Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Indiana on
Q: Can I sell my aviation and automotive photographs?

As a photographer can I, for example, sell my photograph of a Ford Mustang, and describe it in my listing as a "photograph of a Ford Mustang", without Ford’s written permission?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 30, 2023

Yes, of course you can. Using a trademark in the description of the photograph is "nominative fair use" of the mark, and not an infringement.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Tennessee on
Q: Please explain the following?

I am looking to trademark the name Bitsy Boop. I found THIS on your website: BITSY BOOP - Trademark Details

Status: 710 - Cancelled - Section 8

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 30, 2023

BITSY BOOP, with a design of a little girl, was registered by the Hearst corporation in 1998 for tee shirts, and one half of Hearst's interest was assigned to Fleischer Studios in 1999. The joint owners failed to maintain the registration with a required statement of continuing use in 2005,... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Personal Injury, Communications Law and Libel & Slander for Florida on
Q: Can another lawyer post things about your case & bash you on social media if they're not your lawyer or on the case ?

There's a Facebook group where there is two Florida lawyers are talking about my case to members of it. They're posting screenshots from pacer about the lawsuit against me and making fun of me when they have no information on this matter, and I haven't been able to prove my... Read more »

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
answered on Jan 30, 2023

You actually raise a couple different issues here. 1. Can Court documents available on PACER lawfully be disclosed on social media? Yes, because they're public records, and the fact that the discloser is a lawyer who is not on your case is irrelevant. 2. Can someone lawfully make fun of you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: I am writing a novel and would like to use quote from a non-fiction book as part of the narrative. What are the limits?

In my novel, the main character is using quotes from the non-fiction book to as aids to illustrate her own experiences, which she relates to the content of the quotes. She states that she's doing so because the book's author has already said things very well and she sees no point in... Read more »

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 30, 2023

The “fair use” doctrine under Section 107 of the Copyright Act may allow you to do what you want, but this is subject to a detailed review of your case, as fair use is adjudicated on a case-by-case basis with reference to similar court precedents and a multi-factor legal test. It’s impossible... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: Hello JUSTIA Patents, I have a question, about copyrighting, eventually on a source code. What to do?

I have my own source code, for an Deep Learning, GPT-3 based Artificial Intelligence, which is not associated in any ways with OpenAI´s ChatGPT. It was written from the scratch, and its well documented. How can I protect my code?

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 29, 2023

Source code is eligible for copyright registration, but infringement of copyright only applies when the wrongfully reproduced work meets the "substantial similarity" criteria under the Copyright Act. This can end up being a strategic decision, because competitors can seek to alter your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: i want to use name Moana as an artist (singer) name.I have rights to use it as an artist name,haven’t I ?
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 26, 2023

MOANA is a Hawaiian word for "ocean" and is therefore a generic term, not capable of being registered by itself for exclusive use. Disney has registered DISNEY MOANA for use in films and entertainment, and as the name of a fictional character. Your use of MOANA would most probably be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: I have a superhero who is a literal archangel would I still be infringing on Marvel's archangel?

They have the same name: archangel. They both superheroes. They have a similar look (human with wings... Like an angel). But that's it.

The story is radically different. Marvel's archangel is a mutant originally called angel until his wings are replaced by mechanical wings. That... Read more »

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 25, 2023

This is more of a trademark issue than copyright, unless the image of your character is identical to the Marvel character.

ARCHANGEL was a registered trademark of Marvel in 1994 for comic books, but that registration was cancelled in 2005 for failure to file a statement of continuing use....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Utah on
Q: Is there a patent for a Helmet in a baseball cap?
Stephen E. Zweig
Stephen E. Zweig
answered on Jan 24, 2023

One good way to research this is to use patents.google.com, type in various relevant keywords, and see what you find. For example, try: https://patents.google.com/?q=helmet+baseball+cap&oq=helmet+in+baseball+cap and various other variations.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Criminal Law for Oklahoma on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to take photos off of my Facebook account of my child to post on there account

Someone I don’t know took photos I had posted on my Facebook account and posted them on their Facebook account pretending my child was theirs

Steve Charles Vondran
PREMIUM
Steve Charles Vondran PRO label
answered on Jan 24, 2023

If you took the image, it is your image (i.e., you own the copyright - even if you never registered it). Being that the use by the imposter would not appear to be commercial in nature, suing for copyright infringement may not be the most exciting option (especially since you cannot get attorney... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Animal / Dog Law and Intellectual Property for Idaho on
Q: Can I legally sell an image I took of a friends cow without their written consent or do I need a property release?

