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Virginia Copyright Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Copyright, Divorce and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Q: In order for an attorney to pass the bar exam, is it safe to say they need to know a little bit of everything?
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg answered on Feb 7, 2021

Preparation for the Bar exam does not involve knowing a little bit of everything. It involves knowing a lot of some things, and it is exceptionally wise to find out which things from a very expensive preparation course that requires intense concentration and memorization of huge amount of state law... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Copyright and Trademark for Virginia on
Q: If an attorney sends you a cease and desist request, is is normal for them to also ask for fees?
Steve Charles Vondran
Steve Charles Vondran answered on Dec 9, 2020

This is not legal advice. From my jurisdictions (California and Arizona), I don't normally see a fee demand with a cease and desist, although I do not believe there is anything improper about requesting a pursuit fee in the right case. See you at the top! Attorney Steve®

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for Virginia on
Q: I write and produce songs. One of the songs contains dialogue from a movie, but I speak. Is that a copyright violation ?

I write and produce songs. One of the songs contains dialogue from a movie, that I speak in the song. Is that a copyright violation or an infringement to add that dialogue, even though its spoken by myself? It's a total of 19 words.

Ryan Schmidt
Ryan Schmidt answered on Nov 2, 2020

Generally speaking, any time copyrighted material is incorporated into a new work you will need permission from the original author. This may be obtained by getting a license to create a derivative work. Copyright issues are complex and each matter is different. It is recommended that you consult a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Q: What happens when I'm sued in PA federal court for image copyright infringement but haven't lived in state since 2014?

I just moved to VA on Oct. 1, 2020 after living in MD for six years. Alleged infringements (I have EXCEPTIONALLY STRONG FAIR USE claim) came after I left PA. There are 225,000 fashion industry and cultural images on my website, and I've had zero problems in 13 years. I'm being sued... Read more »

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Oct 10, 2020

You need to consult a litigation firm. There are many variables in this scenario that must be considered to determine a prudent course of action, including but not limited to: are the allegedly infringed images federally registered? were they registered AFTER first publication? can/should the two... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Copyright for Virginia on
Q: jewelry store knowingly sold me a fake rolex.

Purchased a preowned Rolex from an established online jewelry store. What are my rights?

Steven Krieger
Steven Krieger answered on Oct 6, 2020

You could sue them for a violation of the VA Consumer Protection Act, but you'd need to have someone testify that the watch is a fake. You'd be able to recover the amount you paid, reasonable attorney's fees, and possibly treble damages if you can prove that the store knew the watch... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Q: Can I copyright a published work that I have already posted? I make webcomics and want to protect a page I posted.

I can provide the original files and such, and I want to keep my characters protected.

Bernard Samuel Klosowski
Bernard Samuel Klosowski answered on Aug 6, 2020

You had the copyright as soon as you created the work (you might say a "common law copyright"). But to be eligible for "statutory damages," U.S., copyright law encourages registration before publication. Beyond 3 months after publication, if there's been an infringement,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: How could I go about purchasing this design and copyright?

Im interested in obtaining the copyright for the fabric to produce fabric for paintball good

James D. Williams
James D. Williams answered on Jun 22, 2020

Greetings.

There are two options that basically stem from the root of asking the person who owns the right for permission to use it.

(1) Ask for a license. Basically you just would tell them what you plan on doing and see if they will allow you to do it. You may have to pay them...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: if a member of Apple Music/Spotify puts music on a photo and shares it across apps is that illegal?

I'm making a photo-sharing app where users can add music to photos (if they're members of Apple Music or Spotify) and share these photos that have songs on them to other apps, would that be illegal? Since Apple Music/Spotify both own licenses to songs and users are paying for these services.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 27, 2020

It mostly boils down to what are permitted uses of the music based on the licenses issued by Apple Music/Spotify. It would be important to check the Terms of Use/licenses granted to the members. The licenses may not extend to letting members add the licensed music to another application. Best... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for Virginia on
Q: Can I use an actual news broadcast for a fictional movie??

I’m writing a YouTube episodic and wanted to use a few actual news broadcasts in the promo trailer. The show is a work of entirely fiction just loosely based on real life. I would be using less than 30 seconds of each broadcast.

Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler answered on May 22, 2020

The news broadcast itself is protected by copyright. You would need to get the permission of the owner of the copyright in the broadcast. You may be able to negotiate a licensed use for your fictional work. Best to work through a copyright counsel.

