Copyright Questions & Answers

Q: if I was to start a music label could I use the name Universal Digital Group or would that conflict with Universal music

2 Answers | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Trademark for California on
Answered on May 24, 2017

The test for infringement under Trademark Law looks at the likelihood of confusion for an ordinary consumer. You would ask whether an ordinary consumer is likely to be confused over the provenance of a product or service. Trademarks are product-specific, which is why there can be a Klein Honda as well as a Klein bicycle brand without there being a likelihood of confusion. In your case, however, it seems as though you would be in the exact same product space, and it would be very likely that a...
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Q: Here's a question-

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Trademark and Employment Law for New York on
Answered on May 22, 2017

I don't hear an IP violation here. 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, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does...
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Q: In the state of georgia can dfcs take my child if me and my husband fail a drug screen after I give birth?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Family Law for Georgia on
Answered on May 22, 2017
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Q: Are GIFs protected by copyright law? Is it legal to open a site like Tumblr only for GIFs without getting copyright inf?

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

Federal copyright protection attaches to an original work of authorship from the moment it becomes fixed in a tangible medium of expression. GIF files depicting some sequence of visuals would almost certainly qualify for federal copyright protection if they contain at least some tiny bit of creativity.
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Q: I started a video game news/blog site. Can I legally use screenshots and game images found online when writing on them?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for New Hampshire on
Answered on May 21, 2017

To answer your question directly: No, it would not be legal to use screenshots and game images found online when writing for your video game news/blog site.

If you're going to repost screenshots of images created by video game publishers without their permission, you are opening up liability for a copyright infringement lawsuit. Depending on the use, you may have a fairly strong argument that your use qualifies as "fair use," however, fair use is a defense to a copyright infringement...
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Q: I want to use a religious symbol I found online for a poster. Are religious symbols free of copyright?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Vermont on
Answered on May 21, 2017

Religious symbols are not necessarily free of copyright protection. If the image you found online was created by an artist, and has some very minimal level of creativity applied to the work, that artist was granted copyright protection, even if the underlying symbol is in the public domain or otherwise free of copyright.

Are you interested in reselling the poster, or just having one printed for your own personal use? Contact the artist and see if they license the work for such...
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Q: I have a file on GitHub that says in the file "this is not to be shared or used". The file does not have legal copyright

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on May 21, 2017

It's unclear from your post whether you created this file or you're reusing a file that someone else created. The moment an author creates something new with some degree of creative input, that work is afforded copyright protection. While there are many benefits to registering work with the U.S. Copyright Office, it's not necessary for the work to be considered copyrighted. The author of new work has the ability to restrict the use or reuse of their work in a number of ways, requesting a...
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Q: Could I have a website and provide a service to users that allows for uploading screenshots from video games for profit?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Entertainment / Sports and Internet Law for North Carolina on
Answered on May 18, 2017

If you're going to allow users to post potentially infringing material, you should become familiar with the DMCA takedown process and register a DMCA takedown agent with the U.S. Copyright Office. Qualifying for the DMCA safe harbor would shift the concerns of copyright infringement from you to the users posting any copyrighted content.

Posting screenshots of software, websites, and video games, is generally copyright infringement. Editing these screenshots may mean users are creating...
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Q: My copyright co-owner died. Can his children stop my novel based on the treatment. Do they own 50% of novel

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on May 18, 2017

You've raised a lot of issues in your question and a comprehensive answer can't really be provided without more details. For the following general overview of the law, I'll assume:

(a) there are no written agreements between you and the WW2 vet or the WW2 vet's family;

(b) the treatment was never intended to stand on its own as a literary work, that is, that you and the WW2 vet both intended that the treatment would be subsequently adapted into another form;

(c) that...
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Q: Do I need to purchase a license or rights to perform as a Disney Character for commercial purposes?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Answered on May 16, 2017

Yes, you must request a license from Disney. Contact their corporate offices.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

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, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC...
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Q: Starting a sports league with a unique format. Can Intellectual property help protect the format from being copied?

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for New Jersey on
Answered on May 16, 2017

I will not speak to patent protection, as that's outside of my practice area. Copyright law will protect the expression of your ideas or rules, that is, the creative organization of words used to write the rules, but not the underlying ideas or rules themselves. Trademark law will protect your brand and identity, but not the underlying format or ideas behind your track and field league.
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Q: Can I place licensed toys inside of bath bombs for sell If I don't use any identifying marks/logos?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Georgia on
Answered on May 11, 2017

If you're licensing the toys for that use, of course you can.
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Q: If I created Itty Bitty Bites and its now abandoned by Earth Fare, can I claim it?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Georgia on
Answered on May 10, 2017

It probably depends on if you had an employee agreement with the company, or whether you assigned your rights to the company.

Even if the company "mothballed" the program, your status as a former employee could complicate your desire to use the exact same marks (or other intellectual property) because the company may feel betrayed or threatened if it learns about your reviving the program yourself now that you left the company. But, if the marks are formally abandoned with the USPTO,...
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Q: There is a big game developer that has characters in their game. I want to make a replica of one of them and sell some..

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Texas on
Answered on May 8, 2017

A non-exhaustive list of some potential issues: trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, misappropriation of likeness.

Receiving the express written permission of the game developer, to do exactly what you intend to do, in an expertly drafted license agreement will allow you to avoid or largely mitigate this liability.
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Q: How do I stake apple to court for stealing my idea

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright on
Answered on May 8, 2017

(1) Contact 2-3 attorneys to find one you trust and with whom you can establish a good working relationship.

(2) Have that attorney evaluate the viability of your claim and estimate the costs of taking Apple to court.

(3) Hire that attorney.

(4) Listen to their advice.

(5) If you've both determined that there is a basis for filing a lawsuit against Apple and that this is the best course of action, have that attorney file a complaint in the appropriate court.
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Q: If I did a selfie and its on a t shirt, is it possible that a random company buy the copyright for that selfie and sue

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Answered on May 5, 2017

If you took the picture, no one would not be able to obtain the copyright in that image unless you sold it to them or someone else who then sold it to them.
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Q: Couple questions about famous people likenesses and names can or can't be used in a video game.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Gaming for North Carolina on
Answered on May 5, 2017

1. Is it legal to use cartoon likenesses of famous/living American politicians or Hollywood actors in a video game? (artwork is original, my own)

It's certainly legal to do this *with the permission* of the person, or the permission of whoever may own the rights to their image and likeness. Without their permission, it may depend on how transformative your depiction of them is, that is, how much differently are they being portrayed from their real life counterpart. Are you parodying...
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Q: My company has the names "AVO" and "AVO.cado" trademarked, but a company has recently used the name "AVO.co", can I sue?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for New York on
Answered on May 4, 2017

Depends on whether you are in the same industry, have potential customer overlap, and whether the use is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace.
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Q: I have an ecommerce website and I copied the descriptions from another competitors site. They are now threatening to sue

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New Mexico on
Answered on May 3, 2017

Without more details about your case, all I can say is that using someone's literary works without their permission can be the basis for a copyright infringement lawsuit.
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Q: Can i print the words "Big Baller Brand" on a summer rec jersey?

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for New York on
Answered on May 2, 2017

If you're concerned about IP infringement, consider a different name to avoid a lawsuit.

See: http://www.aeesq.com/business-law/intellectual-property-attorney/

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, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY,...
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