Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: I purchase an adult coloring book. Do the colored images belong to me?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Answered on Mar 29, 2017

The colored images after your draw them are yours for copyright purposes, but not the coloring book templates.
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Q: 1)How To Register My Business Name Is it under copyright patent trademark

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Patents and Trademark on
Answered on Mar 24, 2017
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Q: want to hire different illustrator on sequels for a picture book.Can the illustrator of 1st books say she own character

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Georgia on
Answered on Mar 23, 2017

Your first illustrator can say whatever s/he wants about your contract, but this answer will depend almost entirely on what your contract actually says. Contact an attorney with experience in copyright law and ask them about the specifics of that contract.
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Q: How Can I use a parody design logo of Street Sharks without getting penalized legally?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Answered on Mar 22, 2017

Parody defenses to trademark are subject to limitations. See: https://cyber.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts,...
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Q: Can I write a screenplay adaption of a novel in public domain using the same dialogue, and still have it protected?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for California on
Answered on Mar 22, 2017

You may still be in violation of the copyright which can last well past the author's death. See: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following...
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Q: My Slack team has produced content Jan-Mar 2017 and not gotten paid as usual. Bosses avoiding questions. What can we do?

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Employment Law and Internet Law for New York on
Answered on Mar 20, 2017

1. Contact the New York State Department of Labor if you performed services in New York State or your employer has a presence here.

2. Serve a demand for wages due on your employer or sue for breach of contract or for services rendered in court. Federal court has unique requirements so hiring a lawyer is a good idea.

3. Find new jobs and get written contracts each time. Nothing worse than having to prove the terms of a services contract with parole evidence although you have...
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Q: I am going to take geo marker icon sign for commercial use. Would it be an infringement of patent USD620950?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on Mar 18, 2017

Congratulations in worrying about this now, instead of when you are getting hit with C&D letters.

No patent attorney, including myself, is going to answer this question without the necessary study of the prosecution history, case law, etc., (and charging you accordingly). However, just on a 20-second review of the two documents, it seems that it is more likely that there is no infringement than there is infringement.
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Q: asked my artist not to use a exclusive beat i own and they performed it out of spite and won a sit down witha record co

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for New York on
Answered on Mar 18, 2017

As long is the beat is properly copyrighted with the United States Library of Congress, a simple task that cost $35 plus attorneys fees, then they are clearly in the wrong and you can sue them... but not necessarily in contract. The only way you can sue them in contract is if you contracted with that artist they would not use the beat. That said, you may sue them for illegally using your intellectual property; in both cases, you will likely win on the issue of liability, but damages will be...
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Q: Hi, can someone help me figure out whether the term or phrase "Dash Diet" is trademarked or copyrighted?Thanks!

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York on
Answered on Mar 17, 2017

I most certainly can if you would like to contact me feel free.

That said, this is something you can probably do yourself by going to the library of Congress website and following the prompts.

Our office handles copyrights for numerous songs written by musicians ( mostly we get hired to obtain the copyright ) but our resources allow us to easily look this up for next to nothing.

Check the Library of Congress website first, and if not you may feel free to contact me...
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Q: I work for a nonprofit research/edu org. Does Fair Use apply to photos for our mag or do I need copyright permission?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for District of Columbia on
Answered on Mar 17, 2017

See: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/

See: https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business &...
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Q: Our book is out of print, but has been re-printed by someone else and is being sold by someone else, is this legal?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Texas on
Answered on Mar 15, 2017

Who owns the publishing rights?

If there was no written agreement assigning these rights and you co-authored the book with many people, each of those co-authors has the right to fully exploit the work. Absent an agreement to the contrary, each owner of a joint work is free to exploit the work without the consent of the other owners, but must account for the profits of that exploitation by splitting them equally among all of the joint owners. Equal ownership is presumed even where the...
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Q: I live in the United States. I sell a fitness product and I offer a free silicone bracelet with it.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New Jersey on
Answered on Mar 14, 2017

Google "cancer ribbon trademark suit Komen." Copyright law isn't really your concern here, trademark infringement is. The Komen Foundation has previously sued other nonprofits for trademark infringement regarding their pink cancer ribbon.
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Q: Screenwriting

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Employment Law and Internet Law on
Answered on Mar 14, 2017

The answer to both your questions depends on how you hire the screenwriter, that is, what the employment agreement between you and him or her says.

Consult with an attorney familiar with copyright law to safely achieve what you hope to do here.
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Q: Please Help! Is this buyer able to charge me legally?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Internet Law on
Answered on Mar 14, 2017

The federal criminal laws that prohibit any person from trafficking in counterfeit goods and services apply not only to the counterfeiter—the law applies with equal force to any individual or company that knowingly sells a counterfeit product. The Act makes it illegal for any person to intentionally traffic, or attempt to traffic, in goods or services and knowingly use a counterfeit trademark on or in connection (such as product labeling and packaging) with those goods or services. The term...
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Q: Displaying others' marks in ads

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New York on
Answered on Mar 10, 2017

You should be fine if the products shot are portrayed in the manner they are commonly portrayed and the audience is not led to believe that the product brands are sponsoring or associated with the product/service being featured in your video ad. That does not mean you won't get sued or receive a cease and desist letter. The best way to avoid this scenario altogether is to not show or blur/remove the logos of these products.

The materials provided herein are for informational purposes...
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Q: If I pay someone for art of my already copyrighted character, is it copyrighted to me or both of us?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Kentucky on
Answered on Mar 10, 2017

It would be preferable to have a formal "work for hire" contract with the artist, but since you purchased the work the presumption is that it conveyed with all property rights, especially as it is of your character.
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Q: I'd like to start making and selling percussion instruments under the name, Fitzgerald, inspired by the famous writer.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Answered on Mar 8, 2017

You'll have to license the right to use that name from the Estate of F. Scott Fitzgerald, otherwise you may violate the Estate's IP and publicity rights. See: https://www.lib.purdue.edu/uco/CopyrightBasics/basics.html

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice...
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Q: I want to trademark a name and create 2 businesses as an extension of that trademark. Question is do I need multiple...

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Copyright and Trademark for California on
Answered on Mar 8, 2017

Each trademark needs to be individually registered. See: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics

More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business &...
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Q: patent, copyright

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents on
Answered on Mar 7, 2017

Because my practice focuses on copyright law, I'll address that first: Copyright law does not protect ideas, processes, or functions; it protects the (artistic) expression of those elements.

An LED with its own design and application could qualify as a "useful article," which is a subset of "pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works." Generally speaking, useful articles are objects which have utilitarian functions, like an LED light. In some cases, these articles have an artistic...
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Q: I am trying to design a rotomolded cooler and I know Yeti has been suing lately and I was wondering if my product is ok?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents for Florida on
Answered on Mar 3, 2017

It is great to see new businesses getting into rotomolded cooler business. It is surprising how expensive these coolers are, and hopefully, the prices are going to go down to more reasonable levels.

The Yeti v Rtic lawsuit was settled earlier last month. Given that the popular press has deemed the two lines of coolers to be very similar, and that there have been accusations of copying, I am not surprised that the patent owner sued.

That lawsuit should not preclude you from...
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