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Questions Answered by James D. Williams
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Virginia on
Q: Received my LLB in the UK and plan on doing an LLM over here before the Bar. Do you think that law firms would hire me?
James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Oct 20, 2020

If you want to practice law, then you're going to have to pass a bar exam. There are very few states that allow people who have only taken an LLM (and not a juris doctor "JD") program to sit for the bar exam. Virginia does not allow LLM students to sit for the bar exam here.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for New York on
Q: Is it legal to screenshot a Getty Images image I have embedded into my website from that website and then post it?

Getty Images has an embed feature where one can embed a photo into their website for free. If I make a private Google Site, embed a photo, and then screenshot that photo (from the Google Site), is it OK to include it in a non-commercial post on Instagram, or do I have to obtain a license for the... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Aug 4, 2020

Getty Images is not someone to mess around with. They are incredibly active in copyright infringement suits.

If they give you an embed feature, then they absolutely have terms and conditions on how the license works for that. I can practically guarantee, though will not without actually...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Virginia on
Q: Mom passed and half sister is executor. She is keeping all records to herself. Does she have to disclose records to us?

Half sister's name was added to moms bank acct after dad passed, so she says the money is hers. Is this true even if the will states all assets are to be distributed evenly to all heirs? She says low bank balance, but I know otherwise. Are we able to view bank records? Shouldn't she have... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Aug 4, 2020

This definitely is going to be something to discuss with an attorney who regularly works with probate.

The executor has control over personal property for the payment of debts, taxes, etc., but there is generally a fiduciary duty that the executor refrain from self-dealing. The executor...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for Missouri on
Q: Would I be able to write a musical titled, “Danny Phantom the Musical” and use the likeliness of the characters?

I am looking to write a musical and I would love to write a musical based on the cartoon Danny Phantom. I noticed that there is a trademark on Danny Phantom. So I was curious if I could use the name Danny Phantom and attach Musical to it, while also using the likeliness of characters in the... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jul 26, 2020

The biggest thing that you have to worry about is probably copyright because you would be making a derivative work by making a musical. Viacom has the registration for the show, and when you adapt and derive content from one medium into another, you need a license from the respective owner(s).... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Trademark on
Q: if I was to use a trademark from a movie , on a tee shirt for me and my friends am I breaking the law ? i

pretty much the logo from an 80's movie, lets say it was ghostbusters logo , on a tee shirt . Im putting the order in and my friends are giving me the money for what the tee shirt cost. not making money off it .

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jul 13, 2020

Your question raises several potential legal issues that can't be answered with the limited info you provided.

Generally, if there is is a registered trademark, then it is registered with a specific class or classes of goods. If the logo is registered on t-shirts, then you have a...
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3 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: Mom passes intestate in Fairfax Co VA, how can I file her final tax returns after the POA ends?

All assets were liquidated into a POD account years ago, all current income taxes, funeral costs, and debts have already been paid. Only final taxes on bank interest, a modest Social Security income, final IRA distribution costs and the POD account will remain when Mom passes. Does the estate have... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jul 12, 2020

If I can understand the POD as Payable on Death account, then this is typically something that is non-probate. It sounds like there are just some financial matters to handle that an executor or CPA should be able to address without probate. Probate is used to interpret wills and to process specific... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Georgia on
Q: When looking at my trademark online is states 606-Abandoned-No statement of use filed. How do I get this active again
James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jul 9, 2020

Unfortunately there is a very limited window to revive your trademark application, once abandoned. You would have to sign a statement that letting the application become abandoned was unintentional, pay a $100 filing fee, and then address whatever the problem was that led to the application... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: does any museum own copyright of artwork created by an artist who died in 1910? the museum owns the artwork.

in other words, is the artwork now in the public domain? I am asking about a painting at the National Gallery of Art.

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 29, 2020

The National Gallery actually has a dedicated list of works in the public domain.

https://images.nga.gov/en/page/show_home_page.html

Generally speaking works older than 1934 are likely in the public domain at this point.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Juvenile Law for Virginia on
Q: Can ex get an order in state of VA prohibiting fiancé to move in?

We have been separated for 8 months joint custody of 2 kids. Agreement says we will not interfere in the others life and live as though we were never married. Can he obtain such an agreement and can I fight it? Fiancé is a great man and loves my kids.

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 29, 2020

The agreement appears to just say that you and the ex are living as you two, specifically, are not married to one another. It's not requiring that you live unmarried, most likely, and if it is, then it's probably invalid.