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1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander and Copyright for Virginia on
Q: If I write a historical fiction book on ancient religious sects could I be sued for slander or defamation?
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Apr 19, 2020

Yes

Obviously it will depend on what you say

Your defense is the truth, so if you get sued you can just show that all you wrote was truthful or the consensus of experts

If they are a large very public organization, they have more barriers to jump through to succeed in a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Q: Can I get sued for using an actor's name?

I'm writing a book, and I want to use Leonardo DeCaprio's hair cut (from the '90s) and I feel like the readers won't be able to know what I'm talking about if I don't say something like, "It looks like Leonardo DeCaprio's haircut." Can I get sued for doing that? Like sued for copyright?

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Apr 1, 2020

will depend on the context and extent.

If you are just making a minor mention, like in a critique, it may fall under fair use.

if it is bigger than that, you may be stepping in his rights.

check with an attorney.

www.legalbizglobal.com

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for Virginia on
Q: Can you use the phrase Monday night raw even though it’s a WWF show?

If one wanted to use it within the title of their own work. Is this a patent, trademark, or copyright issue?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Feb 5, 2020

This is not a patent issue.

Kevin E Flynn

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Internet Law for Virginia on
Q: There is a website using my pictures without permission. What are my options?

I was asked by the founder of a dog rescue to maintain her website. In two years of maintaining that website, I had also taken pictures of the dogs and volunteers at the rescue. Since I was maintaining the website I posted those pictures on the website. The founder all of a sudden, with no... Read more »

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta answered on Oct 8, 2019

You can try asking her formally to remove the pictures as they are your property.

Your legal option is possible to sue. Expensive though.

You can recover damages caused by him using the pictures without your approval, but you have to prove that.

You can copyright the photos...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Trademark for Virginia on
Q: If I have a slogan or catchphrase for a hat, T shirt, and/or pennant, do I need a copyright or a trademark to protect it
Griffin Klema
Griffin Klema answered on May 3, 2019

Usually, things printed on clothing are not considered identifiers of source. Trademark protects against source confusion, and frequently the things printed on clothing are considered ornamentation rather than suggestive of the quality or origin of the clothing itself. Nevertheless, you may be able... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Copyright for Virginia on
Q: how can multiple companies sell sewing tape measures without infringing on a patent?

Multiple companies like Singer, Dritz and less well known companies sell sewing tape measures. How do they escape infringing on patents? Further, how can multiple companies sell retractable tape measures without infringing?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Mar 5, 2018

There are a few options for how multiple companies sell a product when there is a patent for that product.

1) The patent has expired at the en of its normal term or early for failure to pay a maintenance fee. Once the patent is no longer in effect, companies are free to create a generic...
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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright for Virginia on
Q: should I worry about a lawsuit about downloading a movie from popcorn website want me to settle for $4300

Got papers saying from comcast first saying i can sign forms to stop release of my info. I didnt because thought was junk mail. The yesterday got papers saying have a lawsuit and want me to settle for 4300$.

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Dec 14, 2017

If you were served with a lawsuit you must respond within a certain period of time or you lose by default. If you received anything that is captioned as a "Summons" or "Complaint" and is accompanied with the name of a specific court, contact a lawyer in your state as soon as... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Virginia on
Q: If I just created a new invention or concept what's the best way I can protect if I have no money
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 16, 2017

You've asked about an invention, which is covered by patents, but you posted your question under copyrights. Let me answer your question both ways.

COPYRIGHTS

If you are trying to protect something that is copyrightable, then the protection does not cost you anything. If you...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Virginia on
Q: How can I protect my ideas if im dead broke?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Oct 11, 2017

For a short period of time, you can keep your idea a secret. This may not work forever as others may eventually come to the same solution for the same problem.

There is a pro bono program for inventors run at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I have not used this program...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: Copyright Infringement- What do I do now?

I am a photographer with a registered Copyright. I work as a freelance for my own company and another company for sports. Under this, the photographs that I take are my own property. My school says that I must present them with my photographs because I am technically shooting for them which is not... Read more »

Benton R Patterson III
Benton R Patterson III answered on Sep 20, 2017

The ownership of the copyright to the photographs will depend on your employment arrangement and any applicable contracts. An IP attorney needs to review all the facts and documents to determine who owns the rights to the photograph. In the future, it would be best to have an attorney prepare a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Virginia on
Q: I have an idea for a system which can predict a large earthquake. Please let me know how I can find a lawyer willing to

help for sharing the monetary profits.

Will Blackton
Will Blackton answered on Feb 3, 2017

You can find a lawyer by contacting the Virginia Bar Association. Here is a link to their referral program: http://www.vba.org/?page=referrals_complaints

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