John Espinosa's answer You need to work with both an experienced attorney and insurance agent to protect yourself here in all aspects. For both, the details of your business will dictate what you need. For insurance, at minimum you need a commercial general liability policy and also workers compensation policy since you have employees. You may very well need additional coverage depending on your business. Personal umbrella is a good idea as well. On the legal side, there are also many things to consider regarding...
John Espinosa's answer For tax purposes, any income received from renting space on your driveway would be taxable likely as rental income on Schedule E. Consult a tax professional to go over your options with this kind of income. Seperately, the city or your real estate title documents may have restrictions that prevent you from doing that. Consult a real estate attorney to research that for you.
John Espinosa's answer First have a conversation with all proposed partners to determine their legal needs and goals. Then advise on the best way to form the entity and draft the appropriate documents to accomplish same.
John Espinosa's answer It sounds like you are currently operating as a sole proprietor, where there is no legal separation between you and your business. Your first step might be to form a separate legal entity, such as a single member LLC, with its own tax ID number and bank account for all of your business activities as an artist. Then copyright everything you can. You probably will not be able to get trademark protection for your own name though.
John Espinosa's answer The owners of the legal rights of those games would probably not take kindly to you infringing on those rights and profiting from it. Their rights are enforceable internationally. Your best bet is to reach out to the owners and ask for permission to do this.
John Espinosa's answer If you are marketing it as a stranger things theme then you can expect legal action for infringing on their rights. The right to use the name is covered by trademark law. Here is the trademark ownership info for stranger things: https://trademarks.justia.com/867/68/stranger-86768141.html
Also, here is an article about another business that tried to use their name without permission: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/09/netflix-cease-and-desist-stranger-things/540579/
Answered on Jun 24, 2018
John Espinosa's answer This isn't copyright as copyright law does not protect the use of names. This is covered under the right of publicity and possibly trademark law as well, which means you would need permission of their estate to use their name in your product. Here is a resource that helps explain more about the right of publicity: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/copothr.html
John Espinosa's answer Not necessarily. An abandoned could be revived, and could already or still be in use in commerce so is not necessarily available for use https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/overview-final-rule-revivals-reinstatements-and-petitions-director
John Espinosa's answer Those are both examples of general statements that are not unique to those characters or to the work in question. Now if your characters had similar names to the other characters or other similarities then there might be copyright infringement.
John Espinosa's answer This is a very complex and specific question that cannot be fully addressed on here. As a starting point, this government resource explains the basics of copyright and trademark in the music industry:
John Espinosa's answer Selling online is still selling, and selling them with the decal on gives the appearance of being a licensed product when it is not. What you describe is using someone else's brand for commercial purposes without their permission. The printer may have the license to sell the decals, but that does not give you or anyone else the ability to use those decals to then sell products. You would need to license the logos from the owners of the trademarks and copyrights in question, because both apply.
John Espinosa's answer It all depends on the circumstances of the sale in which you received the print. If it was from the photographer or a legitimate reseller, then you may be able to re-sell it. This is because of the first sale doctrine.
Typically, the first sale doctrine will come into play in these types of questions: an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted work from the copyright holder receives the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular copy,...
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