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Archive for the ‘Copyrights’ Category

33 Months for Moviehouse Copyright infringer

26 Aug

Consider this interesting case from the UK where a copyright pirate was sentenced to 33 months in jail for downloading Fast & Furious 6 from the back of a moviehouse and then posting it where it was downloaded 700,000 times.
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28896675

 

Advice to a Software Counterfeiter

31 Jan

Question

I recently got in touch with some wholesalers from china and they told me that they sell a very expensive software at a very cheap price. so i thought I could make some money selling those. I put many ads on Craigslist advertising that i am a wholesale dealer selling the product. My plan was that if someone order that from me , i would i have one of the wholesalers from china ship the product straight to them and get some money out off the deal. some people contacted me about the product but we never went all the way through. i was not able to sell any. I recently received an email accusing me for piracy. the email says that i violated the copyrights. I contacted the people and and explained them the situation and they told me that even though i never sold any, i violated the copyrights just by offering the product online. they asked me to pay some money and they will drop the case. if not i will be in big troubles. Am i really in trouble?? what should i do?
Missouri 64112 2011-01-05
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Answer 2011-01-31 :
I see you still have no answer. I did not answer earlier as you sounded like a sleazy counterfeiter to me and I don’t want any sleazy clients – they tend not to pay their bills. Still, you deserve a response, and you may be honest and just made a mistake. You should hire a copyright attorney to give “the people” a response explaining that offering to sell a counterfeit is NOT copyright infringement if no copying occurs. If any of your ads result in a sale, even if you are not the one producing, shipping, distributing, etc. you are guilty of contributory infringement or inducing infringement. So, “the people” as you call them are probably right. However, that is not the end of the story. In advertising the software you have undoubtedly infringed on the software producer’s trademark, as well, and have even more liability, to the point they could sue you and perhaps get punitive damages and attorneys fees. So you need more than a copyright lawyer, you need an intellectual property lawyer versed in both trademark and copyright litigation to analyze the CDL (cease and desist letter), talk to the software company lawyers knowledgeably, and to assure them you learned your lesson and won’t be bothering them with counterfeits anymore. The word of a counterfeiter will mean nothing to them, but a lawyer’s assurance will. I am such a lawyer, and I am licensed in Missouri, and I am experienced in this type of situation. In fact, I have gotten letters like that myself from Charter, Microsoft and Autodesk when testing BitComet, Limewire, Grokster, Kazaa, and the like. There are other good IP lawyers in Missouri, but they will cost you more and likely know less. Before I do this for you I would need to chat with you (618-462-3450), for free, to be sure I would want to work for you on it, to find out who “the people” that wrote you are, and to discuss my fees for doing it. Specifically, if you are a counterfeiter who intends to keep counterfeiting and just wants to duck your responsibility in this case and keep infringing, I want nothing to do with you. If this was a mistake and you do not intend to repeat this, then I want to help you out. If you don’t call, I will know you are dishonest counterfeiter whom I would not want to work anyway. If you do call then I will expect you to do the right thing and stay legal and we can talk and I can probably solve this for you at minimal expense.

 

A Taste of Trademark Law – Similar Mark on Different Product and Service

31 Jan

Question

Hello, I am in the process of publishing a book and I am from Chicago. In the city of Chicago we have a event that happens every year called Taste of Chicago that all the restaurant in the city come and sell there foods and on the fourth of July the city does the fireworks from the lake for the event. I want my book title to be A Taste of Chicago but it has nothing to do with food, it is a book based on a young girl from Chicago that left and went into the military and began that wonderful journey of life. I wanted to know if i could use that name even thought it has nothing to do with that event and since it starts with A and not Taste?
United States | Illinois | 60643 | Intellectual Property
New Answer

Preview Answer

If this question is inappropriate, mis-categorized, or unanswerable, you may reject this question.
Please do not reject this question if another attorney may be able to answer it.
01/31/11, 6:39 pm
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Your question has been on lawguru quite long without an answer so I will give you one, although I am located downstate near St. Louis in Alton, IL. A second comer has a legal duty to avoid an likelihood of confusion with existing marks. You are to be commended for checking your position to try to comply with that duty. I think you can do this quite safely if you provide a disclaimer on the title page of your book: “This book has nothing whatsoever to do with the annual Taste of Chicago food sampling festival.” The use of “A” is irrelevant to the question, as very few people, even in Chicago, would recognize any difference. This question is already answered by reality. There is a restaurant by the same name:Taste of Chicago Restaurant
3170 S Ashland Ave # H, Chicago, IL 60608-6261 (773) 579-0355 . Certainly if they can do it for the same services – food services – you should be safe to do it for something quite different. In fact your mark would be, at most, a trademark, not a service mark like the food festival name since it is used on a product rather than on a service. Trademarks and service marks are classified by type of goods or services into over 40 international classes, and absent any other factor, different classes are normally not considered likely to be confused with each other unless closely related. Books and festivals are not closely related unless the book were about a festival. Even then, a descriptive title is not normally considered a trademark infringement, especially if there is a disclaimer. The disclaimer should seal the deal and keep you safe and the public unconfused.

