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California Copyright Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Defendant’s Late Filing of Answer to Complaint in California

Defendant did not respond to my Complaint within 21 days. As my Default Application was still pending, the court accepted Defendant’s Answer 60 days after the time to respond. Defendant did request an extension, however, it was filed after the 21-day time to respond. Is this appropriate procedure?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 19, 2021

In State Court There is a difference between a Default and a Default Judgment. First you file a request for entry of default. If there is no answer on file, the Clerk enters a default. After you have this entered you submit a packet for entry of default judgment with your evidence proving up the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Civil Litigation for California on
Q: Ex-parte communication - filed by Defendant

Is it improper, a violation of statutes/ethics for a Defendant to submit a 80-page confidential memorandum to the Court on my case prior to filing of my Complaint? I learned of it by a public records request. The memorandum makes many false claims and certainly has the appearance of prejudicing... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 18, 2021

AZ or CA? You posted in CA. Here I cannot even conceive of a way they could file something in a Civil action before you file a complaint. How would they have the case number? There is a procedure for them to file a sealed document that must be followed first.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Can I use my mother's first husband's name in my screenplay without getting his permission?

"I am writing a biographical screenplay about my mother, Rosemary Rogers. She was a famous romance novelist.": I mention her first husband, by name. He cheated on her. That is why she divorced him. Can I use his name?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Mar 18, 2021

Not a Copyright issue, it is a Libel issue. If you name him and get the facts wrong, you may be looking at libel litigation.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

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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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Can I use this?:

I am wondering if I can use this message. “This work is based upon real events. Certain events, dialogue and characters were created for the purposes of fictionalization.”

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 11, 2021

you should be able

don't see any issue

always consult with an attorney

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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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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Hello, would this name violate a word trademark if the products are very different?

Hi,

I thought this would be a quick and easy question for someone here who wanted to help. Unfortunately, I'm not really in a financial situation to hire an attorney/lawyer.

I'd like to publish a book with the title "___ for Potato Heads" similar to one of those... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Mar 9, 2021

No, sorry, you'll likely cannot use "____ for Potato Heads" as a series title.

Why don't you do what the Beatles did when they wanted to record "Dr. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band"? Just work rework it from "___ for Potato Heads" to "__ for...
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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 »

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 ...

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr answered on Feb 25, 2021

Not a criminal law question.

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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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Identity Theft and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Can we make arguments for laws around transmission of signals being focus by trajectory on human

C

If processing of signals constantly being held consistent of my attention and/or just comprehension of just auditory vibration of non audio frequency in turn creates a usable feature for in chip processing products and telecommunications. So communication by exchanging of similarities... Read more »

Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer answered on Feb 17, 2021

Exactly what are you trying to accomplish? Your question is not clear.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Copyright for California on
Q: Can the copyright owner/producer fire the director/writer/producer and post-produce and release his version of the film?

A and B signed an agreement with regard to A and B collaboration on that certain short Film based on the screenplay written by B. A paid B a flat fee for writing services. A and B produced the Film.

All rights and copyright (and any renewals, extensions and continuations thereof),... Read more »

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Feb 6, 2021

Read the contract.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is the posting of a person's mugshot on Google the same as slander ?
William John Light
William John Light answered on Feb 1, 2021

Slander is the false statement of fact that damages someone's reputation. Publishing a mug shot doesn't sound like a false statement. Publishing mug shots of a minor can be illegal. Charging people to remove mug shots can be illegal in California.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Trademark for California on
Q: What are the limits of using 'Established by ' in company logo? Does it have to mean when the business was established?

I'd like to create a business logo that has 'Est. 2000', but that's not when the business was created; rather, it's when my child was born. Is that false advertising?

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 26, 2021

A good guideline would be: if you think it is false advertising, it probably is not a good idea. It would be false advertising to say you were in business for 21 years if you were not. Probably not a big deal if you were in business for 19 years, but if it was only 2, it could become an issue.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: If I start a devotional blogger aimed at upholding Jedi conduct for better habits, do I need to ask Disney's permission?

This would be on the google Blogger server and would eventually carry a chain of willing authors as well as a great many Starwars links in support of the franchise.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II answered on Jan 25, 2021

Don't guess how protective Disney will be about any of its copyrighted materials once you start doing a website using or referring to them. I would even search "Jedi" to see if it is copyrighted. You should have a consultation with an intellectual property attorney who can guide... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: If I start a devotional blogger aimed at upholding Jedi conduct for better habits, do I need to ask Disney's permission?

This would be on the google Blogger server and would eventually carry a chain of willing authors as well as a great many Starwars links in support of the franchise.

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

The question raises copyright and trademark questions. In all likelihood Disney would not care if you supported the franchise. The facts do not indicate how you would make references to Disney properties or possibly use them. There may be ways to do it right. There are very many ways to do it... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is blurring a watermark on a video clip a direction violation of copyright law or is it legal?

We own a list channel on YouTube, we make videos such as “7 Biggest Houses in the World” everything is under fair use (we have a voiceover over the clips and we use minimal footage as possible) and sometimes there are watermarks on video clips, are we allowed to blur the watermarks on the clip?... Read more »

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Jan 17, 2021

The questions are very fact specific, so an IP attorney should be consulted for legal advice.

Generally speaking, it's not uncommon to confuse or conflate copyright "Fair Use" and trademark "Fair Use" and to misunderstand the role and limits of "Fair...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: I am planning to start self-publishing books under a pen name. What legal steps do I need to take in order to this?

I'm a little confused about the process. I'm forming a LLC, but beyond that, do I need to create a DBA in the pen name? Do I need to trademark it? Do I need register for a copyright?

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Jan 11, 2021

You should definitely sit down with an attorney and understand all the issues associated with it.

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