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North Carolina Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Gaming and Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: What legal issues are there to cloning a game and "reskinning" it, akin to how monopoly clones exist everywhere?

DaVINCI EDITRICE S.R.L., VS. ZIKO GAMES, LLC, et al., in CIVIL ACTION NO. H-13-3415 cited a card game's mechanics aren't protected, I'm looking - quite literally - to copy a card game (as the defendant in the cited case) that is no longer in production by reskinning the game and removing protected... Read more »

Enrico Schaefer
Enrico Schaefer answered on Oct 15, 2019

Games can be copyrighted as can the rules. So skinning a game can cause a variety of legal issues. I would have an attorney do a detailed analysis. One fact can change the result.

Q: Which online database can I use to see if I have infracted on a patent
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Sep 9, 2019

try USPTO, it may be hard to navigate. Try also google patents.

It may give you a decent idea. You may need to pay an expert who knows how to navigate deeper the patent databases.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for North Carolina on
Q: Do you have to blur out car logo on personal image if use for custom shirt?
Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on May 17, 2019

You can't use another's logo in a confusingly similar manner, i.e. that is likely to cause confusion as to the source of the goods or insinuates endorsement.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for North Carolina on
Q: Back pain from Accident.
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 4, 2019

It isn't clear what the question is, but if you're wondering what you should do as a result of experiencing back pain after an accident, a first step could be to contact an accident attorney in North Carolina. Many give free initial consultations. Based on how the accident took place and how your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Entertainment / Sports and Trademark for North Carolina on
Q: Dealing with an issue whether I'm able to use multiple song titles on a website that creates profit without song content

Creating a website that creates profit, however, I want to know if I'm able to use song titles without any of their physical content (for example without their lyrics or digital media). I only need the titles.

Thank you for your time.

Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks answered on Apr 13, 2018

I’m inclined to say yes, but definitely would need more info regarding the intended use. Feel free to email me at: to discuss

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright and Intellectual Property for North Carolina on
Q: An illustrator is interested in purchasing a license to my photograph for reference purposes, how does this work?

My photograph will only be viewed by the illustrator so they are able to create their own artwork based off the image and then sell their artwork, so I'm not sure if I would charge a licensing fee (and how to go about configuring that) or charge royalty fees. I'm having trouble configuring how to... Read more »

Mark A. Baker
Mark A. Baker answered on Mar 27, 2018

As the creator of the work, and therefore the owner of the copyright (assuming you have not otherwise transferred the copyright or made the work as a work-for-hire), you have the exclusive right, among other rights, to create derivative works. An illustrator who creates illustrations from your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: I have some old posters advertising old bands who played at a local club here where I live. They are from the 1960s.

They are just old ad posters that were stapled to telephone poles and buildings every week promoting the show and then torn down and replaced. The old ones were thrown in the trash. The company that printed them has been out of business for over 40 years. Do I need permission to make some copies of... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Jun 22, 2017

If you want to avoid any legal liability for copyright infringement, yes - you need permission to reproduce those posters. The printing company is probably not the party that needs to grant permission, unless they also created the posters. The artist who created the posters, assuming the artist... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Business Law, Entertainment / Sports and Internet Law for North Carolina on
Q: Could I have a website and provide a service to users that allows for uploading screenshots from video games for profit?

This website and web service would allow users to upload their screenshots from video games and share it with their friends. There is more to it, but as far as legal, would it be copyright or other IP conflicts if users screenshot their own in-game experience and upload it to the site and share it.... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Gaming for North Carolina on
Q: Couple questions about famous people likenesses and names can or can't be used in a video game.

I’m going to be releasing a video game soon and since I’m likely going to charge a small fee for people to download it I’d like to answer a legal couple questions just to be on the safe side:

1. Is it legal to use cartoon likenesses of famous/living American politicians or Hollywood... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton 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....
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: Teaching materials using spiritual concepts learned in classes I paid for. Do I have to include the copyright lineage?

