Ask Dr. Copyright

Ask Dr. Copyright is a monthly column that tackles common misconceptions in the areas of intellectual property law especially, copyright.

26Aug 2021
Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: For years, it’s been nearly impossible to do repairs on some kinds of equipment. For instance, unless you had a handheld computer that cost over $4,000, it was impossible to diagnose and fix a GM-Saab automobile. The same is true of John Deere farm equipment. Manufacturers use copyright and trade secrecy laws to […]

27May 2021
Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: What the heck is an NFT and what does it have to do with copyrights? Signed.Dazed and Confused Dear D&C: That is a very good question. Which is why the Doc will provide you with an answer, and also offer you the chance to purchase a unique and priceless version of the answer, […]

25Feb 2021
Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc (hope you’re well and alive): I heard of a case that’s just jive.You can go, but not boldlySaid the judge, rather coldlyFar too Seuss, your project, contrived.  Signed,ComicMix Dear CM: I suppose that you are asking about a recent court decision in a dispute about the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Boldly Go!”, a mashup […]

28Jan 2021

Dear Doc: I’ve heard you say many times that Americans have a right to sue each other for any reason, so lawyers can’t tell their clients that they won’t get sued, only that in a properly adjudicated case, they have a high probability of prevailing. Aren’t there ANY limits on lawsuits? Signed,Fed Up Dear FU: […]

26Nov 2020

Dear Doc: A few years ago, you wrote about a copyright law suit where the judges’ opinion in the case took care to point out that among the purchasers of the art work accused of infringement were some famous people. Does that make a difference in how cases get decided? Signed,Instagram Follower Dear IF: The […]

24Sep 2020

Dear Doc: It seems to me that every time I try to find out about intellectual property licensing, I end up more confused than ever. Are you able to help? Signed, Bothered and Bewildered Dear B&B: You are correct. Licensing is a complex area of business and of the law. Unfortunately, it is in the […]

23Jul 2020
Uploading Photos

Dear Doc: Last month, you explained how to avoid legal issues concerning the use of music in podcasts. While that was interesting, many more ugly “lawyer letters” stem from use of images on websites and newsletters. Do you have any sage advice on how not to be on the receiving end of a nasty-gram from […]