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Copyright Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Civil Litigation and Communications Law for Nevada on

Q: Is it illegal to post an ad on a dating app of an ex saying this person uses drugs and lies to manipulate people.

The photo from that person’s dating profile would be used in this hypothetical. The statements are true.

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 24, 2019

Yes, it is illegal--at least in the sense of possibly being defamatory, which is actionable in most if not all states. However, truth is usually an absolute defense in most if not all states too. Practically speaking, no lawyer would ever advise any client to go online in a public forum to do what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Probate and Trademark for Massachusetts on

Q: How do I find out about a will from my great grandfather??

He was an inventor and patented at least 2 machines that I no of. How can I did out about patents payments inherited residual or my rights???

Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Aug 21, 2019

If you are the Court appointed Personal Representative of his estate, then you have authority to

contact the Patent Office or you can engage counsel or a search service. Also, you will be able to

review his tax returns, and financial and all other records.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law and Trademark for Indiana on

Q: I took a picture of our Sony camera to use on our website. Do I need permission to use this?

It is an original photo that I took to use as a header on our church website and the name, "Sony" is in view on the side of the camera

Karima Gulick answered on Aug 20, 2019

You don't need permission to use your own photo. However, depending on what your website is about, it would be best to avoid displaying someone else's trademark.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Utah on

Q: Can I propogate succulents for fun and to earn a little extra cash?

I have been wanting to propogate succulents for the experiment and fun of it. I also hoped to sell any babies that might be successful for some extra money. However while I did some research I learned that their where certain patent laws that made it illegal for some succulents. What succulents am... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Aug 13, 2019

This is a very nuanced area of law. I do not even dabble in this area. I thought I could provide some self-help resources though.

If you are wondering whether a type of plant has been patented, you will need to search the patent databases for whether the patent has been registered....
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Traffic Tickets for Florida on

Q: If you get pulled over for driving a vehicle with improper tag and it's not your vehicle, what to expect in court

I borrowed a friend vehicle to go to the laundry mat, I got pulled over and ticketed for the tag on it not belonging to the vehicle, now I have court over ticket. It had a tag on the vehicle but it didn't belong on that vehicle

Linda Liang answered on Aug 7, 2019

You are still going to be charged with driving a vehicle without a tag. You can explain that in court and the owner could be cited for that for lending the car to you.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Does a patent done in the US cover all parts of the world? Does the patent for wighat D814149 extend outside the US?

I want to know if a patent done in the US protects the design in other parts of the world.

What happens if someone else outside of the US also has same idea? Can they go on and bring their idea to life if they're in another part of the world, say West Africa?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 6, 2019

A patent only applies in the country or regional group that issued the patent. A patent applies to things made in that country and to things brought into that country. If a product is created outside the US and never enters the US, then a US patent is not relevant.

Many companies will...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on

Q: Hi! I´m an illustrator and i wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark my name and copyright my work or is it not?

I have heard that the copyright is automatic when I create my work and I would be using my name but I wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark it and copyright my work to have any protection or if it is enough to creeate it and use the symbol on the work without paying. Thanks

Jason Brooks answered on Aug 5, 2019

By law, a Common Law copyright is created the moment you put your work into tangible form (i.e. once you create an actual work, beyond just the idea in your head). If you have a copyrighted work, you are authorized to sue for damages if someone uses that work without authorization, however with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Louisiana on

Q: Does copyright filed in the UK apply in the US? And if the products are cosmetic and similar does that apply?

I received a message from someone on Facebook regarding some cosmetic brushes that I customize in my free time and that I have sold to a few people. They claim that their brushes, which are similar, are copyrighted but I see no proof of it on the website or elsewhere. They are also located in the... Read more »

Warren V. Norred answered on Aug 1, 2019

A work registered in the UK may be enforced here under the Berne Convention, but I'd ask them to give you proof of copyright.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law on

Q: Fair use to generate transcripts of others' YouTube videos for purposes of research?

I am a doctoral candidate conducting research on social media, specifically the YouTube platform. Is it fair use for me to prepare transcripts of publicly accessible YouTube videos that I am not the creator of for the purposes of research? The transcripts will not be re-sold, but strictly used for... Read more »

Warren V. Norred answered on Aug 1, 2019

This appears to be a classic Fair Use and if you aren't using it for commercial purposes, the factors of Fair Use should lean toward allowing your use. My initial two cents is that you are fine.

I'd probably want to give credit to Youtube and the content creators in your research.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on

Q: I'm seeking to produce unlicensed NCAA logos with "terds"/"turds" illustrated over them, in the effort of fair use.