My teaching materials are my original ideas & design using concepts from a research group who shared them freely. My former partner is angry that I took his name & company name off my materials when we broke up. I re-named everything I created and credited him where he actually made a... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on May 1, 2017

Creative works receive copyright protection from the moment they are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. "Sending yourself materials through the mail to get copyright protection" is a myth that does not affect your copyright protection at all. Creative works receive more robust protections... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for North Carolina on
Q: Who has copyright ownership of written work posted on a blog when it is a site that involved multiple people?

I live in NC, the website is maintained in FL. A falling out led to removal of work. I want to ensure copyright to my own writing and prevent further use of it on the site in the future, but do not know if I have ownership of copyright due to the nature of the "publishing"/posting on the internet... Read more »

Dr. Jamie Cuticchia
Dr. Jamie Cuticchia answered on Apr 20, 2017

Works are copyrighted to producer of the work. So in this case, the removed work is still under your copyright. However, one has to look for two issues which might have transferred the copyright. If you perform a "work-for-hire" for a company, another person, etc. then although you have the... Read more »

Q: i am an app developer and need representation. I know that certain companies are interested in my apps.

I have had people who have stolen apps without permission, who have then sold my apps (properties) without my permission. I need a lawyer to represent me as retaliate as well as when I contact big name tech companies concerning offers. I need representation to help me draft contracts as well as... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Apr 14, 2017

There are several attorneys listed on the Justia directory who would be able to help you. You should look for North Carolina attorneys with experience with copyright law, business transactions (licensing agreement and business entity formation), and civil litigation. You should contact 2-3... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for North Carolina on
Q: Do I need permission to use my image of someone else's product in my product? i.e.Image of a cymbal in my drum software
Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Mar 1, 2017

If you use an image of a cymbal, produced by someone else, in software you produce: Yes, you need their permission to use their image or you could face a copyright infringement action.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for North Carolina on
Q: Tho this band has "trademarked" their name.May I use the name for a business thats non musical/not inspired by them?

I'm looking to start a clothing/skateboarding company. I came up with the name of "Scythe" , or maby "Scythe Skateboards". But I looked online and found that there's a musical band called "SCYTHE", apparently they trademarked it like a year or 2 ago. But I in no way had the intention to copy they... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Feb 9, 2017

The success of a trademark infringement lawsuit depends on whether the defendant's use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer.

The U.S. Patent Office explains on its website:

Generally, the court will consider evidence addressing various factors to determine...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Trademark and Entertainment / Sports for North Carolina on
Q: what is the process to trademark a name or logo
Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Feb 9, 2017

The process to trademark a name or logo, as well as other informational resources, can be found at:

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: I ran a couple of small blogs and unknowingly used copyrighted pictures.

I always sourced the pictures but I just learned that might not be enough to keep me from getting sued. Do you have any suggestions? I haven't received any complaints that I know of and the sites never cotancted me. The blogs are now deleted and I never made any money off the pictures. Should I... Read more »

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Jan 27, 2017

Should you worry?

If no copyright holders have contacted you regarding infringement, you should not worry.

Do I have any suggestions?

You "nuked" the site already, which is a great first step. Delete all copyrighted images you have from the server, it's not enough to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: If I were to write a book about a book do I need to get any sort of permission from the author or publishing house?

(for example, a detailed analysis of the great gatsby with chapters on characters, plotlines, and stories about the author)

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Nov 10, 2015

Probably not. Copyright protection for the Great Gatsby has probably expired by now anyway.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for North Carolina on
Q: I made a YouTube video of a Wonder Woman comic. It got taken down for copyright. Anything I can I do for a retraction?

I monetized the video and used royalty-free music. I gave credit to the creators and distributors. I did not download the video or images. I made the video myself.

Ray Beckerman
Ray Beckerman answered on Sep 4, 2014

I do not know what you mean by a "retraction" but you did violate the rights of the owners of the "Wonder Woman" rights.

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