Charles E. Colman’s Answers

Charles E. Colman

New York Copyright Infringement Attorney.

Contributor Level 11
  1. Hi, I put two Rosetta Stone items on sale on ebay. They got removed right away. I didn't sell even one.

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Charles E. Colman
    2. Maurice N Ross
    3. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    4. Pamela Koslyn
    5. Bret Stuart Moore
    5 lawyer answers

    As the above answers indicate, it is difficult to respond to the question without more information. If the items you were selling were "pirated copies" (i.e. counterfeits), then as Pamela states, it doesn't matter whether any sale was consummated. However, if the items were genuine, the issues become much more complicated. It's generally not trademark infringement to sell a genuine good on a site like eBay, even if you refer to the product by its name. As for copyright, under the "first-...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Can I sue for IIED for Breach of Contract even if I don't have economic damages?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Charles E. Colman
    2. Pamela Koslyn
    3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen
    3 lawyer answers

    You will need to consult a California-licensed attorney to parse and analyze the various legal issues here. For example, "intentional infliction of emotional distress" is a completely separate cause of action from breach of contract. I take it your question is whether you can recover damages for emotional distress in a breach of contract action. The answer, generally, is that such damages are only available 1) when the breach was made in "bad faith," AND 2) when a separate economic loss has...

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  3. Movies intellectual property

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Neil Alan Wehneman
    2. Charles E. Colman
    3. Maurice N Ross
    4. Pamela Koslyn
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with Attorney Wehneman's response and his comments. I would only add that if your Language Teaching Center is a for-profit institution (as seems likely), ruling out the Section 110 exemption and thus forcing you to rely on "fair use," it would be advisable to use less than 30 minutes of any particular film. One of the factors in the fair use test is the "amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole." See http://bit.ly/kJnnU0. In...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

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  4. Am I violating a federally registered trademark?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Charles E. Colman
    2. Joshua Alan Burt
    3. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    3 lawyer answers

    Assuming the registration is valid (and there are various reasons why it might be invalid, which cannot be explained fully here -- especially in the abstract), it accomplishes various things, including the following: 1) It grants the owner/registrant nationwide rights in the mark, AS IF the owner were using the mark throughout the 50 states -- even if s/he is not. This principle is sometimes referred to as "constructive nationwide use." 2) The registration "freezes" any EXISTING remote...

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  5. I have used information gleaned from various sources to create a unique format for doing tea parties. My format includes an

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Charles E. Colman
    2. Pamela Koslyn
    3. Barbara I Berschler
    4. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    4 lawyer answers

    I agree with Pamela that if you are focused on protecting the "format" of the tea parties, copyright law may prove problematic for you. As Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act states, "[i]n no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." (For more on this, see my discussion...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. Is it legal without permission to place in website specifications & photos of (electronic) products & compare these specs

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Maurice N Ross
    2. Charles E. Colman
    3. Robert Scott Lawrence
    4. Ken Bradley Dallara
    5 lawyer answers

    Agreed, the purpose of the use is of great importance here. If you are doing this in order to review the products, or to facilitate a critical discussion of them, the answer is "maybe." There was a fairly in-depth discussion on this issue a few days on Avvo, at this URL: http://bit.ly/jY84GM. If that discussion doesn't pertain to you, perhaps supplement your question with more information, in order to help attorneys who would like to answer it. Good luck!

  7. If I produced a video, does the client have rights to my raw footage or just the final edit?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Pamela Koslyn
    2. Maurice N Ross
    3. Charles E. Colman
    3 lawyer answers

    It's true that unless you were an "employee" -- and it sounds like you were an "independent contractor" instead -- your work for the company would not be a "work made for hire" unless "the parties have expressly agreed [to this arrangement] in a written instrument signed by them." (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html#201). However, as Attorney Ross points out, a "written instrument" can take many forms, including e-mails. Furthermore, it is possible that you put something in an e-...

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  8. Can I use the name of a song/album as the name of my blog?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Sarah Brady Kriss
    2. Robert Scott Lawrence
    3. Mario Sergio Golab
    4. Charles E. Colman
    5. David Christopher Baker
    6. ···
    7 lawyer answers

    The USPTO generally does not allow registrations of the titles of single artistic works, so you'll find that even famous films, for example, often do not appear in the TESS database. But TESS isn't the be all and end all of trademark protection; unlike in the copyright context, you don't need to have registered a trademark to sue for infringement (or dilution, which is another topic altogether.) Thus, you can bet that if you tried to start a blog called "Bridget Jones's Diary," whatever movie...

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  9. If my novel has a similar storyline to that of an already existing "music video", Will it induce a copyright infringement?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Pamela Koslyn
    2. Charles E. Colman
    3. Maurice N Ross
    4. Robert Scott Lawrence
    4 lawyer answers

    The previous answers are informative and helpful. I write only to draw your attention to a recent case that came to mind while reading your question, Frye v. YMCA Camp Kitaki (8th Cir. 2010.) One law firm posted an excellent summary of the case here: http://bit.ly/jUrUiM. The court's full opinion can be found here: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-8th-circuit/1535730.html. (I know some attorneys don't like to subject non-attorneys to full judicial opinions, but I find it to be a useful...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  10. Is it illegal to sell fake handbags in miami, fl?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Daniel J. Rose
    2. Charles E. Colman
    3. Pamela Koslyn
    4. Maurice N Ross
    4 lawyer answers

    There are several potential sources of liability in situations like this: federal and state counterfeiting and trademark infringement, federal and state trademark dilution, federal copyright infringement, state unfair competition, state consumer protection statutes, city-specific ordinances, etc. (See http://nyti.ms/fFp0fs.) I walked through many of these causes of action in one of my blog posts, which addressed a lawsuit brought by Coach against Jo-Ann Fabrics: http://lawoffashion.com/blog/...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful