially copyright it?

Fees to copyright songs have risen greatly. While one can copyright a batch of songs (10) to save on fees I am looking for an alternative. As a song author, how can I protect a song without having to initially copyright it?

If the interest was to be had in a particular work I'd... Read more »

Linda Liang
Linda Liang answered on Oct 22, 2021

Registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on
Q: hi i was inquiring about if a patent is already out about something that i made at home then saw something similar to it

ear straps for a binky for babys attached to the side wholes of the binky. i would like to actually create something like this and see its already out but wanted ,ore information on it. i saw clips that you clip onto the binky but i was to have mine built in and mass produce. can you help me please?

Liliana Di Nola-Baron
Liliana Di Nola-Baron answered on Oct 13, 2021

You will need to contact a patent attorney to determine if your product would infringe on a patented product. Perhaps the patent you saw has already expired or no longer valid, but there may be other patented products that you may be at risk of infringing. It is important to determine the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Copyright Infringement

A well known British singer living in Santa Monica. They are using my US copyrighted Office photographic images I took of them before they became famous in 1989 in music video's plus at least in 2 books and across all platforms. The image is also embedded in their music video which is all over... Read more »

Michael  Mayoral
Michael Mayoral answered on Oct 5, 2021

You might have a claim for copyright infringement. I've handled a similar case in federal court involving the unauthorized use of photographs of models. You need an attorney to research the cause of action and make a formal demand, at the very least. I am very interested in the case. Feel free... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Q: I registered a copyright for my book using my full name. Can I use my initials and my last name in print instead?
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 4, 2021

Probably. You are probably confusing copyright with trademark.

You can use your name pretty much anyway you want

You need to consult an attorney

4 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on
Q: I have a display patent from 1993 I'd like to know if there's some way I can update it ?
Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig answered on Aug 25, 2021

Sadly no. Patents typically have a maximum lifetime of about 20 years from the filing date. Although this can be adjusted a bit for delays at the USPTO, usually, the adjustments are only for a few months or years.

A 1993 patent era patent is likely long expired, is probably public...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Florida on
Q: Hello. Can I use the name "Mortal Kombat", without using any of the franchise's designs or font?

I am simply using the name for a recreational adult softball team. I do not have any copyrighted designs or logos, but I just want to know if using the phrase alone is illegal, if I put it on a jersey.

Linda Liang
Linda Liang answered on Aug 24, 2021

Yes, you can use text only as trademark.

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