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Maryland Copyright Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: Can images created using AI websites be used for small business ideas such selling t-shirts or stickers?

I am looking to possibly start selling stickers and t-shirts online via Etsy. The images I am hoping to use would be created using AI websites. Is this something I am legally allowed to do?

Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford
answered on Jan 29, 2024

This is a great question, and is quite naturally very complex given the ever-changing landscape of technology. Right now, general intellectual property laws that govern internet images are essentially limited to uniquely created imagery and content that is produced by human individuals.... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Internet Law, Copyright, Business Formation and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: Can I use free Canva elements/graphics on logos, pdfs, blog posts, social media accounts, and other course materials?

The Canva terms of service are a bit confusing. My understanding is that if I have the free Canva plan and use only free Canva elements, I can essentially use the pictures/designs for anything I want besides selling them directly (in the context of trying to compete with Canva). I am starting an... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 26, 2023

Your understanding of Canva's terms of service is largely on track, but there are nuances to consider. With a free Canva plan, you can use the free elements in your projects, including logos, PDFs, blog posts, social media, and course materials. This is generally acceptable as long as... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: If you combine different images you get from Google to make one art piece can you sell it ?

Ex: I’m trying to make a joker for a T-shirt to sell but instead of getting a picture of the joker from Google I just take a stencil of someone face and find the hair and mouth from different images and combine them then add extra things to the face such as tattoos . Is that now considered my art ?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 4, 2023

Combining different images sourced from Google to create a new art piece for commercial purposes, such as selling on a T-shirt, involves important copyright considerations. Each image sourced from Google is likely protected by copyright, unless explicitly stated otherwise. This means that using... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: Writing a song based off another

I'm writing a song but it's based off another 90% words have been change composition and meaning could they sue me?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 14, 2023

If you've substantially changed the lyrics, composition, and meaning of the song to create something new, it's less likely to be considered copyright infringement. However, whether a lawsuit can be brought against you would depend on the specific details and nuances of your song and the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: I own a collection of action figures (superheroes, Godzilla, ect.) Can I use photos of them to make t-shirts or posters?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jan 16, 2023

Use of trademarked and copywrited products and characters in other products for sale is not permitted and will subject you to possible lawsuits and damages which will include forfeiture of all profits from such sales, payment of attorney's fees and court costs, plus possible punitive or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Maryland on
Q: Looking for Guidance on Sale of Microsoft PowerPoint Templates

I am looking to operate an online business where I sell online courses and PowerPoint templates as materials with the course. I have seen that a Microsoft Office Home and Student license is not allowed for commercial purposes.

Questions List:

1. Is the Microsoft Professional license... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

1. The Microsoft Office Professional license may indeed be suitable for distributing materials such as online courses and PowerPoint templates for commercial purposes. However, it's essential to carefully review the terms and conditions of the license to ensure that it allows for the specific... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: I'm a barber I want to put a marvel character on a flyer to promote my Barber business Is this copy right infringement?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Sep 21, 2022

There's a joke among lawyers: "A picture is worth a thousand words, but when that picture is protected by image copyright, the picture is only worth three words: cease and desist."

No, you cannot use a copyrighted or trademarked image owned by another in the sale or marketing...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: I have a question regarding U.S. Copyright.

I have a question regarding U.S. Copyright.

I have a work that is written in English.

Let's say I translate that work into some other languages using Google Translate or some other online translation service and I edit a little bit to make the translation better.... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Jul 25, 2022

The person who wrote the words originally, in its original language, is the copyright owner. The translation performed by Google Translate is a free translation service subject to whatever terms of use are written in the Google terms of use provisions. Your minor edits do not convert what (a)... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: is the HOUSE OF MOHAN - Trademark Status: 710 - Cancelled - Section 8 with currently published copyright holders?
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
answered on Aug 5, 2021

You need to contact an attorney to understand the chances you have to get that mark

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Civil Rights and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: Can I receive settlements from businesses?

