Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Civil Litigation, Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio on
Q: Do I need to pay to research a copyright where one is claimed but cannot be found in US Copyright Offices online search?

This is regarding a litigation I would like to bring to light in Ohio. Its very specifically plagiarism and the plagiarist has even used my penname. There are many specific parts of this that make it very difficult, one being I was a minor aged 13 when I wrote it and the law says I have no right to... Read more »

Carl G Hawkins
Carl G Hawkins answered on Feb 27, 2020

It’s technically infringement because copyright protection begins when you put pen to paper. However, you must prove that you created the work in the first place. That might be tough to do in your predicament. Always a good idea to register your works with the copyright office, and always use an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Indiana on
Q: Is this still copyright infringement?

Hello I have gotten into 3d printing/modeling and was wondering if whether what I am potentially doing is copyright violation or not. So I was 3d modeling items from my favorite nintendo games then I was going to 3d print them. So I know that if I sell the crown online that is stealing intellectual... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

If you’re reproducing someone’s protected work it’s infringement. There may be a fair use defense (check out the Andy Warhol cases) but it’s a defense meaning it is raised if you are sued for that nfringement.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark on
Q: Hey there... I wanted to know what does this mean..? Except as expressly stated herein,

If they have an important word misspelled in a contract it can be void if possible, right?

The Customer acknowledges and agrees that (company) owns all intellectual property rights in the Website and the Services. (Except as expressly stated herein,) the Agreement does not grant the... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

A misspelled word is not going to void the agreement. Courts usually look at the intent of the parties when interpreting contract terms and unless the provision itself is void or voidable for another reason, misspelling a word will not relieve a party of it's duties and responsibilities under the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: I am the sole defendant in a copyright infringement case in NY. I don’t have a lawyer and the judge denied me one.

Plaintiff is not serving me his filings and I have not consented to email service. He responded to discovery demands but not sent anything. He doesn’t respond to meet and confer requests.

What should I do?

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

I would highly recommend getting an attorney. You do not have a right to have an attorney appointed in a copyright infringement case, which I'm assuming is why "the judge denied [you] one". An infringement case can be costly in legal fees, but it can also be costly in damages. I would not go it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Michigan on
Q: My church wants to use video clips from the movie Passion of the Christ in our Good Friday service. Is there a legal way

We have two services, the videos would be shown in service with a VoiceOver and the main clips would be from the movie "Passion of the Christ".

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

17 USC 110(3) exempts from infringement the display of a work during "the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly." My church, and many others, usually sells recordings of that day's message. However, I would caution against that because the sale of the work will not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Business Law for Arizona on
Q: Can I find out if a photo online is owned by someone else?

I'm about to purchase a few images and logos for my small start up business online and the seller is a freelancer from overseas I want to make sure the photos or images are not stolen or I think the term is copyrighted by anyone else before I use them online for my business is there a way to do this

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

If you can save a JPEG of the photo, you can drop it into the Google images search bar and see if there are other images out there like it. Unfortunately, searching the Copyright Office's website is not as user-friendly as the USPTO's website. I can assist you in doing a comprehensive trademark... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for New York on
Q: Students used a section of the image from Justin Timberlakes Album cover (front and back) on the cover of the yearbook.
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 27, 2020

Technically that is infringement if it is used without permission because that artwork either belongs to the artist or the label. There may be a defense of fair use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property on
Q: Sodastream keeps telling me I am copyright infringing them in my Facebook page. I have taken photos of their cylinders?

I took my own photos of their cylinders, blurred out their logo. Is this copyright infringement?

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 26, 2020

Without checking their registrations, I can't tell you for sure, but there is protection for "sculptural works" even though I don't think that's what this is. It could be infringing their trade dress because the way a product is packaged can be protected. The question really becomes whether you... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: how to I contact trademark owner for licensing on using their trademark?
Darrin A. Auito
Darrin A. Auito answered on Feb 24, 2020

Check the Current Owner(s) Info and Attorney/Correspondence Info tabs on USPTO's TSDR link for the subject trademark. You can either reach out directly or through counsel. Both approaches have advantages.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Can a Danish tourist use pictures taken in New York, in a book which is printed and sold only in Denmark

On vacation in New York I have taken many pictures of buildings like Flatiron Building and Empire Statue Building and artwork like the Statue of Liberty. All pictures is taken from public spaces, where all tourists can go.

