Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: Ibought a storage unit on auction with boxes of NEW books, can I sale them with out getting in trouble with the writer?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Florida on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

It shouldn't be a problem. You can sell books, just can't make copies and sell those copies.
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Q: I bought a painting at a yard sale and it doesn’t have any signature,and I recently modified a picture of it.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Business Law for Florida on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

I think you do own the rights. It doesn't appear that the painting is protected by the copyright laws because the artist is not identified.
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Q: What are some ways I can check on the legal rights I have to a potential name for a developing small business?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Montana on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

Short phrases and names are generally not protected by copyright law. What you're probably thinking of is trademark infringement - the key question being, will your name confuse consumers, that is, might consumers believe that your company is affiliated with or endorsed by E. B. White, Harper & Brothers, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Universal, or any of the other entities involved with a production of Charlotte's Web who may retain rights in that name.

Is it impossible to use the name?...
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Q: I want to upload my original paid for copy of a digital book to my website and allow others to only view it.Is this ok?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Colorado on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

If you're the author of the book and have retained all intellectual property interests in the writing, that's okay. If someone else is the author and you don't have a license to reproduce and display the book for that purpose, that's not okay.
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Q: How to phrase my NDA so the duration of it, five years, begins at the conclusion of business/communication not the start

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Copyright for California on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

Your objective is understood. It can be achieved. However, it looks like you want to give up confidentiality on all information generated during the relationship. Perhaps you may wish to consult counsel as to whether any other unintended consequences could result from the arrangement you contemplate.

See disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
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Q: What if someone uses video of you in a TV commercial without your permission?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Civil Litigation and Entertainment / Sports for Florida on
Answered on Dec 8, 2017

When you participated in the program 14 years ago and video was taken it is possible that you signed paperwork that gave them the right to use the video footage however they see fit. I am guessing that you would not have any of the paperwork that you may have signed from then.

You may want to ask them what authorization that they have to use the video footage of you to see what they will provide. I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in the Jacksonville area to get specific advice...
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Q: which company hold the patent number on 9243477 item?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents on
Answered on Dec 6, 2017

I try to answer all questions with information that would be useful to others seeking to answer the same type of question.

So the answer is that you can check the assignment database maintained by the USPTO. People are supposed to record assignments here and may suffer consequences if they do not. However, as we are relying on people to record their assignments, there can be gaps in the information.

Go to
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Q: We are an mobile app developers and are wondering if it is possible to protect our app's technology with a patent. How?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Trademark and Patents on
Answered on Dec 5, 2017

While patents for apps and software have been harder to obtain lately, a patent is still the best avenue to protect your work for this technology.

I would say that phone application are patentable when they are:

(a) geared to something more than an abstract idea, essentially tied to machines or concrete concepts;

(b) include points of novelty not covered by other apps; and

(c) those points of novelty would not have been obvious to someone in that field....
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Q: Do I (the producer) own the rights to an artist’s image/likeness/master recordings?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Trademark for Alabama on
Answered on Dec 4, 2017

Unless the artist agreed to convey to you the property you don't own it. You might try to enforce some contract by course of dealing, or attempt to show that he gave the work away, but you are going to learn a lesson in doing things without an agreement in place.
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Q: i want to use my name as my website for my music. someone else owns it but not using it. i reached out to them, but...

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on Dec 2, 2017

You can usually almost always use your name if it is your own name.
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Q: With a Provisional Patent; What are next steps to keep secure while shopping invention?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 28, 2017

You need to get connected with an attorney that has been down this road many times before. You will need a non-disclosure/non-use agreement that is used with folks that are given access to your design.

To the extent that you work with vendors to improve your design, the paperwork needs to be clear that their improvements flow to you without additional compensation as you are already paying them to be smart.

Each state has an organization that helps small businesses that is...
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Q: Do I have complete ownership of lyrics to have anyone I choose to write the music?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Ohio on
Answered on Nov 28, 2017

The author of lyrics automatically gains copyright protection under US copyright laws. The author can register that copyright to get added protection against infringement. The composer who does the music also gains copyright protection in the musical composition. So a song has 2 copyrights. When the song is recorded, the person creating the sound recording also gains a copyright in the recording. Three different people can own copyrights in a recorded song. The author's copyright in the...
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Q: A company is trademarking a logo design that I designed for them, but they have not yet paid for it. What can be done?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark on
Answered on Nov 27, 2017

What does your written design agreement say? What about other written communications between you and the client?

You won't be able to get an accurate answer without more information. Consult with an attorney in your state.
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Q: If Court Clerk entered Default should Defendant not respond ?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on Nov 27, 2017

You say you "filed Default" so I assume you are the plaintiff in this case. If, instead, a default judgment has been entered against you, you should contact a lawyer in the state the judgment was entered immediately to determine your options.

Generally, obtaining a default judgment means you won your case without the defendant filing a response. A defendant can still challenge a default judgment and move to have it set aside. This can happen, for example, if you attempted to serve...
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Q: If a business closes that has a trademark logo can anyone apply for it?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for Texas on
Answered on Nov 24, 2017

The other party may have some remaining rights to the trademark. To know for sure, an attorney would need to perform a trademark search. Assuming the prior registrant has no rights; yes, someone else could apply for the trademark.
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Q: What is a derivative art work? If I do some additions to an existing art work of some artist and make a derivative.?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on Nov 22, 2017

Among other rights, the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S. Code § 106) provides the copyright owner the exclusive right . . . “(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work * * *.” Derivative works are based on or derived from one or more already existing works. Copyright Office Circular 14 ( is helpful in understanding the nature of a derivative work. It is critical to understand that the rights to make derivative works belong to...
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Q: I created a character,at a small business I started, then I dissolved the business,can an ex employee, make claim to it

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Copyright for Florida on
Answered on Nov 21, 2017

Without more it is difficult to determine but the question would be, did the employee create it while under your employment and did you have an agreement that basically said anything created by an employee for the employer belongs to the company etc or did you yourself create the character? Definitely give an attorney a call, with these questions in mind to better advice you.
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Q: Can people post my photos on the internet? I have watermarked them but I'm not too sure about the copyright laws.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on Nov 20, 2017

Generally no, someone else cannot post your photos, even if they credit you for taking the picture. If this has happened to you, you may have the right to seek monetary damages and/or have the photos taken down. I recommend speaking with an intellectual property attorney.
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Q: who is liable for a photo copyright ingringement complaint ? The advertiser or the owner of a domain name and website

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New Jersey on
Answered on Nov 20, 2017

Most likely you are both liable. Although, you may also have a claim against your client to reimburse you for your liability to owner of the photograph. An intellectual property attorney would need to review all the facts to know for sure.
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Q: Can I copyright an image that includes lettering/fonts within the design? Also, what if a design includes basic shapes?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas on
Answered on Nov 20, 2017

Basic design elements are protected by copyright as part of broader designs. Although, you cannot prevent someone else from using basic design elements (fonts, letter, shapes) by using them in your own copyright protected work.
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