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Washington Copyright Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law, Copyright and Internet Law for Washington on
Q: Is it legal to build software that crawls the public Reddit posts of someone and derives statistics/patterns from it?

Basic idea: while browsing online, people come across others that appeal to them in some way (insightful post, match in interests, etc). Normally, a long process of scanning through their content is then needed, to see if they match enough to be worth further effort.

My idea is to create... Read more »

Robert Kost
Robert Kost answered on Nov 1, 2021

On the face of it, there is nothing in your proposal that would infringe copyright rights or constitute an invasion of privacy. None of the refinements offered in items 1 to 3 really affect the answer substantially. You will want to look carefully at Reddit's terms of service (including... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Washington on
Q: Is it legal to make prints of illustrations within books published before 1924 and sell them online?

I read online that books published before 1924 in the U.S. are in the public domain.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Oct 23, 2021

Depends. You should consult with an attorney.

Most books have several layers of rights and owners, so even if images are public domain, where the images are may still have property rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Copyright for Washington on
Q: If I purchase nfl stickers and used them to decorate masks to sell would that be copyright infringement?

I am thinking of decorating masks with nfl stickers and then selling them on a craft website.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 20, 2021

Very likely. Consult with an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Washington on
Q: Can I sell a recording of myself playing a piano piece?

I want to know if the following would be legal: A client is preparing for a musical theatre audition and wants to practice her audition selection prior. If she sends me her song selection and I purchase the sheet music and record a small sample of me playing the piece on the piano, can I charge her... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on May 19, 2021

You can infringe somebody's copyright even if you do not make any money or do not charge money.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Washington on
Q: Can a fire dept. use an image based on Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy as their station logo? (FF's = Guardians)

I am Logistics Chief of a mid-sized fire department. To encourage camaraderie at the fire stations, personnel are encouraged to come up with a station logo / mascot. One station in particular at my department has a main response area that covers the "gate" of a major military base.... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 13, 2021

You should ask nicely to Marvel. They may say yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Q: If my painting was used on a blog with my permission, can another online publication use same image if I own copyright?
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Dec 28, 2020

It depends on what rights you gave to the blog, and if your subsequent usage would exceed those rights. Talk with an experienced copyright lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Washington on
Q: Can a screenshot of a show be used as an artistic template that is then sold as my art?

If I take a screenshot of a show, say Game of Thrones, and then draw over it in a photo editing software, is it against the law to sell the art? Copyright infringement or something else?

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 23, 2020

It depends on how similar your drawing is to the original photo. Merely tracing the photo in an animated format, as is the latest craze, is copyright infringement. The standard for copyright infringement is "substantial similarity" and this situation would likely fall under that.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Washington on
Q: In a trademark, can I protect future additional goods & services that are in progress & haven't been created yet?

I'm planning on creating a book series in which I want to trademark the title. I'm also currently creating a video game to add to this franchise. In the future, I want to file another application to extend my trademark to not only protect my books, but my video games too.

Since... Read more »

Allison Higgins
Allison Higgins answered on Nov 12, 2020

Hi there! It is great that you are thinking about IP protections from the very beginning.

From a trademark standpoint you have limited options that far in advance. You can file trademark registrations for things that are not in commerce yet (called an intent-to-use application), but the...
Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Washington on
Q: Can I put anime designs on t shirts and sell them with the anime title in the name?

I'm trying to design some t shirts based off of anime. However, they are simply inspired by the anime. For example, its not an entire picture of naruto or anything, but like a blue swirl and some yellow and orange lines for naruto. I don't think the designs infringe on any copyright and I... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 17, 2020

Re: Copyright, your phrases :"...based off or anime..", "..simply inspiredly the anime...", "I don't think the designs infringe..." , "...I am the one creating..." may show willfulness and are troublesome regarding Copyright Infringement. It may be... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Copyright for Washington on
Q: Is the website PDFDrive legal to use?

