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Questions Answered by Robert Philip Cogan
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is it legal to create a service that charges for short movie clips to be used in youtube videos?

Similar to Storyblocks, I had the idea of creating a service that consolidates short movie clips into one location so that they can be used for documentaries and video essays. I know there are many youtubers that use movie clips to help keep the viewer entertained, but I'm wondering if... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 21, 2021

Probably. More facts would be needed for an answer. The studios spend tremendous amounts of money to make the movies those clips come from. They tend to get upset when somebody takes their property for free.

There are probably legal ways to provide this service that do not involve copying...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Q: What are my chances with an Incidental Fair Use Defense? and how much to Defend my rights?

I'm a journalist with a Youtube channel that covers local news at Venice Beach. I did a 30-minute story on the reopening of Venice Skate park and during the story, you can hear 60 seconds of incidental music playing in the background. I received a copyright notice from the music owner.... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on May 24, 2021

Based on the limited set of facts, this appears to be worth looking into. We are not allowed to seek business through the Q&A. You need to look someone up in the Justia Lawyer Directory. However, I would note that I work with LA County and Ventura County.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for California on
Q: Does a global non-compete from a Delaware LLC stand if I start a new company in California?
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on May 7, 2021

An answer requires more facts. Also there are ways to prevent California employees from competing without triggering the California prohibition in the appropriate scenario.

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4 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Employment Law, Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: Hired as an independent contractor, but now owner claims that I was a partner after trying to receive payment. Legal?

I was hired by company to run Tournament events. The company wants to contract me to run tournamemt events. With work product created, I provided the company with this service. After creating an FBN and EIN for the sole purpose of getting paid for services I provided, I asked for payment by giving... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Apr 25, 2021

It seems unlikely that you would be a partner. It would be important to review written agreements if any and a timeline of events. An attorney can help you put your case in the best posture and see what strategic alternatives you have to be paid properly for you intellectual property. Your... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for California on
Q: My friend is interested in donating a piece of land to my nonprofit organization. How would we go about this?

Would he receive any benefits from this, tax write offs etc? Also he owes taxes on the property, I am willing to pay those off to make this happen. I plan to use this as a nonprofit headquarters, Art/Yoga/Event Space. Its already zoned for 4 residential structures

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Apr 20, 2021

Real estate transfers and planning for the tax consequences are never do-it-yourself tasks. Tax benefits cannot be calculated without information about the property and the taxpayer. You say that you want a nonprofit HQ in a space zoned for residences. This by itself should be a red flag. If you do... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: How to obtain a brick-and-mortar physical address in California?

We need a brick-and-mortar address for a business set up by us in the US (there might be more businesses in the future), whose CEO is working from home (currently in Ohio but soon to be in California).

For the new company, we tried already tried to register But the Secretary of State’s... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Apr 20, 2021

There are many ways an attorney can solve this problem for a business that is setting up in the US. I have done so many times. You can contact an attorney directly. However, Justia does not permit attorneys to enter into engagements through the Q&A page.

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3 Answers | Asked in Business Law for California on
Q: Is it legal to have a contract where my company only pays someone after the company makes a certain amount of profit?
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 25, 2021

Maybe. Your question does not say what the contract is about or how the deal works. "Profit" can have many meanings. Ten CPAs can give you 10 different calculations of profit and every one of them will be legitimate. An attorney can set up the deal so that you and the other side have the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Patent stolen and manufactured in china.

In the current company(Los Angeles, CA) I work at, my manager is cheating the company by manufacturing in china.

We have built couple of products and got the patent for them. We built a prototype using the same technology but in different package. I was part of the design team for the... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 22, 2021

Many pieces of the puzzle are missing. Is the manager working with a different company? Who is selling it? Does your company know? There are many more facts needed to determine if something is wrong here. If you are serious about the inquiry it would probably be necessary to get a consultation from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Internet Law for California on
Q: Copying my products from Alibaba to Amazon

I am a seller on Alibaba and would like to copy my products to a new Amazon account. But I have read the below in Alibaba t&c's. Does this mean as the IP owner I cannot use my Alibaba content to copy and upload new products to my Amazon account?

