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Copyright Law Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

Ever heard of the DMCA? It's important to copyright holders

In our last post, we talked about copyright law and some of the common questions that envelop this important aspect of intellectual property law. We will continue this conversation today by discussing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a law that has been in place since 1998.

On copyrights, and the many questions surrounding them

Whether you are trying to copyright one of your original works or you find yourself in the middle of a legal dispute over a copyright, the situation will likely be the same: you will have plenty of questions about how to handle your current predicament. With that in mind, let's talk about a few points related to copyrights and copyright law.

What constitutes 'fair use' under U.S. copyright law?

If ever an artistic issue existed that called for consulting with an attorney, acceptable application of "fair use" would seem to be it. As we have noted in previous posts, layers of law apply to intellectual property concerns. The mere purchase of a piece of sheet music gives a buyer some limited use rights in terms of performance. However, to include a copyrighted piece of music in a public concert requires getting the OK from the proper agency or the composer.

Protecting intellectual property using the 'internet of value'

In the early 2000s, we experienced what came to be called the dot-com bubble. That was when the internet came into its own as an economic power. Unfortunately, speculation about big tech sector earnings took priority over traditional business metrics. Eventually, according to Wikipedia, skepticism rose, venture capital dried up, and a crash followed.

Should I use a digital watermark on my work?

Are you analog or are you digital? These days, it's easy to find individuals in one or the other camp. Some dwell in both worlds. If you are someone who does design work, you want to protect your work from theft, misuse or use without your permission.

The line between parody and copyright infringement

You probably know that you're not allowed to use a copyrighted song in your Youtube video. Such an action would be a violation of intellectual property protections. But why do roasts of popular songs on SNL get away with using other people's creative works? Today we'll discuss an important concept in intellectual property law: the fair use defense.

A primer on Creative Commons licenses

The concept of copyright is generally straightforward. When you create something original, the law says the control over use and distribution is exclusively in your hands. As we noted in a previous post, however, the evolution of the internet has created new opportunities for plagiarism to occur - even if it happens to be unintentional.

Tis the season to be wary

If you're doing any holiday shopping this season, chances are at least a portion of that activity will be happening online. Google and all the other search engines out there do an amazing job of delivering opportunities for getting just the right item at the best price. Sometimes the product comes direct from a manufacturer or brick and mortar retailer. Just as often, the same images and product descriptions appear on sites like YouTube, Amazon, eBay or Craig's List from third-party sellers.

2 years later, dispute over copyright on primate selfie settled

Philosophy is a tricky thing. The questions wrestled with often seem simple, but a deeper dive into an issue shows the complications. One example is the famous question, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Another that might warrant the same scrutiny is one we posed more than two years ago. "Who should own the copyright in a selfie that is composed, art-directed, and shot by a monkey?" Should it be the owner of the camera or the monkey?

What is a work made for hire and why should I care?

Copyright law is not as simple a matter as it was before the digital age. With the arrival of the internet and the explosion of social media outlets, the possibility of copyright infringement is greater than it has ever been, and the need for copyright protection is even more important. Avoiding the first and achieving the second can be a complicated endeavor without skilled legal help.

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