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California Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Can a fake digital copy of the celebrity's voice be used in movies without permission from this celebrity?

Using machine learning technologies, a developer can create a synthesized copy of the celebrity's voice (for instance, like here https://youtu.be/DWK_iYBl8cA).

Can this developer use this fake digital voice in movies, mobile games, for songs, or any other video and sound content without... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Dec 3, 2019

Fake or real there needs to be authorization of the person whose voice or image is being used?

Permission is the key.

www.legalbizglobal.com

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Could I publish a book about vocal experts' opinions on a topic, taken from interviews/info online, without permission?

Could a couple of their names be featured in the book title? Could I write each chapter focusing on one public figure scientist, explaining their perspective on the topic as researched through free material found online? Would a disclaimer at the beginning of the book saying these scientists... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Nov 12, 2019

In the absence of careful legal planning, this book could run into a number of legal problems. A disclaimer is a good way to avoid presenting a misleading picture. However, disclaimers and attributions in bibliographies do not avoid copyright problems. There are issues of derivative works and fair... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: Can we use the term 'Craigslist' in a title for a tv show concept?
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Oct 31, 2019

No.

Actually, all the facts need to be known to see if a legal justification could be supported. However, you could still face signficant legal expense if Craigslist decided to sue you.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Licensee Exam Questions - Copyrights

Does a self-note wrote down after the exam violates the copyrights by reproducing the exam questions? Do they have the authority to invalidate my results because of that?

Enrico Schaefer
Enrico Schaefer answered on Oct 28, 2019

Potentially, yes. these are always fact specific questions. one fact can change the answer. but if you copied questions that are copyright protected, even from memory, there might be an issue. The real question would be what you intended to do with them next.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is "Buddy the Elf" trademarked? I'm a photographer and was planning on doing a Buddy the Elf Photoshoot for Christmas.

I saw that photographers were getting cease and desist letters for doing "The Grinch" Photoshoots because The Grinch is trademarked. I can't find any info on Google about Buddy the Elf being trademarked.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Oct 25, 2019

There may be a number of protections. Trademark is one of them.

There maybe patents, or copyrights. So be careful.

Check if they offer licenses for photographers like you.

marcos.e.garciaacosta@gmail.com

www.legalbizglobal.com

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Business Law for California on
Q: Instagram contents and merchandising.

I have an Instagram account to show semi celebrities’ caricatures. I am not doing anything with those artworks to make money myself, these are only to show on this SNS.

One day I had a chance to meet with one of the musicians I drew, and gave him a print out of his caricature I did and he... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Oct 20, 2019

It looks light he might have copied the drawing improperly. Responses could include anything from a nasty cease and desist letter to making a deal. Consulting an attorney could help you determine what action might have the best chance of making some money for you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: My name is Koi and I am a photographer who has found Mix Unit, LLC selling merchandise with my photo.
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Oct 14, 2019

Based on the limited facts provided, there seems to be a case of copyright infringement. There are many different approaches available. It would be helpful to know exactly what they were doing with your photo and how it is being sold. Other facts are also important. A review with an attorney can... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: What is the process for making an idea become panted?
Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Oct 5, 2019

All the information you seek will likely be found at www.USPTO.gov.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: I’m looking to copyright a brand. I searched and there is currently a copyright for the same name already.

However, they are a bar/food copyright. I’m looking for a catering/clothing brand. How would this work?

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Sep 30, 2019

I think you are confusing copyright with a trademark, as what you are describing sounds much more like you are looking to trademark the name of of your brand. In such a case, registration applications are filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office for the mark you are intending to use and protect.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: Graphic illustration for t-shirt.

Hello,

I'd like to create an illustrated image, print it on t-shirts and sell it online. This image would contain the name "Lambo" (slang for Lamborghini) and car that would look similar to Lamborghini sports car (without logo). So basically it would be a bit different.

So I'd like... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Sep 23, 2019

Many people say, "So basically it would be a bit different." Sometimes that is true. Other times it would simply be wishful thinking. Even so, the criterion is whether there is confusion as to whether you might be seen as falsely indicating a relationship with Lamborghini.

I do not know...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Hi! I´m an illustrator and i wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark my name and copyright my work or is it not?

