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Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Texas on
Q: if I make a PowerPoint lecture based on someone else's book, am I violating his copyright?

I'm a tutor but not an author.

Let's say I'm teaching poker.

1) I've made a set of PowerPoint slides based on various books that I use when I teach. There are famous card hands given as examples. I know that the hands can't be copyrighted, and the analysis... Read more »

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 24, 2020

1) Copyright covers the expression itself, not the idea. So if you're discussing strategies/approaches/ideas your risk should be low. If this is strictly for educational purposes (i.e. you're only using them for private instruction), this also helps you in a fair use defense to a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I made original artwork using the VW logo, will I get sued if I put it on a shirt?

I took a picture of the VW logo, photoshopped it into artwork, will I get sued if I put it on a shirt that I would sell?

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

This is never an easy question. There are ways to "transform" copyrighted and trademarked works in a way that "fair use" rights will apply. However, I tell my clients not to mess with big established brands and logos. It may end up in having to scrap your project, pay... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Is the name Sherlock trademarked?

I am a 17 year old artist based in UAE and I just recently started getting into the market. My entire social media structure has been built around the username 'almostsherlock' and my insignia includes an 'SH' along with my internet alias below it; Elias. I did this because my... Read more »

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

Here is a good site to check out. Generally speaking, what I tell my clients in this day and age is, to stay safe, be original. There is nothing worse than putting a lot of time, money and effort into something only to get a cease and desist letter. I am not saying this is what would happen, but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: If I put a Porsche vehicle on a shirt and then sell the shirt will I get sued?

I took a picture of a Porsche and I want to use that picture as a shirt design to sell. Will I get sued for selling that shirt?

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 24, 2020

You can never tell for sure if someone (or a company like Porsche) is going to sue you for using their car and trademarked logo commercially on shirts. Me, I would not take my chances knowing what I know. I would probably try to create my own dream car and own unique logo.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Federal Crimes on
Q: Where can I find help prepairing my case for court.
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 24, 2020

A California attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. The nature of your matter isn't clear from the broad range of categories you included. Each one of those categories has resources that might be of use, from government websites to legal aid clinics. For general... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: If I have a product that I would like to register under a CC license, do I need a trademark for the logo and brand name?

Its music that I wish to allow the public to distribute while retaining commercial rights by licensing my work as CC BY NC 4.0. However, I would like to use a band name and a logo to promote this music while also selling physical media and merch.

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 22, 2020

Registering your name as a trademark is not required to accomplish this goal, but it is definitely advisable! A registered TM gets you lots of additional federal protections (nationwide rights, presumptive priority, ability to sue for attorney's fees, etc). Please consult an IP attorney to see... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for North Carolina on
Q: If I signed something with a publisher, agreeing to give them the copyright for my book, but they never registered it...

Could I potentially register the copyright and own it, despite what I signed? No copyright claim was ever filed for this book

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 22, 2020

This is impossible to answer without seeing the contract. If the other party had an obligation to register the copyrights, then perhaps. But it's more likely you already assigned away your rights to the book. Please have an IP attorney read your contract.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Arizona on
Q: Can I use pictures (that I took) of artworks in galleries or museums on my blog?

I am starting an art opinion blog, writing about museums, galleries, and exhibitions. I take my own photos of the artwork in these spaces when allowed. I would like to post these pictures on my blog to add detail but am worried about the legality of posting pictures of someone else's... Read more »

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 20, 2020

This will most likely fall within the exception of "fair use" in copyright law, but be sure to check to see if some of sculptures are also subject to a trademark registration (see, e.g., Space Needle, Golden Gate Bridge).

Also check the Terms of Entry with every single museum to...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on
Q: How can I go about researching to confirm my new idea doesn't copy someone else's patent.
Stephen Kontos
Stephen Kontos answered on Oct 19, 2020

You should consult with an experienced patent lawyer. This is not something you should try on your own. Determining whether you infringe a patent is complicated and best left to professionals. A patent lawyer can help you find the relevant patents in your industry and advise you during product... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Business Law for Michigan on
Q: Does Huntington's trademarked "welcome" prohibit if I say "Welcome to Crossnik Media" in a single advertisement?