3.2 You agree that (a) you will not... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 19, 2021

Facts are needed for an answer. For example, what content was contributed by Alibaba? What content did you use before you were on Alibaba? Also, you appear to be ignoring Amazon T&Cs. The words of the T&Cs are not self explanatory and need to be interpreted. It looks like the choices are to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Do I use/buy a trademark,copyright,or a patent to claim a username/name
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 16, 2021

All your answers are in the excellent tutorial material at uspto.gov and copyright.gov.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Can I use my mother's ex-husband's name if he cheated on her? Stating this fact.
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 11, 2021

You have already done so. You have not spelled the name out, but "author's husband" should be a clear identification.

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1 Answer | Asked in Gaming for California on
Q: I am playing a game in mobile and spent about almost 60K and being treated unfairly.

I know it’s unconventional but I am paying real big money to a mobile game that is ignoring mine and other players complaints and almost only updating their spending events instead of fixing game issues. I would like to know if there’s a case for me to file against them since I paid a lot of... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 10, 2021

It is impossible to know if there is a case without the facts. Was there any paperwork? When and where did all this happen? If you paid $60,000 it might be penny wise and pound foolish to avoid contacting a lawyer. Many lawyers give an initial, no-obligation consultation.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Using a person's name in a screenplay without asking for permission?

I have already asked this question. How do I use a person's name in a screenplay without asking for permission?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 10, 2021

You can do this by using the person's name and hoping that (1) the person never finds out or (2) finding out later that you did not need permission in the first place.

(This is simply a straightforward approach to the issue. It is not a flip answer.)

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: I am writing a biographical screenplay about my mother, Rosemary Rogers. She was a famous romance novelist.

In my screenplay I am writing about her first husband. Not my father. Her fist husband cheated on her. That is why she divorced him. Her first husband was a man of fame in Sri Lanka. He was once known as 'the fastest man in Asia'. Can I use his name in my script? I need it.

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 9, 2021

The answer depends on many factors. The first, of course, is what you write about him. It is sounds like you would do more than simply mention his name. There are other points of interest. The legal issues include defamation, right of publicity, invasion of privacy to name a few. Whether your use... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for California on
Q: What is the best way legally to file a foreign corp from Colorado to California and also could I later move to CA?

I purchased 2 shelf corps that are llc's and wanted to dba in california. I wanted to also ask is it legally better to have multiple companies under 1 llc or should they legally be divided?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 9, 2021

This is not a one-size-fits-all. Do you want a dba in California or to register with the Secretary of State as a foreign corporation? It seems as though you could benefit from a consultation with an attorney to consider all the facts and to pick the alternative that best fits your business... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: I need to know if I can use my mother's first husband's name in my screenplay without his permission.

I am writing a biographical screenplay about my mother. She was a famous romance novelist. She passed away in November, 2019. She divorced her first husband for cheating on her. Afterward she met my father. I have two half sisters and a full brother. My sister doesn’t want me to use her... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 3, 2021

Writing about a living person can raise issues of defamation, right of publicity, and false light, among others. There are many ways to do it wrong and a few ways to do it right. Some details may just have to be left out. A more complete statement of facts and a careful analysis by an attorney... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for California on
Q: My former employer purchased my shares under the fake pretense that the shares were valued lower than they really were.

Can I sue them?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Mar 2, 2021

This is America. You can always sue someone. The actual question is whether suing will get you a good result for a price that does not exceed the amount you are seeking. Proving low valuation and fake pretense can be difficult. A detailed set of facts must be reviewed.

4 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Contracts, Copyright and Criminal Law for California on
Q: Can I use word "Minnie" in my brand title, brand logo. I only use "Minnie", not "Minnie Mouse", is it ok?

For example, my brand is: Pinky Minnie Couture or Destiny Minnie Arts ...

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Feb 25, 2021

There is not enough information to answer this. However, you should think about whether your use will evoke thoughts of Minnie Mouse when viewed by consumers.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Can a book published in the 1850s in England (copyright expired in 1900s) be copyrighted by a US publisher in 1970s?
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Feb 22, 2021

New material is subject to copyright protection. A new book including the old book plus a new introduction may be published and the new introduction may be subject to copyright protection. The old book will not be subject to copyright protection. Depending on what you want to copy, what you want to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law for California on
Q: In a credit card suit, the filing states plaintiff has met conditions precedent, including exhaustion of administrative

remedies. does this mean prior to filing plaintiff must attempt or offer to settle? If so, can you site the rule or case law?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Feb 19, 2021

No.

Are you asking for free assistance in writing your own answer or are you a law student asking us to do your homework? In any event, it is "cite" and not "site."

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