I took photos of a friends cows about 3 years ago. Last week discovered that she was trying to sell my images on Etsy. When I asked her not to she then proceeded to tell me I am not allowed to sell images of her cows, that she has never given me permission. Do I need a property release from her if... Read more »

Robert E. Wasserman
PREMIUM
Robert E. Wasserman
answered on Jan 24, 2023

Yes, you can legally sell the photographs. The practical enforcement of your copyrights, however, is a bit more complex. Recording a collection of a work of photographs with the U.S. Copyright Office should provide you with a useful tool to swiftly remove infringing articles from major online U.S.... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law and Copyright for New York on
Q: If the customer saw the mistake and remained silent until the process is completed, am I still liable?

A customer asked me to plant ten trees in her yard. My worker planted the wrong kind of trees. The customer saw it after the third tree but remained silent. After planting all the trees, she demanded to get rid of the wrong trees and plant the right ones at a 25% discount. Another offer she had is... Read more »

Samuil Buschkin
Samuil Buschkin
answered on Jan 22, 2023

You should speak to a lawyer because ALL details and fine points matter for a correct analysis. Generally, the parties are bound by the terms of the agreement. If the customer wants to modify (renegotiate) the agreement it can be done only per the terms of the agreement and with the other... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on
Q: Can I put a copyrighted sticker on a cup to sell if I bought the sticker from the copyright holder?

For example- If I buy a sticker from Disney and I put the sticker I purchased on a cup and I sell the cup would that be legal since I did not make the sticker. I would also be purchasing the sticker legally from them.

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 21, 2023

Yes, thanks to the "first sale doctrine" codified at 17 U.S.C. § 109, which provides that an individual who knowingly purchases a copy of a copyrighted work from the copyright holder receives the right to sell, display or otherwise dispose of that particular copy, notwithstanding the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Q: In a YouTube video, can my nickname be Captain America or would it be copyrighted

Creating a YouTube channel in tourism for Latin Americans visiting USA. Would like to use the nickname Captain America

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 20, 2023

You will have to research whether the current owner of the Captain America trademark owns the rights in similar service or product classes to your proposed use to promote tourism. Whether you will be sued for infringement will then depend on whether your uses interfere with the rights owner in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Copyright for New York on
Q: RE: Comedians Intellectual Property. Assume I produce YouTube videos as tributes to specific comedians and their content

Does the attribution to the original comedian overcome copyright? And, would the answer be different if the videos were free to the public versus being included in a fee based subscription?

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 20, 2023

No, attribution is not a defense to copyright infringement. Fair use might be a defense. Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act provides for certain cases where permission from the rights holder is not required. Courts assess whether the "fair use" defense applies based on four factors:... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: I am looking to sell quotes on merchandise from ancient philosophers like Marcus aurelius etc. Would this be legal?

The quotes would be from figures like Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln. All of which have passed on. Would these be free of copyright?

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp PRO label
answered on Jan 17, 2023

The works of the ancient philosophers and Abraham Lincoln are definitely in the public domain. As for Einstein, who died in 1955, some of his published works may still be subject to copyright (Works published after 1923, but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication.)... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: I am looking to sell quotes on merchandise from ancient philosophers like Marcus aurelius etc. Would this be legal?

The quotes would be from figures like Albert Einstein and Abraham Lincoln. All of which have passed on. Would these be free of copyright?

Erik Špila
Erik Špila
answered on Jan 17, 2023

Yes, in most countries these are in public domain and so you can use them on your merchandise.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Q: What can I do if I have created a design, uploaded it online and it has been used uncredited, a copyright violation?

If I have uploaded a design on a file-sharing website under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, and somebody uses it uncredited for a commercial purpose. If the site refuses to take it down, what recourse do I have?

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 17, 2023

If your copyright is unregistered, you can only file a lawsuit where you will have to prove damages such as lost profits. The better move is to register your copyright with the USPTO. Then you will have access to statutory damages (only requiring proof of infringement) of anywhere between 750 and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: TRO expired on January 12th. The Court required me to explain irreparable harm if I have a motion for a PIO.

1. All documents were still Under Seal on January 3rd. Then The Court required me to disclose. I disclosed all documents on January 6th, 2023. ( See the attached file.)

2. The defendant made defamation statements against me when he has not seen any document on January 3rd, 2023. This is... Read more »

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Any attorney would need more information to figure out what is going on and advise you how to proceed.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: I own a collection of action figures (superheroes, Godzilla, ect.) Can I use photos of them to make t-shirts or posters?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Use of trademarked and copywrited products and characters in other products for sale is not permitted and will subject you to possible lawsuits and damages which will include forfeiture of all profits from such sales, payment of attorney's fees and court costs, plus possible punitive or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Florida on
Q: Is tracing parts of an illustration violate copyright?

I am developing a NFT collection based on animated sitcons. I know that tracing over the character image to create a new art work is illegal. But what about assets present in the character picture? Things like hats/hairs/clothes and other assets. Can I trace over this assets present in the original... Read more »

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Your question concerns whether the proposed use of the copyrighted material is covered by the "fair use" defense to copyright infringement. Fair Use under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act provides for certain cases where permission from the rights holder is not required. Courts... Read more »

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.