Matthew Williams answered on Aug 1, 2019

What are they for? Fair use exceptions allow news outlets, artists, comedians and such to use copyrighted material on a limit basis for their stories or acts. It does not allow for commercial mass production. So, if you are a comedian, and you want to have one such logo for a bit, it’s fine. If... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Georgia on

Q: Hello, If I see a trademark name has expired and not been renewed, can I claim that ?

See information on Durysta

Jason Brooks answered on Jul 31, 2019

Technically, yes -- but you have to understand that "claiming" the mark is not the correct description -- you have the right to prepare and file a new registration application with the USPTO and go through the entire registration process for the mark you'd like to claim. This process requires the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York on

Q: Can I use a word that is part of a trademarked phrase for my artist name when I release music?

The word is (Lyoko) and is part of the trademarked phrase "Code Lyoko". The trademark for Code Lyoko does not include music production or releases, so does this mean I would be okay because it's a different industry?

John Martin Hilla answered on Jul 29, 2019

Your best bet is to come up with a name or brand this is totally unique and original. However, you should discuss your proposed trademark with a knowledgeable trademark attorney.

Most trademark attorneys practice nationally, so you should feel free to discuss your artist name with an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on

Q: I am writing a screenplay for a biopic of a celebrity and I am wondering if I have the rights to sell the script.

I got all the information about the events that occur in the script from books written about the events and public information. I just want to know if I need to acquire any special rights or am I allowed to sell the script as is. And also am I allowed to copyright the script?

Jason Brooks answered on Jul 25, 2019

You may copyright the script, and sell it, however the celebrity's life rights must be obtained before the script could be produced. A buyer would most likely condition the sale on the ability to clear those rights. If you have additional questions or need clarification you can feel free to email... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on

Q: Is it fair use for a professor to show an historically based movie to a campus club then explain its inaccuracies.

Would it be more likely or less likely to qualify as a fair use, if a History Club, that is part of a nonprofit educational institution, were to show historically based movies to club members and to have a history professor comment on and critique the accuracies and inaccuracies of the historical... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 23, 2019

In a book review, the writer quotes brief passages of the book as a basis for making a comment. The writer does not reproduce the whole book and than make a comment.

Your question gives the impression that you want to show the whole film and then have a professor comment on and critique...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California on

Q: I'm making an independent feature film and in the script I verbally reference work by other people.

Do I need to obtain clearance if the work is mentioned verbally and not actually seen on screen?. For example, if I have a line from a popular musical. Another example would be if I just mention a Television channel, like National Geographic?

Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 23, 2019

The copyright statute covers the form of expression in the work and not the ideas in it. Factual reference to an item is usually not infringement. However, it is difficult to tell what you mean by "verbally reference." Are you referring to the mention of a painting or are you repeating lyrics... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on

Q: Copyright laws in NY- replicating photos in paintings

I would like to start giving art classes to amateur students. This would involve them producing a painting, using a picture as a guide. What are the legal parameters surrounding the pictures I can provide, from which they will copy? Is it a problem to have them print pictures from the internet or... Read more »

Charles Oliver Wolff answered on Jul 22, 2019

For personal use, not an issue, but if they are displayed publicly, like in a product label, periodical or on a website, there are potential problems, especially if the photo contains the likeness of a person without their permission. It gets tricky. Why not take some phots yourself. thereby giving... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Minnesota on

Q: Would a US Patent only cover my rights in the US or could I use a patent cooperation treaty with a US patent to further

Protect my rights.

Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Jul 22, 2019

A US patent is valid only in the US. You can use a PCT application, if you are still within the time limits, to file in other PCT countries. That requires a new application.

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1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability and Copyright for California on

Q: Can I use online-posted scientific research in support of my new product sales?

Can I post other's online pictures and text from their scientific experiments to help sell my new products?

Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

This is an open-ended question. In many cases using ideas from other publications is not copyright infringement. Using pictures and quotes could be. An interesting concept is that of getting permission from the author. This is not always difficult or expensive. Consulting an attorney could be a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on

Q: When if I had a brand name, and someone else is using it now. I can prove it.

I also had the same brand name for pod cast

Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

What do you mean by "have a brand name?" If you have a product or service you provide under the brand name there might be an issue to consider. If you happen to have a name that you wrote down and nobody else knows about it there might not be anything protectable there. You can usually get better... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on

Q: Will I have any copyright infringement?

Hi. I'm Alex. I will be brief. I develop a technology based on Artificial Intelligence which produces its own music in real time. The thing is that I teach MY system by using copyrighted music. Will I have any copyright infringement if I monetize the technology? Thanks.

Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

As a generality, if you copy music and use it, it is copyright infringement whether or not you monetize it. There are exceptions for "fair use." However, those exceptions are much narrower than most copiers think they are.

Serious companies consider paying a license fee. Sometimes the cost...
Read more »

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