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District of Columbia Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: I want to sell t shirts that have small snippets of a lyric (1-5 words) on them. Is this copyright infringement?

For example, a song reads: "a nice big plate of/Fish, which is my favorite dish/But without no money, it's still a wish." My shirt has a picture of fried fish and the words, "which is my favorite dish."

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Sep 11, 2023

Using small snippets of lyrics from a song can potentially lead to issues with copyright infringement. Copyright law protects the expression of original ideas, including song lyrics, and using any part of them without permission might be considered a violation of the copyright holder's rights.... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: How do I pay the copyright in order to make merchandise with avatar the last airbender license? Who do I contact?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 25, 2023

To obtain a license for Avatar: The Last Airbender merchandise, you will need to contact the intellectual property owner or their licensing agent. In this case, the owner is Nickelodeon, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. You can contact the ViacomCBS Consumer Products licensing department to inquire about... View More

Q: I need an attorney who is willing to work pro bono, take on several gov. Agencies.

I have been collecting evidence. Very solid case. We will win. Much money attached.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 15, 2024

I understand you are seeking a pro bono attorney in California to assist with a case against government agencies. However, I want to provide some important information and caveats:

- Most attorneys, even those who take on some pro bono cases, are selective about the cases they take on for...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Criminal Law for District of Columbia on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to create a Facebook fan page account using my name and then request money from members?

They promise to get them grants using my name for credibility and then run away with my customer's money

Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
answered on Feb 10, 2022

In California and many other jurisdictions, it is illegal to use a person's name or likeness for profit without their permission. You should check with a local attorney to determine whether that prohibition applies where you are.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: If I wanted to protect a product line concept - a series of food themed t shirts for example - what are my best options?

My concern is that once they hit the market the concept could be easily reproduced

Robert Kost
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answered on Dec 6, 2021

Your concern is well-founded. There's no protecting the idea of food themed tee shirts or any other kinds of articles.

On the other hand, specific designs or renderings of food pictures may indeed be protect-able. And, you may want to consider giving the shirts a name that could be...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for District of Columbia on
Q: Does a printed book retain the copyright year of the online book?

I edit the United States Code. If the online Code is published in 2019 but the printed volume is not published until 2020, should the printed volume's copyright year remain 2019?

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
answered on Apr 8, 2020

If the printed version appearing in 2020 is the same as the 2019 version, then it sounds like they are the same work just offered in another format, such a hardback book and a paperback. If there are changes between the 2 versions, you could note two copyright dates in the later version. You... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: Are there any copyright or trademark issues in using "There's no place like home" in the headline of an advertisement?

Thank you for your answer. This advertisement is for a university and recruiting purposes.

Robyn T. Williams
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answered on Feb 11, 2020

Such phraseology falls under trademarks. Whether your use of "there is no place like home" for an advertisement will be problematic, depends on the products for which you are advertising. There are 15 live registrations in the USPTO with the phrase, or some variation thereof, in use. If... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: Is it allowed to use logos of automotive companies in the commercial video? The video shows the progress of the industry

I'm a video editor and was hired to make an internal use video for one company that wants to expand their business. As a part of the video, we need short animation showing the race for electrification in the automotive industry. I need to include logos of the GM, TESLA, NISSAN, and other... View More

Andrew Zulieve
Andrew Zulieve
answered on Dec 17, 2018

Although such use may not amount to a trademark (or perhaps copyright) infringement, my suggestion is to contact each company and obtain their written authorizations to use their respective logos.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, International Law and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: I am an American citizen and want to trademark and artist's name in Canada - can I do that?

I would like to do it as an intent to use, seeing as right now there's no music to release. That being said, it would be great to start using the name as soon as possible and register it as the name for a registered songwriter/artist in Canada. Is it possible to trademark the same name in the... View More

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
answered on Nov 7, 2017

Yes, a US citizen can register a trademark in both the United States and Canada. There are international treaties that allow US trademark owners to extend their trademark rights to other countries and vice versa. You should speak with a trademark attorney on how to register your mark.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for District of Columbia on
Q: how much does it cost to trademark a name

Im currently interested in trademarking my name / brand for higher purposes.

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III
answered on Sep 8, 2017

To obtain a trademark you will incur filing fees of $225 to $400 per class, attorneys fees, and search costs. The attorneys fees and search costs can very significantly depending on the attorney and the extent of the search. Many lawyers will provide trademark registration services for a flat fee... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for District of Columbia on
Q: I work for a nonprofit research/edu org. Does Fair Use apply to photos for our mag or do I need copyright permission?

We publish a journal bi-annually that has research-based articles with the purpose of informing both policy and the public. It has a print distribution of 10,000, and then is posted belatedly for free online. We have been using creative commons photos and those we can get permission for, but there... View More

Ali Shahrestani,
Ali Shahrestani,
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...
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Q: I would like to file a patent for an accessible phone for the elderly. How do I go about it? What would be the cost?

How much time would it take?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
answered on Jan 4, 2017

Welcome to Justia!

How do you go about it? Get in touch with a patent lawyer. He/She will guide you through the process.

What is the cost? To get a patent costs about as much as buying a car. A few thousand to a few tens of thousands of dollars, depending on many things. About...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia on
Q: In order to sue for Copyright Infringement do I need to register the copyrighted work with the government?
Howard Alan Newman MBA
Howard Alan Newman MBA
answered on Nov 28, 2016

No. You may sue under the common law for copyright infringement. However, to make use of the federal statute, which has real teeth in its statutory damages, for example, the work would have needed to have been registered first.

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