If you did nothing more than excerpt a portion of song lyrics for a funeral program, I would not worry too much about it, as it is probably subject to a good faith fair use defense.
If a copyright owner bothers to hassle you about it, let me know. I'm sorry for your loss.
It depends on a variety of factors, ranging from applying contract law to intellectual properly law to the facts at hand.
For example, who legally "owns" the content displayed on this website?
Who legally "owns" the domain name that the website is associated with?
Why didn't the client pay you?
Did you have a written contract?
Did you have a binding verbal contract?
You obviously need a lawyer to review your options before you do anything as drastic as "taking down" a customer'...
Generally speaking, contract law attempts to ascertain the intention of the parties.
Consequently, it is a well-established rule of contract construction that, all other things being equal, a term specifically drafted in a negotiated contract will take precedence over "standardized" terms in a general contract. The principle is that the parties had the opportunity, at arms-length, to bargain and negotiate for what mattered most to them. Therefore, to the extent that there are any...
Excellent question. Your question can be divided into three related sections: one is copyright-related, one is trademark related, and one can be called the "right to publicity."
1) Under prevailing copyright law in the United States, facts and figures about sports figures are not copyrightable. St. Louis U.S. District Court Judge Mary Ann Medler ruled that sports statistics are part of the public domain and can be used at no cost by fantasy companies. She held that: "[t]he names and...
My colleagues above have given good answers.
If you are genuinely acting in good faith, an experienced trademark lawyer should be able to work something out with whomever sent you the letter. Often, these letters get sent out as part of a very large campaign, and the sender does not analyze the specific facts of each and every case. Once brought to their attention, however, they don't want to spend unnecessary money just because they may have "deep pockets." They just want to protect...
My colleagues are correct -- you need an attorney to evaluate your options.
Note that you really should consider pursuing some form of legal action, for inactivity once you are put on actual notice of the infringement can actually lead to a statute of limitations/estoppel by laches defense, based on your delay.
The short answer is that it depends.
By voluntarily submitting the nude photographs to the original website, your friend may have contractually agreed to permit the original website to license or further distribute the photos on affiliated websites.
However, if that is not the case, and the photographs were downloaded off the original website by someone without authorization, and then uploaded to a new, unrelated third-party website, that could constitute copyright infringement.
Good question and good answers.
The only comment that I would add is that in addition to being rightly concerned about the legality of contributing to copyright infringement, you may also want to research to find out if there are issued patents which could cover this technology, as well.
My colleagues above all have given you good information.
I also would point out that while you sincerely believe that the term has become the recognized and commonly-used name for a product (as does the Trademark Examiner) the trademark owner has also apparently signed a sworn statement that it currently possesses a good faith belief that it is rightfully entitled to claim ownership of that same term under trademark law and sent that to eBay and your web host, who have relied upon that sworn...