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Oregon Copyright Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Can I use the trademarkednwords ¨Think Different¨ for a non-commercial magazine?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 27, 2019

Basically no. You could get a license from them (IBM?), but that is about it.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Copyright and Products Liability for Oregon on

Q: I won an abandoned storage unit in PDX owned by a film company. Can I sell the manuscripts/ reels/ photos back to them?

The unit contained not only the manuscripts/reels/files/notes/art for most of the films they have ever produced, but I have over 20,000 personal family photos dating back to the 1920's, and original artwork of a locally famous painter related to the films studio owner.

I want to contact... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Dec 22, 2018

The items are now your personal property. Keep in mind you only have the property rights, so some items would have intellectual property rights to them (for instance copyright on the manuscript) so you just own that copy, not the rights to the films.

The one thing to keep in mind, is if you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Say a brand that sells the exact same products and services as I do is named “Chris”.. could I name my brand “Chris!”??

Adding emphasis on the name.. using an exclamation mark consumers will say “Chris!” When talking about my brand and simply say the no fun... “Chris” when talking about another brand

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jun 4, 2018

First, this would be a trademark issue, and secondly, I think there would be likelihood of confusion between the two marks.

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: I got dinged for image copyright violation. How to decide how much I should pay.

The company PicRights found a copyrighted image I used on a book review blog post seen by about 12 people. They want $110 for using the image on a commercial website. Is my site a commercial website? What determines a commercial website? There are no ads, nothing being sold but there are links to... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on May 23, 2018

Statutory damages are $750 on the low end, though a judge could lower it to $200. This assumes the work is registered, and they would also be entitled to attorneys fees and costs, which could be substantially more than the $750 that is likely.

As to a commercial website, do you make money...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Oregon on

Q: Is the Star trek logo/insignia trademarked

Can other people use it? Or is it property of Paramount/CBS like I expect?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Apr 19, 2018

Without searching, I would say that is almost guaranteed that it is. As to use, there are some uses that would be allowed under fair use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Oregon on

Q: trademark filed '17 has a 602 status. can I apply using same word but different graphic for similar purpose as describd

i don't see evidence of it's current use in commerce. but how to prove?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 27, 2018

You can, as it is abandoned, but that does not mean your registration will be successful.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Communications Law and Entertainment / Sports for Oregon on

Q: Are we legally allowed to use names/addresses from old letters in new published works?

We purchased a stack of old letters (perhaps 70 years old), and would like to use them as the basis for a book/podcast/video series/photo gallery.

Is there any reason we couldn't use or sell works that contain the names/addresses/content/etc. or photos of the actual items? Are we allowed... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Feb 6, 2018

This should not be an issue as to copyright, as addresses would not in this format likely be copyright-able.

Could be an issue as to personality rights though.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Hi there, Can I use the title of a poem for a company name? The Poem is from a published book.

And the name is not in the trademark database that I can tell.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jan 11, 2018

It is really impossible for any attorney to provide a comprehensive response without knowing what the name is. The state will literally let you register just about any name if no one else is using it. Trademark though is much harder to provide an answer, though if your search via TESS found... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Oregon on

Q: I'm in a guitar build site and the question is one of trademarks.

If I put a logo, say "Fender" on a "look alike" for personal use only, am I breaking the law? I know if I try to sell it as a genuine "Fender" I would be guilty of fraud. But where is the line between personal use and fraud?

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Nov 13, 2017

The thing is, my guess is you want it on there so that when people see you play they think it is a Fender. But its not. So, when you say it is for personal use, I am a bit skeptical if that is entirely accurate.

Otherwise, I would venture that even by just putting it on there, there could...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: I received a letter today: from another Etsy designer stating that I can not use my design

Because it is similar to hers. I used my own image, design and ideas to create this. Yes it looks similar to hers but isn't. I tried to attach the letter but it is too long. Here is part of it?

In light of the above, I must insist that you immediately cease and desist from all further... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Oct 24, 2017

This is a rather complex question, and one that in many ways becomes a matter for a jury. Similar to what is the meaning of life.

That said, if your business is profitable, might consider sitting down with a copyright attorney; if not profitable, might not be worth the fight/hassle.

3 Answers | Asked in Business Law and Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Hobby Lobby selling my art without permission

I am a graphic artist and sell my creations on Etsy. I display them with watermarks on the images and remove them when purchase is made. I recently became aware that they are selling bottles with my images (along with the watermarks) as labels on the bottles for as long as the last 3 years. The... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Aug 10, 2017

You do have some recourse. If you registered your images with the Copyright Office you have better options, but at the least you could send a take down letter/cease and desist letter.

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Oregon on

Q: Hi, i wish to know if copyright subsists if my work was extorted out by someone and subsequently used

I was forced to perform work for a former classmate during university. The latter did this by means of death threats and other blackmail acts. I complied and authored the said person's final year project for her. The person has since passed this work off as hers and has used it for commercial... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Aug 5, 2017

Potentially, but the statute of limitations is 3 years on copyright infringement. So, you may need to act quickly.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Am I violating copyright law?

I have a concern about a copyright laws. So I was designing my art for my Graphic Tee when I realized that I may have been violated a copyright grounds. What I drew is a Maleficent's crown with a quotes from the movie 'Maleficent'. So I was wondering did I violate any copyright law or not? Is... Read more »

Mr. Michael O. Stevens answered on Jul 20, 2016

First, it would likely not be fair use as it appears you are looking to perhaps sell copies of your work. Without seeing your work and what the original looks like it would be difficult to tell if you were or were not infringing.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Oregon on

Q: Is it illegal to watch movies online? Without downloading anything.

Mark B. Saku answered on Jun 18, 2015

Watching itself does not constitute copyright infringement. Using a reference to a colleague who previous used this example, you are not infringing copyright by watching a band perform cover songs on stage.

However, copyright infringement in the United States is a strict liability offense....
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