I’ve been using it for a day or two now and I’m really scared I’ll face legal repercussions

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 12, 2020

This is general legal information only and not legal advice. This is a very good question. It appears their site is a bit like google (where you can search for pictures and images. They allow you to search PDF's but this does not necessarily mean you have legal rights to reproduce, share,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Washington on
Q: I am trying to create my own gum and mint that has caffeine, l theanine and other Supp. How does this patent affect it?
Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Sep 28, 2020

Without knowing what patent you're referring to, I can't answer this question fully. However, you can create various search terms around these elements if you utilize Google Patent Search, the USPTO database (PatFT), and the WIPO patent search database (patentscope) to get you in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Washington on
Q: If someone were to take my private DM to them and use my exact words to then create merchandise and profit

Is there anything illegal with me not getting a cut or signing off consent

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on May 5, 2020

Copyright doesn't protect ideas so it would depend on what you actually said and whether it could be considered "fixed tangible expression" as defined by the Copyright Act.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Q: I have a questions about copyright infringement and my stolen content

Hello, I am an artist known by the name LeopARTnik (everyone calls me Leo). I create different content but lately, it is short video animations. I am not making money on my work yet. I am still growing and building my audience but it is growing rather fast. The issue I want to discuss is related to... Read more »

Enrico Schaefer
Enrico Schaefer answered on Mar 30, 2020

This is a common problem. The first thing you should do is register your copyrights. You typically have less leverage if you are not registered. Registration will definitely help you with infringement moving forward. I would need to know more about where the works are being copied from and other... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Q: I'm an artist who is using portraits from historic photos for which copyright is difficult to determine.

The photos have generally been captured from online sites such as Pinterest or general historic photo searches. Specifically I'm plucking images of people from the internet, printing them on my home computer, physically cutting them out of their original setting and collaging them into bigger... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 9, 2019

You are facing a tough issue. You should definitely talk to an attorney. Also check with an insurance company agent covering copyright violations. They may have some clear cut criteria you can use as a guide.

In general there are several layers of rights. Pintrest and the poster could have...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Washington on
Q: Do you know anything about these pattends ? Where are the loop holes or?

Im looking to start my own company in trip hazard removal but it seems they have pattebded alot of things on it what exactly are there pattends for and what do they mean in other words what do i follow so i dont use any of there pattends

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on May 11, 2019

There are no easy answers to your question. You need to hire a patent attorney to guide you through this.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Washington on
Q: Can I use a well-known Guru's teaching concepts and unlicensed verbiage to create an income producing website?

That's it in a nutshell. I want to use said Guru's concepts and some lose verbiage so I can advertise and gain traction in the community of people that follow her. I found a list of the company's trademarks and none include the terms I want to use. I would not be selling the... Read more »

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on May 2, 2019

I think you can, so long as you don't use his language or any materials or publications.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Q: What is the process for requesting permission to use Robert Indiana's LOVE to raise funds for a non-profit maker space?

We would like to open a non-profit maker space to offer STEAM Camps for students in Washington, DC. We would like to sell products, derived from Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture, made by students and members, to raise $20,000-40,000 to cover the first few months of rent.

We would... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 13, 2019

You should look up him, or his agent. And ask for the right to use it.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Copyright and Products Liability for Washington on
Q: How do I go about looking into a idea I have that's related to bail bonds and something I want to possibly invent safely

I have a idea that would be something you can pay into with a bailbonds company and want to look in to making this idea work if its possible and so how would I do that without getting my idea stolen but I don't have much money and don't really have any to put into this project I think its... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 24, 2019

Local law libraries provide ample self-help resources re: Intellectual Property and Business law. Typically a Non Disclosure Agreement is a great tool to help prevent disclosure of confidential information re: your ideas. You might need to ultimately file for a copyright, trademark, and/or patent,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Washington on
Q: Are provisional patents for design?

Competitor claims they have a provisional patent for all but color change of an (my) existing product. I thought provisional patents were for utility only. Could they be lying? How do I find out?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Apr 26, 2018

A provisional patent application is for a utility patent but one can file a design patent application as a continuation of a utility patent application so there is some small chance that they could end up with a design patent from an initial provisional patent application.

Generally a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Washington on
Q: Can I use some lyrics from an album in a zine I created of analog collages if I give credit to the artist/album?

The whole zine (magazine) is an ode to the influence and inspiration I received in my life from the album which is explained in the introduction. I've taken some of my favorite lyrics and created a series of analog collages for each lyric. I listed the credits on the end page. I have reached... Read more »

Andrew Zulieve Esq
Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Jan 31, 2018

Copyright infringement requires that there be a substantially similar reproduction of another's original work of authorship. It is a fact-intensive inquiry and may be, but is not necessarily always, tied to the actual amount of copying from the original work of authorship. It may be a good... Read more »

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