Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Pennsylvania Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Products Liability for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm writing a fiction book about a friend, it's very insulting about the people in it, could I be sued?

So it's very immature, it's about one friend banging another friends mom. It's 52,000 words right now and I intend to make it longer. If my friends mom, who is very uptight, gets a hold of it, could I be sued? What if I don't sell it and just print some copies for me and my friends to read? Could... Read more »

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 20, 2020

I'm not licensed in Pennsylvania but the likelihood of being sued it would depend on a number of things. First, it would depend on what Pennsylvania's laws are for defamation and right of publicity. If you publish a false statement of fact about a person to another person you could be liable for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: can i use a comic book character for commercial use.

can i use a comic book character for commercial use if i edit them heavily and make them my own character with cutting and other such edits. Most comic book characters are public domain.

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 18, 2020

Characters may be protected by copyright or trademark. Oftentimes, trademark protection can outlast copyright protection and vice versa because they are dependent on different things. I would suggest enlisting the assistance of an IP attorney to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: How do I go about obtaining copyright permission for a parody photo that uses Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree"?

The photo is heavily altered, does not use his name or the original book title, and only uses the cover art

Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 16, 2020

Usually the copyright page of the book will tell you who to contact for permissions. You may want to start with the publishing company as they usually get all permissions in the publishing agreement. If they don’t have the rights, they should be able to direct you to the right person.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Is the Philly LOVE statue trademarked? Could we have a different word in the same arrangement?
Tania Maria Williams
Tania Maria Williams answered on Feb 5, 2020

The Philly LOVE statute has been the source of contentious litigation numerous times. Even though the artist died in recent years, there are others who claim to own the copyright in the sculpture. There is also a claimed trademark registration for various goods for the LOVE sculpture. Artists... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I use the name nex and trademark it for use in the e-cigarette/ dietary supplement classes?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Apr 19, 2019

You need to find out if someone else is using it. The Navy PX is called NEX and would have at least a service mark if not a trademark. There would be a problem if a Court found there was confusion. So I think unless you get their permission that isn't likely but I would suggest you contact a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: how do i get around a trade mark in a description text?

I've been asked to take down a product on my art shop that is listed as "The Boston Marathon" apparently that text or logo is trademarked by the baa. I do not use any of their logos or trademarks on my product, just describe the product as the Boston Marathon. Am I still infringing on their... Read more »

Ahaji Kirk Amos
Ahaji Kirk Amos answered on Apr 17, 2019

You can't use that phrase as it is owned by someone else. There's no way to get around it other than asking for permission to use it and being approved.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I create decals on Etsy. One decal I created is a combing of all the Pittsburgh teams in one. Is this infringement?

Many vendors in Pittsburgh sell merchandise with this logo. My listing was removed by Etsy after notice of intellectual property infringement from NFL Properties, LLC. This logo can be looked up on Google as "Pittsburgh Combined Team Logo". The only portion of the Pittsburgh Steelers logo is the 3... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Mar 5, 2019

Nope. Most leagues have enforcement teams and will depend on how strongly they enforce their rights.

You want logos or brands that are as far away from those registered products as possible.

NFL owns the names, logos, art of all teams, so you run into problems the closer you get to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can I sell illustrations of the entrance of a defunct amusement park that was sold at public auction/demolished in 1933?

The park was part of a larger failed chain across the US that went under around the same time.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 4, 2019

I don't see why not--assuming the images aren't copyrighted. If they were the copyright may have expired.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I wrote an essay for a collection, and the editor completely rewrote it while still attributing it to me. Is it illegal?
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 28, 2018

Read the fine print. If you get attribution, that's the major point. You can always redo another version your way.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm a war/vintage style artist and I was wondering how can I legally use aircrafts and vehicles in all my prints?

I have been a huge fan of ww1 and ww2 engineering and designs. I love to use military items to create totally new designs that celebrate a famous ship or a plane for example. I also create fictional stories within the ww1/2 era by using famous planes and cars in scenes (like artist James Dietz does... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Jun 20, 2018

As long as you aren't lifting the entire image and photo reproducing it no. You may paint a subject already painted--many art students do this. I'm not seeing the concern. If you are painting an aircraft shown in a photo it's not a copyright violation. I believe you may be over thinking this but... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: My former employer is refusing to remove pictures I took that are displayed on their webpage. Is this illegal?

This is a high school website, and the pictures are from a class project I ran. I do not want that information displayed since I don't work there anymore. Thank you.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on May 29, 2018

It depends on who owns the copyright to the pictute, you or your former employer. Here is a resource from the copyright office that explains works made for hire: https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ30.pdf

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Me and my friends are trying to start a clothing line

The name we choose is I.U.W.T but the only problem that I see is that someone else has the name but without the punctuation marks. Can we still use the name?

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on May 22, 2018

It depends on several factors, such as the goods and services associated with the other mark, what is claimed in the application, how long the mark has been in use, among others. An attorney would need to review all the facts to answer this question.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Can you use music in a presentation to teachers?

I am creating a presentation to do at a conference to teachers. It deals with self esteem and the music is from the Greatest Showman. There will be some students dancing to some portions of the music from the show. I will also be doing a traditional lecture on self esteem between parts of the... Read more »

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on May 4, 2018

If it's no charge then I believe if it's a limited use and no recording then you may use the music; if you are really concerned call the library of Congress copywright office.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: Do we have the right to make a PowerPoint with images of a book we own?

This is for a history course we are publishing. As part of the course, schools will purchase a number of trade books. The classroom PowerPoint will include images from those books. The schools will own a print copy of any such books already; do we need to pursue permissions for placing the images... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on May 2, 2018

Yes, you need to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Purchasing a book does not provide the right to reproduce images in the book.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Pennsylvania on
Q: I quoted a famous person & credited the person online. Is that copyright infringement?

I was answering someone's question and to make my point used a quote from Billy Graham that is posted on the Billy Graham public website. I copied and pasted what he said, put it between quotes and credited him before and after the quote. It wasn't until I posted it that it occurred to me I may... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Apr 23, 2018

In the vast majority of cases, using a short quote from another person's work is not copyright infringement.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I have received a copyright infringement notification on my eBay account about a product I am selling.

The product is a dumbbell fitness bracelet that has the words "Live","Lift" on the bracelet. The notice is coming a company that sell similar bracelets that h that has the words "Fit", "Life" on it. The bracelets are very similar but clearly different based on the text. Is this truly copyrighted... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Feb 13, 2018

An attorney would need to review the two products to answer this question. From what you have described, it seems unlikely that your bracelet would infringe a copyright for the other bracelet. While jewelry is protected by copyright, the rights are not so broad as to cover entire design concepts.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Pennsylvania on
Q: I'm creating a campaign video using clips from popular music and tv videos. Can this be considered Fair Use?

The video can be seen here: https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/thegrind

Andrew Zulieve Esq
Andrew Zulieve Esq answered on Jan 31, 2018

Doubtful. Go online and read the section of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 which defines what is a fair use.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: Hello. Would this logo be an infringement of our logo? https://trademarks.justia.com/873/79/mf-87379413.html

Many people are copying our company and we'd like to end the confusing likeness. Thank you.

Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity answered on Jan 6, 2018

Hello. You actually haven't provided what YOUR logo is, so it's impossible to compare the two.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Pennsylvania on
Q: I want to start a business named RZR edge performance, would that create a legal trademark issue with Polaris Industries

RZR is a trademark registered to Polaris Industries

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Jan 2, 2018

It depends on what line of business you are in and the scope of the other trademark. I recommend discussing your business plans with a trademark attorney in a confidential conference.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.