News & Resources

Can I Copy Just a Little Bit of This Copyright Protected Work?

It’s true that courts can dismiss infringement cases where the alleged use is considered de minimis, which means it was so insignificant that the court would not decide on the case. However, don’t let this trick you into believing you can copy a little bit of a copyright protected work and get away with it. There is no magic amount of content or number of words that you can copy lawfully. The use of just […]

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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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Avoid Common Legal Pitfalls of Start-up Businesses

You have a vision for a product or service. So, you create a start-up business and start plowing ahead, ready to make that vision a reality. But did you take a moment to stop and protect your vision? You cannot protect an idea itself, but there are many important ways you should safeguard confidential information related to your start-up. Ask recipients to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before sharing sensitive information. Mark communication and documents […]

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Can You Register Your Domain Name as a Trademark?

A domain name can become a trademark only if it is used as a trademark. Simply registering a word or words as a domain name does not itself establish trademark rights. Remember, a trademark identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services. The key is whether the trademark has been used to make such a visual impression that consumers would see it as a symbol of origin separate and apart from anything else. The […]

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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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