Intellectual Property Blog

Copyright Tip: I Attributed the Source. Do I Still Need to Obtain Permission?

Many people assume that they are free to use copyright protected materials as long as they provide the proper attribution for the source of the materials. Unfortunately, attribution is not a substitute for securing permission. For business purposes, you must obtain permission from the material’s copyright holders or their agents first before you can lawfully: Reproduce materials Distribute copies of material Prepare derivative materials based upon the work Display or perform the work publicly Otherwise, […]

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When Does Joint Authorship Apply to a Copyright

How much do you have to contribute to a creative project to claim joint authorship? Periodically individuals call me and explain that they have been working on a book or a screenplay with a friend, and now they are not getting along due to a dispute over the content of the piece. They want advice on copyright issues and how to resolve the dispute. A great example of a very public dispute involves the authorship […]

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Copyright Tasks to Complete Before Next Year – Part 2

There is no shortage of things to get done before the end of the year, so don’t let your copyright concerns fall by the wayside. In my last post, I shared one important task for companies with DMCA agents to complete before year-end: re-file your registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. There is one more important task to complete if it is relevant to your business. Task 2: Complete a Year-End Review of Your Original […]

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Copyright Tasks to Complete Before Next Year – Part 1

When preparing to-do lists this holiday season, don’t forget to include protecting your business from infringement liability and securing copyright assets. In particular, there are two tasks you should complete before 2017 ends. Task 1: Re-file Your DMCA Agent Registration Does your company operate a website where third-parties can post their own content, including text, picture, or video? You could be liable for copyright infringement if any content is posted without the copyright owner’s permission. […]

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A Right That Artists May Not Be Aware They Have

Why Estate Planning and Copyrights Can Get Complicated Fast Many are aware that the 1976 Copyright Act grants copyright protection for an artist’s lifetime plus 70 years. However, it also grants a less commonly known form of protection, which only became available in 2013: the right to terminate transferred copyrights. If an artist transfers a copyright by gift, sale, or to a trust, the artist or the artist’s statutory heirs can regain those transferred rights […]

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Can You Copyright a Tattoo?

The copyright for a tattoo design is often owned by the artist. But once that design is inked on the body, does that artist own the copyright of that image, too? In the popular NBA 2K video game series, players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, and DeAndre Jordan are depicted with their real-world tattoos. The copyrights to those tattoo designs are owned by Solid Oak Sketches, and the company is suing video […]

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