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Iowa Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law and Trademark for Iowa on
Q: I have an idea for how to reboot a show. How much of the original can I use in my rewrite?

I want to pitch it to the copywrite owner. I want to use character names, places, descriptions etc.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 18, 2020

You are going to need to have permission from the copyright owner to make your derivative work. You may want to work through an attorney who could act as intermediary between you and the copyright owner to pitch your concept. The attorney would be in a good position to figure out with you the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Iowa on
Q: We have an illustration paired with the words, "In loving memory" copyrighted are we still vulnerable for a lawsuit?

We had this package copyrighted before 2010. It was a disk containing some works with phrases paired to them. Everything on the disk was copyrighted. The phrase, "In loving memory", was trademaked recently and they are trying to sue us for selling our copyrighted works.

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Feb 6, 2019

To do a proper assessment we would need to look at what is being sold, in what format, etc.

A trademark protects the use of words for specific products or services. The key test is whether a person would be confused and think the product you are selling comes from the affected party....
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Internet Law for Iowa on
Q: Can I post a free Lord of the Rings themed game on the internet without infringing copyright?

I invented a game that me and my friends play. It is an Lord of the Rings themed game that mostly merely uses LOTR races (i.e. Ents, Hobbits, etc.). Can I post it on the internet totally free without violating copyright.

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Jun 23, 2017

While I am a big fan of Tolkein and gaming, I don't think posting your game online is wise without talking to an attorney first. Whether you potentially infringe on any copyright or trademark interest that Middle-earth Enterprises a/k/a The Saul Zaetz Company (which seems to own the worldwide... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Iowa on
Q: If a copyright for a product isn't listed on the .gov website is it still in effect.

The company is defunct and has been for 19 years. All of their other products are listed at but not the one I am looking for. Is that copyright still in effect?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 23, 2016

Just because they did not file a copyright does not mean it is not copyrighted. Since about 1989, everything copyrightable became copyrighted once it was created (its a little more technical than that in reality), even if not registered. Registration simply gives you additional rights. I would see... Read more »

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