Copyright

15Oct 2020
Paparazzi

Did you know that there has been a spate of lawsuits filed against celebrities for using unlicensed photographs of themselves?  It’s true. The list of defendants is a Who’s Who of social media, including Deshaun Watson, Justin Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, Lebron James, Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry, Khloe Kardashian, and the list goes on. With the […]

01Oct 2020
Bill Murray

In the world of intellectual property, the “Cease and Desist” letter is king. These are letters from attorneys for the owner of a work or invention, sent to an alleged infringer of the owner’s intellectual property rights. The letters cite the legal basis for the owner’s claim, may threaten doom, destruction, and huge financial damages, […]

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 […]

17Sep 2020
Fair Use

Dozens of times over the past 10 years, we have written about the “fair use” exception to copyright infringement.  You may recall that “fair use” under the U.S. Copyright Act permits limited use of copyrighted works for purposes of “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.” It’s a complex area and one that is continuously […]

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 […]

16Jul 2020

Photographers have long been able to utilize the copyright system for registering groups of photographs for a single registration fee, now $55.00. It has to be one of the best bargains in the IP world. Registration gives photographers and other authors of original content access to federal courts, a presumption of validity, a public record of ownership […]

25Jun 2020

Dear Doc: During this social isolation, I’ve started a new hobby…I’m a podcaster! I record myself saying fascinating things and then I publish the audio files on the Internet. Lately, I’ve learned that podcasts are more interesting if you use music to mark “intros”, “outros” and transitions. Please tell me that I’m not going to […]

18Jun 2020

Policing your trademarks is as important as registering them.  Policing requires that the trademark and other rights owners monitor the world of commerce to ensure that others are not stealing their intellectual property and, if so, take immediate action against infringers.  Many corporations zealously defend their trademark portfolios. Here’s but one example. In a recent article at Wired.com, The […]

04Jun 2020
Heart New York

Why is the famous “I [heart] New York” logo protected by trademark and not copyright?  At first glance, you’d think that it’s artwork, and therefore can be protected by copyright.  However, the Copyright Act protects “original works of authorship.” The “I [heart] New York” logo is merely a phrase, with the word “love” replaced by […]