I have heard that the copyright is automatic when I create my work and I would be using my name but I wanted to know if it is necessary to trademark it and copyright my work to have any protection or if it is enough to creeate it and use the symbol on the work without paying. Thanks

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Aug 5, 2019

By law, a Common Law copyright is created the moment you put your work into tangible form (i.e. once you create an actual work, beyond just the idea in your head). If you have a copyrighted work, you are authorized to sue for damages if someone uses that work without authorization, however with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for California on
Q: Is it fair use for a professor to show an historically based movie to a campus club then explain its inaccuracies.

Would it be more likely or less likely to qualify as a fair use, if a History Club, that is part of a nonprofit educational institution, were to show historically based movies to club members and to have a history professor comment on and critique the accuracies and inaccuracies of the historical... Read more »

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 23, 2019

In a book review, the writer quotes brief passages of the book as a basis for making a comment. The writer does not reproduce the whole book and than make a comment.

Your question gives the impression that you want to show the whole film and then have a professor comment on and critique...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California on
Q: I'm making an independent feature film and in the script I verbally reference work by other people.

Do I need to obtain clearance if the work is mentioned verbally and not actually seen on screen?. For example, if I have a line from a popular musical. Another example would be if I just mention a Television channel, like National Geographic?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 23, 2019

The copyright statute covers the form of expression in the work and not the ideas in it. Factual reference to an item is usually not infringement. However, it is difficult to tell what you mean by "verbally reference." Are you referring to the mention of a painting or are you repeating lyrics... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Products Liability and Copyright for California on
Q: Can I use online-posted scientific research in support of my new product sales?

Can I post other's online pictures and text from their scientific experiments to help sell my new products?

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

This is an open-ended question. In many cases using ideas from other publications is not copyright infringement. Using pictures and quotes could be. An interesting concept is that of getting permission from the author. This is not always difficult or expensive. Consulting an attorney could be a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: When if I had a brand name, and someone else is using it now. I can prove it.

I also had the same brand name for pod cast

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

What do you mean by "have a brand name?" If you have a product or service you provide under the brand name there might be an issue to consider. If you happen to have a name that you wrote down and nobody else knows about it there might not be anything protectable there. You can usually get better... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for California on
Q: Will I have any copyright infringement?

Hi. I'm Alex. I will be brief. I develop a technology based on Artificial Intelligence which produces its own music in real time. The thing is that I teach MY system by using copyrighted music. Will I have any copyright infringement if I monetize the technology? Thanks.

Robert Philip Cogan
Robert Philip Cogan answered on Jul 18, 2019

As a generality, if you copy music and use it, it is copyright infringement whether or not you monetize it. There are exceptions for "fair use." However, those exceptions are much narrower than most copiers think they are.

Serious companies consider paying a license fee. Sometimes the cost...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California on
Q: How do I go about owning the trademark for "Girl Gang"? It seems to stand as abandoned. Thank you.

I want to trademark "Girl Gang" for a women's sports apparel company, I'm looking to start. It seems to stand as abandoned. What does that mean? Thank you.

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Jun 10, 2019

You should apply for a trademark application.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Internet Law for California on
Q: The website"Getty Images"are selling graphic photographs of my 6yo great-aunt's death from 1951.

Getty Images claims to just be the host(although they are the ones licensing and selling the images) :University of Southern California"image library is the contributor and supposed rights manager.i would be grateful for your help in removing these painful and traumatic images removed as soon as... Read more »

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Jun 4, 2019

A good start would be having an attorney draft a simple but effective “cease and desist” letter, accompanied by a DMCA takedown notice to Getty Images. I would be happy to assist. Shoot me an email and we can discuss: jason@altviewlawgroup.com

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Copyright for California on
Q: Wrote code for client as a independent software developer, without a written contract. Is the code I wrote legally mine?

Work was done without any contract, client refused to pay. I removed the code I wrote and now am being threatened with a lawsuit. Since there was no contract, it looks as if the code is legally mine under copyright laws. Is this correct?

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Apr 17, 2019

Absent a written agreement or other express understanding that the developer would be the owner of the code upon its creation (i.e. some type of work-for-hire language) then you have a good basis for claiming that ownership in the code never exchanged hands because you have not been compensated for... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright and Trademark for California on
Q: can I use companies trademarked logos on another brand listing that makes money?

this is a business selling on Amazon. we intend to use other brands logos like apple, for example, to sell our product more.

Thomas A. Grossman
Thomas A. Grossman answered on Feb 18, 2019

Only if you want to risk being sued by the other companies for Trademark Infringement.

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