I have a business called Crossnik Media. We are getting ready to run an introductory ad with the goal of getting some brand recognition for our new local business in Midland, MI. At the end, we say "Welcome to Crossnik Media", because throughout the ad, we're explaining our... Read more »

Thomas. R. Morris
Thomas. R. Morris answered on Oct 19, 2020

In order to give definitive advice to you I would want to know all of the facts, including your proposed use, but I can say for certain that the bank does not have exclusive rights to that the word "welcome". I don't see any possibility of confusion if you are using "welcome... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law and Trademark for Texas on
Q: Can I send a cease and desist to someone who has a name similar to my company's even though my trademark is live

My trademark application is live and pending yet I recently realized someone with a similar name like mine, they just changed the last letter on the word, so instead of Y they replaced it with an E. So can I send a cease and desist even though my application is pending yet live? The other company... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 18, 2020

The use of a mark which is similar in sight and sound used for similar goods and or services is infringement. Is the other mark used for sale of similar goods and or services?

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Minnesota on
Q: Does quoting a source for a history book infringe on its copyright?

I am writing a book on Native American battlefields in the Midwest. Some of my source books have statements such as “No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 18, 2020

It may be "fair use". However, certainty of not having a conflict can be. by getting permission.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Q: Can dapper be registered as a trademark since there currently late code 602 I think. Mine would be Dapper with no period
Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 18, 2020

The suggestion is that a TM of "dapper" has expired. the expiration may be an oversight, the mark may still be in use and your use may infringe. Also, is the use of "dapper" with the same or similar goods or services as you propose to use? See an attorney having Trademark Law experience.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Washington on
Q: Can I put anime designs on t shirts and sell them with the anime title in the name?

I'm trying to design some t shirts based off of anime. However, they are simply inspired by the anime. For example, its not an entire picture of naruto or anything, but like a blue swirl and some yellow and orange lines for naruto. I don't think the designs infringe on any copyright and I... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 17, 2020

Re: Copyright, your phrases :"...based off or anime..", "..simply inspiredly the anime...", "I don't think the designs infringe..." , "...I am the one creating..." may show willfulness and are troublesome regarding Copyright Infringement. It may be... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Probate for New York on
Q: If I wanted to publish my dead grandpa's written songs (he had no will), could his children sue me for the rights?

He died 20 years ago, he had no will. He had 3 daughters, including my mother, who are all still alive.

He was a singer/songwriter. Many of his songs were either typed on a typewriter or written in notebooks (only I have access to).

I want to publish his work, but I am afraid that... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 16, 2020

His songs were copyright property and, like everything else he had, passes to others by a will or, if no will, by state laws. Someone owns the property including the copyright songs. A granddaughter might have rights however, with a mother(wife?) and children, it is not likely.

Your use...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Tennessee on
Q: Hey. My name is Sincere. I see that this is no longer in use & I wanted to know if I can trademark my name for my brand.
Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 16, 2020

If your name is Sincere you will likely not be able to have it registered in either a state or with the Federal Trademark Office. Surnames are not protectable by Trademark. See a trademark attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is it necessary to ask permission first before I use facts that I learned from websites, books, or videos?

I'm making a website on animals. Each page will have basic information and facts about a particular animal. Obviously, to write about them, I need to learn about them first! So if I go and learn about them from other websites, books, or videos, can I write about what I learn without mentioning... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 15, 2020

If you are copying from a work of Authorship, e.g., a book chapter, then you must have permission unless your use is for "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use) scholarship or research" where each of these are excluded from infringement... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Nebraska on
Q: If I make a podcast where I review books and highlight their essential details, am I committing infringement?

I plan to give credit to the author and don’t plan on quoting the book directly. I’m just wondering if I’m crossing a line between doing a “book review” and committing infringement

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Oct 13, 2020

What's described sounds like "Fair Use" under Section 107 of the Copyright Act; e.g., criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research are forms of freedom of expression and are likely fair use.

Of course, "fair use" is simply a defense to a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Gaming on
Q: Hello! If the name of something consists of 3 quite specific words, am I allowed to use one of them separately?

The question is about online card game. I am considering making my own, but interested in using one quite specific word from another card game which is one from multiple words in original card game so my thought was that the phrase might be copyrighted as a whole and not each word separately

Timothy John Billick
Timothy John Billick answered on Oct 12, 2020

You are blending copyright and trademark issues here. Trademark law protects phrases, symbols, and "non-traditional" (e.g. smell, auditory) indicators of a source of goods. Copyright law protects tangible "expressions" of creative works.

A word by itself that is not...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Copyright for Washington on
Q: Is the website PDFDrive legal to use?

I’ve been using it for a day or two now and I’m really scared I’ll face legal repercussions

Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Oct 12, 2020

This is general legal information only and not legal advice. This is a very good question. It appears their site is a bit like google (where you can search for pictures and images. They allow you to search PDF's but this does not necessarily mean you have legal rights to reproduce, share,... Read more »

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