 

Old Art. Is it public domain? Are copies public domain?

31 Jan

Question

1. I am making a booklet and the pictures are of Art in the 13th to 17th century. there were no laws of record during these days. Information was given to me by an art e-site that since the artist who painted or owner who had the painting made is deceased more than 70 years that the art then becomes “public domain”.

Is this correct?

2. If a photograph or drawing was taken or drawn and there is no copyright, is the works “public domain”?

thank you for your assistance in fulfilling this request!

Jasper Snellings – Texas 77382 – 1/31/11, 10:11 am
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Answer

In the future do not post your name, Jasper. That is unwise on several levels.

Answers:

1. Yes. All artistic works prior to 1881 are now public domain, since the term would have expired. The most recent law (PL 102-307) extended pre-1976 registrations to a maximum of 95 years. For pre-1976 copyrights, lifespan of the author (which is important for post-1976 copyrights) is irrelevant as to term of protection.

2. No. You mean “and there is no copyright registration” not “and there is no copyright”, since copyright is automatic while registration must be obtained through application and payment of a fee. A photograph or drawing will usually add something artistically new which might be separately copyrighted and thus subject to copyright protection as to that which was added and to the modified version so produced. Unless you copy the original work you cannot be sure you are safe from copyright infringement. The best procedure there is to find out who made the photograph or drawing and call or email them and ask if it is public domain, and if not can you have permission.

If this is a large commercial undertaking with significant value on your part, Jasper, you need a copyright lawyer (you can reach me at 618-462-3450) since it is clear you do not yet have a firm grasp on the legal principles of copyright law. If it is just an academic question or you cannot afford that, then the above will have to do.

 

broadcasting on the web

31 Jan

Question:

Can I broadcast a live show on the web with my band. Playing cover songs and original songs without getting in trouble? We aren’t gettting paid for the show but we are asking for donations in a guitar giveaway. To help with more broadcasting equipment and chords, strings etc.

Texas 77530 1/30/11, 4:27 pm
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Answer:

Yes for original songs, although you should obtain copyright registration on any original work of your band. You would be subject to royalty payment for any copyrighted songs you play. Call me (618-462-3450) if you need more detailed advice. I represent several bands in intellectual property law matters, which seem simple on the surface but can get sticky if you do not take the proper steps to create protections to protect your creations and if you do not respect the copyrights of others.

 

Copyright Law

31 Jan

Question:

1. I am making a booklet and the pictures are of Art in the 13th to 17th century. there were no laws of record during these days. Information was given to me by an art e-site that since the artist who painted or owner who had the painting made is deceased more than 70 years that the art then becomes “public domain”.

Is this correct?

2. If a photograph or drawing was taken or drawn and there is no copyright, is the works “public domain”?

———————————

My Answer:
1. Yes. All artistic works prior to 1881 are now public domain, since the term would have expired. The most recent law (PL 102-307) extended pre-1976 registrations to a maximum of 95 years. For pre-1976 copyrights, lifespan of the author (which is important for post-1976 copyrights) is irrelevant as to term of protection.
2. No. You mean “and there is no copyright registration” not “and there is no copyright”, since copyright is automatic while registration must be obtained through application and payment of a fee. A photograph or drawing will usually add something artistically new which might be separately copyrighted and thus subject to copyright protection as to that which was added and to the modified version so produced. Unless you copy the original work you cannot be sure you are safe from copyright infringement. The best procedure there is to find out who made the photograph or drawing and call or email them and ask if it is public domain, and if not can you have permission.

If this is a large commercial undertaking with significant value on your part, you need a copyright lawyer (you can reach me at 618-462-3450) since it is clear you do not yet have a firm grasp on the legal principles of copyright law. If it is just an academic question or you cannot afford that, then the above will have to do.

thank you for your assistance in fulfilling this request!

 

President’s speech – good for inventors & artists

25 Jan

As supporters of start-ups and inventors we are delighted to see the President put innovation as his first topic in his State of the Union speech tonight and to give it the greatest priority. We are going to actively suggest improvements in our system to make it better for inventors. We supported Obama from the very first announcement and we are Democrats from IL who have promoted many of his changes, so we have reason to expect to be heard. Give us any suggestions for patent system improvements you want us to mention. Here are a few of our current suggestions: (1) switch to a registration system with examination following grant [purpose: to get immediate rights for inventors and immediate publication], (2) have a 2 tier systems, a short term – low royalty minimum for all novel inventions and a longer term with exclusive rights for non-obvious claimed inventions [gives an inventor some minimal reward, including the reward of getting a patent, even if not such as to warrant exclusive rights], (3) search & examination only on request and as to specific claims and specific commercial item so the Patent Examiners are examining on things that matter and where examination makes commercial sense, (4) mandatory determination by the PTO, with short turnaround, as to infringement or non-infringement and validity or non-validity of a patent prior to suit in Court [so we get the real objective experts at this determination, the Patent Examiners, determining infringement & validity questions] thus eliminating most patent suits and getting quick certainty.–bb–