Now I want to use these pictures in a book, where I tell about the... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 23, 2020

So the photographs you took are your intellectual property but the building architecture could be protected by copyright. The Flatiron building is a famous landmark but that doesn’t mean it’s not protected. I would suggest contacting a copyright attorney to help you figure out what may be... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Connecticut on
Q: I paid someone to draw an animated character for me? If end up using that drawing in my tv show what do I have to do?

Would I need a commercial license? And would a commercial license give me full property? is there a way to get full property?

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 22, 2020

The work likely doesn't fit under the definition of work for hire if they were an independent contractor. Depending on the circumstances, you would need a transfer or assignment of the copyright from the artist to you. Feel free to email me at tania.williams@williamsfirmpa.com if you would like... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports, Gaming and Trademark on
Q: We are indie game developer from Egypt, we have issue with HASBRO the holder of Monopoly trademark?

Hello,

we little startup game developers located in Egypt we had android app on Google Play Called "MONOPOLY LITE" and it is different from Monopoly.

Hesbro lawyer reported copyright MONOPOLY, US, 0326723

Google Play Destroyed our startup business for this claim

we... Read more »

Robyn T. Williams
Robyn T. Williams answered on Feb 22, 2020

It sounds like Hasbro reported you for trademark infringement. The answer to your question requires review of all of the facts. Email me at rwilliams@devlinlawfirm.com to set up a call to discuss.

Robyn T. Williams, Esq.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: Can a fingerprint be trademarked to protect intellectual and pyshical property?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 20, 2020

Trademark protection is based on use as a source identifier of goods or services. If that fingerprint isn't identifying the source of a good or service, the likely answer is no.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Products Liability for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm writing a fiction book about a friend, it's very insulting about the people in it, could I be sued?

So it's very immature, it's about one friend banging another friends mom. It's 52,000 words right now and I intend to make it longer. If my friends mom, who is very uptight, gets a hold of it, could I be sued? What if I don't sell it and just print some copies for me and my friends to read? Could... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 20, 2020

I'm not licensed in Pennsylvania but the likelihood of being sued it would depend on a number of things. First, it would depend on what Pennsylvania's laws are for defamation and right of publicity. If you publish a false statement of fact about a person to another person you could be liable for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Does the phrase "No Pain, No Gain" have a Copyright/Trademark??
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 20, 2020

Copyright would not protect the phrase itself, but it would protect any fixed tangible expression of the phrase (think photos or artwork including the phrase). Trademark could protect the phrase based upon use but you (or an attorney) would have to do a comprehensive trademark search to be able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: can i use a comic book character for commercial use.

can i use a comic book character for commercial use if i edit them heavily and make them my own character with cutting and other such edits. Most comic book characters are public domain.

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 18, 2020

Characters may be protected by copyright or trademark. Oftentimes, trademark protection can outlast copyright protection and vice versa because they are dependent on different things. I would suggest enlisting the assistance of an IP attorney to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I own a copyright if someone else fixes my work in tangible form before I do, e.g. a dance or song I create?

Suppose, for example, I choreograph a dance and teach it to a group. But before I take other action, someone from the group makes a video of himself doing or teaching the dance---not claiming to have created it, in fact explicitly giving me credit. The dance is now fixed in tangible form, but not... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 18, 2020

Did you write down the steps to the choreography? If so, you may have fixed tangible expression already. If not, I would suggest putting it into a tangible fixed form as soon as possible and then registering it with the Copyright office. If I can assist you further, please feel free to email me at... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Illinois on
Q: Would use a name like 'Madhatter Custom PC Mods' for a business, YouTube channel or Social Media name infringe on Disney
Robyn T. Williams
Robyn T. Williams answered on Feb 18, 2020

If you'd like to use "Madhatter Custom PC Mods" for a PC modification business, this likely not an infringing use. Having an IP attorney complete a clearance search for the name being considered is best before you expend resources on commercial projects.

Robyn T. Williams...
Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Q: Someone took a photo of my legal documents and sent them to someone else?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 17, 2020

This is probably not a copyright issue because unless you created the legal documents it's not your original work. There may be a privacy issue or some other legal issue but not copyright.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New Jersey on
Q: SN:88563312 SN:88559161 SN:85965641 if i come up with different name & color + add edits can i use tillie?
Robyn T. Williams
Robyn T. Williams answered on Feb 16, 2020

SN:88563312 SN:88559161 make no claim to color, so adding color would not matter in regards to using Tillie. SN:85965641 claims color, but has other design elements. Whether or not you can use a mark warrants an involved discussion. Call the office for a consultation.

Robyn T. Williams...
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.