Sylmar, CA asked in Copyright for California

Q: A reporter is hired, short term, by the federal government to write for them. Government releases his writing to (MORE)

general press pool, which uses it without byline credit or payment. It is further picked up by his previous employer, a major newspaper, to publish under his byline, which they do. His employment by government is kept secret and the major newspaper makes it appear that he is writing for them. Government has paid him, newspaper has gotten the material for free. Are the resulting articles in the public domain? I am a playwright working on a project where this is the situation and I need to know if I can quote liberally from source material - public domain - or whether I have to change wording to cite content without using exact wording. Thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: Very complicated scenario. Lots of moving parts.

You need to consult with an attorney to sort out all the pieces.

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