I am a freelance model , I post most of my work on my social media accounts and run that as my business page as well . For years small brands and large cooperations use and manipulate my images into business logos , promotional marketing and evening jewelry and interior design products . Can I... View More

Leonard R. Boyer
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answered on Mar 3, 2021

You need to retain local counsel to set up the right corporate entities for you, then have an intellectual property attorney set up the appropriate protections for you. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE! YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY WHO IS LICENSED IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. This is merely... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Copyright and Gaming for Maryland on
Q: Can you re-sell custom painted video game controllers as a legal business?
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Feb 17, 2021

“Under the doctrine of ‘patent exhaustion,’” United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., wrote in a 2017 decision, “once a patent holder sells an item, it can no longer control the item through the patent laws.... The purchaser and all subsequent owners are free to use... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Copyright for Maryland on
Q: If I wanted to publish a book and sell it with pictures of memes from the internet is there a copyright issue?

If I wanted to publish a book and sell it with pictures of memes from the internet is there a copyright issue? I looked online and saw a lot of different opinions.

My first thought is always “what are the copyright implications”? These memes do not have signatures and I have no... View More

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
answered on Oct 27, 2020

That is a very interesting question. It is very likely a minefield.

You need to consult with an attorney for guidance and strategies to mitigate (can never bring to zero) your risk.

Also consult with an insurance agency specializing in copyright coverage. They can make an assessment...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Education Law and Intellectual Property for Maryland on
Q: I have a question which involves the rights to intellectual property as teacher in a private grade school.

I was a high school teacher and created about 50 powerpoint lessons in the school's drive. The school locked me out and will not share my powerpoint lessons. I am of course very upset over this. I spent days on one powerpoint alone. The school would not suffer any harm by sharing my lessons... View More

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Oct 8, 2020

You may find this article informative on the subject, although it does not address any special statutory or other law in Maryland that may vary from the basic principal that a work made in the course and within the scope of employment generally belongs to the employer:... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: If I wantes to use Salt Life for a company name using a different format and a hyphen is that copyright infringement?

Salt-Life

Evelyn Suero
Evelyn Suero
answered on Sep 27, 2020

Depends on several factors. Using a trademark that is virtually identical/confusingly similar to another trademark in the same or related class/category of goods or services may be deemed trademark infringement. Adding a hyphen may not be enough to overcome the likelihood of confusion by consumers.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: I had my old employer logo printed on a mask and I gave it to an employee.

Can my old employer sue me for having his logo printed on the mask

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
answered on Aug 4, 2020

No, unless your intent is to trick potential customers into thinking they are dealing with you old employer in order to get your old employer's potential customers.

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: Can an artist rescind permission after giving it?

I'm working with a team of volunteers on an unpaid passion project. One of those volunteers did a lot of artwork for us and gave us permission to use it. Now, about 9 months later, he is telling us that he wants all his artwork taken out of the project and completely redone. This puts a... View More

Bill Hulsey
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Bill Hulsey
answered on May 20, 2020

You may have a problem. However consider the rights of co-authors as addressed here:

https://corporate.findlaw.com/intellectual-property/copyright-ownership-the-joint-authorship-doctrine.html

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: A local govn't agency wants to make a karaoke video with a copyrighted song. Is a license needed? How to obtain?

The video would go on YouTube/FaceBook/Twitter and other social media sites. It is a salute to our heroes killed in the line of duty. No profits or money would be exchanged in any way. If a license is needed, what is the best way to accomplish this?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
answered on Apr 27, 2020

That sounds like a worthwhile project, but you will still need to get permission from whomever owns the copyright in the song. Also most songs have music and lyrics, so there could be 2 copyright owners. The service providers will want to know that you have the rights to post your version of the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: Can I assign ownership of my BMI registration from myself to my company?
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
answered on Apr 26, 2020

Is it that you want your company to be the owner of the royalty stream for a particular work? BMI does allow for the assignment of such rights and has a form to use. However, once you assign the rights you no longer will have access to the royalty rights unless you have the rights reassigned to... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Maryland on
Q: Last year I copyrighted a song I composed under my name. Do I have to now copyright the song under the business?
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
answered on Apr 5, 2020

I gather that you registered the copyright of the song in your name with the Copyright Office. That is fine. If you want your business company to now own the copyright, you can have an Assignment of Rights prepared which would result in you assigning your copyright rights to the business.... View More

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