If there is a custody order from the court where the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: How could I go about purchasing this design and copyright?

Im interested in obtaining the copyright for the fabric to produce fabric for paintball good

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 22, 2020

Greetings.

There are two options that basically stem from the root of asking the person who owns the right for permission to use it.

(1) Ask for a license. Basically you just would tell them what you plan on doing and see if they will allow you to do it. You may have to pay them...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Q: I am wanting to create a book and have had a design since 2016.

Both, my book and this business have nearly the same name and design / logo. Mine isn’t a logo but I have a heart on the front cover that is similar to the heart they use for their logo

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 4, 2020

It ultimately will depend on how similar the designs are and what types of protection the business logo has.

If they have a registered trademark, then you might run into problems if your logo is seen as younger than the trademark.

If they have copyright protection for the design,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Is using thumbnails copyright infringement?

I own a cosmetics review and ranking website and I need photos for my reviews.Can I use under fair use low quality thumbnails of products photos from other websites (sephora, brandcoms etc)?

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 4, 2020

There are 4 factors for fair use that are all reviewed, so it would require a review of all factors before fair use would be a claim.

If you are using the photos to review and rank products, then there is a decent chance that you are using the images for "commentary" or...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Use of Superhero Images - Marvel & DC

I have seen many games on the Play store and apple app store that use superhero images to make people guess the names of the characters.

Now my question: is this legal? Can people actually use superheroes in their apps? Does this come under fair use?

Any insight on this would be... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on May 25, 2020

Comic characters/superheroes can contain both copyrights and trademarks. As such, there are two types of intellectual property rights associated with both.

You need a license for the copyrights associated with the actual images/drawings of the characters. You need a license for the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia on
Q: My wife just passed we were living apart for 5 years no formal separation agreement. She opened credit cards on her own

And was with freedom agency. Am I responsible for paying it ,no will, she did buy my son a truck in her name and the house is in both mine and her name

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on May 9, 2020

Virginia would not consider you divorced unless you filed for divorce. From there, intestacy procedures and the terms of the contract for the credit cards would apply. In theory, you should be able to contact the credit card companies and close out the accounts if they are solely in your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: My father died in 2018, he left me and my brothers everything but he was still married.

I'm in VA and my father left me and my brothers everything in his will since he was in the process of getting a divorce. My mother has since taken everything and relocated to another city in VA with her new boyfriend. She is now in the process of selling their house. Do i have any rights... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 16, 2020

If your father did not receive an absolute divorce decree, then yes she would be entitled to something. However, the extent of what your mother would be entitled to is based on the length of marriage and size of the estate. She could potentially have a claim for 50% of the augmented estate, which... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: I want to use the title "Bands Against Humanity" for a marching band field show. Is that brand confusion with the game?

We are doing a marching band halftime show in 2020 that is heavily based in satire. I'd like to use the title "Bands Against Humanity" as it perfectly describes the "satire" and humor elements of our theme. I reached out to the game manufacturer for Cards Against Humanity... Read more »

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 16, 2020

Yes, if they have a registered trademark, then it would include slight variations on it. Trademarks are typically limited to specific goods and services as they are listed within the application. However, by hosting this type of event, CAH could make a claim that you are diluting their brand name... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Virginia on
Q: My daughter recently turned 18 and moved in with me. What do I need to do to stop paying child support payments?

My daughter just turned 18 and recently moved out of her mothers house and asked to live with me. Am i still obligated to pay child support to her mother? If so, what do I need to do to modify support arrangements?

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 16, 2020

Your child support order from the court should indicate the cut-off time frame for when you can stop paying child support. If the support order says that you pay until she turns 18, then the obligation has ended. If you find the child support order, and it does not have a limit to your daughter... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Virginia on
Q: I believe I am a beneficiary of a 401k but the family is blocking it and the employer won’t give me info ..what do I do
James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 15, 2020

Has the person who you believe designated you as their beneficiary died? Beneficiary designations typically can be changed fairly easily, compared to other estate planning tools. If the family of the person with the decedent is "trying to stop you," then there is realistically nothing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Illinois on
Q: I have just opened an online store and I have concerns about copyright infringement.

I would like to know about what is portected and what is not protected using photos from on line downloads, for T shirts designs.

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Mar 14, 2020

Ultimately it depends on where you get the photos and what is in them. If you are using photos that are downloaded from Adobe Stock Photos or a service where the photos are provided to users for posting on public pages, then you might be able to use them, generally. However, if you are finding... Read more »

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