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Emily Bass

Emily Bass’s Answers

261 total


  • Can I use copyright material for education prpose?

    I am an academician (professor) in a public sector university. I used to teach different courses to my students through broadcast system (university's own free to air TV channel). In some cases I tend to show the students some visual content as a ...

    Emily’s Answer

    The provisions of the Copyright Act that govern the use of copyrighted material in an educational setting and for educational purposes may be found in 17 U.S.C. sections 110 (1) and (2).. You should read these paragraphs.

    As long as you comply with the specific criteria recited in paragraph (2), you should be fine. If you ignore those criteria, you may not be.

    Paragraph (1) concerns the use of copyrighted material in the classroom setting, where there is face-to-face instruction. It affords an instructor or institution considerable latitude. Paragraph (2) concerns the use of such material in a 'remote-learning' setting. It contains many more restrictions since there is a concern that material that is distributed by broadcast or digital means may be kept by the students and utilized outside of the class-period and/or for non-approved purposes. The restrictions seek to ensure that doesn't happen.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • How does it work when two authors have the copyright of a book, but one did the illustrations?

    Hi, this is the situation: Two authors have a contract with a publisher and they own the copyright of a book they published together (in the contract they are referred as "authors"). The book has a main character and others. Only one of them did...

    Emily’s Answer

    This is why joint or co-authors generally enter into an agreement beforehand, specifying who has what rights. As Attorney Ballard notes, however, it is NOT too late. An agreement could still be drawn up that would clarify each person's rights going forward. It should be done before much more time elapses.

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  • If I read books onto dvd's am I required to pay someone?

    to I have to pay to do this?

    Emily’s Answer

    The answer is that it depends. IF the book is still protected by copyright, then you would be well advised to follow my colleagues' advice. If you don't obtain a license, you will be infringing the copyright holder's rights. However, IF THE BOOK IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, then making your own recording of the book would not be infringing.

    A word of caution: Determining whether a particular work is or is not in the public domain is not always as easy a matter as it appears. If the book was published on or after January 1, 1923, it is probably NOT in the public domain and is STILL protected by copyright. For works that may be protected in other jurisdictions, you should consult a copyright attorney.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • Who owns the photo negatives of a deceased photographer. Does there need to be something legal in place for protection.

    A decease parent who was a professional photographer. I assume that as the sole heir, I own the property and can grant or refuse use of the images created by my parent. Is this correct or must I put something in place to ensure images are not us...

    Emily’s Answer

    First, you should probably check any safe deposit box and with any family attorney to make sure there is no will. Then check with any photo agency your father may have worked with to determine whether he assigned ownership of any of his copyrights to it or otherwise gave it any ownership interests. If you find "work-for-hire" agreements that he entered into, you should probably have a copyright attorney evaluate them to ascertain whether they are legally valid. (They may or may not be.)

    You may find that you are sole owner of the rights in certain of your father's works, and not in others. I recommend retaining a copyright attorney to help you make a PHOTOGRAPH-BY-PHOTOGRAPH evaluation of the status of each work. In addition to determining who owns the copyright in each work, you will need to ascertain whether there are any that are subject to licenses or grants. It is theoretically possible that, under the provisions of the Copyright Act, you might be entitled to "terminate" certain transfer, licenses and/or grants. This is a very complex area of the law that NO lay person can navigate without the aid of an attorney.

    Finally - on a related subject - you will need to ascertain whether your father obtained "releases" or "consents" from the subjects of his works to utilize the images. If he did not, then licensing others to use the works may violate the "privacy" or "publicity" rights of their subjects.

    IF you DO in fact own the copyrights in his works, then you should arrange for a copyright attorney to "register" or "renew" the copyrights in any works that have not yet been registered or that require renewal. (Note: Renewal registrations are optional, but still advised, for works copyrighted between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977.) You may be able to register a series of unpublished images as a group (subject to a single fee) and, under circumstances, certain published images together. That should save you some money.

    While "copyright" attaches automatically to a work, registration with the U.S. Copyright Office affords you significant additional protections: It enables you to sue should someone infringe the copyright in an image and makes you eligible for statutory damages and attorneys' fees should an infringement begin post-registration. Statutory damages can be sizable (up to $150,000 in the case of a willful infringement). Otherwise, you may be limited to "actual damages," which in many cases can be nominal.

    As you will see from this brief description, the subject area is a complicated one, fraught with possibilities for slip-ups. I strongly recommend that you hire a copyright attorney to shepard you through the process.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not itself establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • My father was diagnosed with a life long illness (Parkinson's Disease). I began my FMLA Leave in October 2010.

    I submit a FMLA Certificate every month (My employer request me to do this). I am using intermittent FMLA Leave. In October 2011 it will be 12 months. My question is can I renew my FMLA Leave again and begin 12 weeks of intermittent leave for O...

    Emily’s Answer

    Very, very generally, the answer to your question is "Yes," you are entitled to take up to twelve (12) weeks of FMLA leave every year so long as you are employed by an employer covered by the Act, the statute remains in effect, you continue to qualify for FMLA leave under the statute, and you receive any necessary "certifications."

    As to precisely WHEN your 12 week annual leave entitlement begins and ends, however, no one can answer that question based upon the information you have provided.
    Under 29 C.F.R. section 825.200(b), an Employer is entitled to choose any one of four (4) methods for determining the "12-month period" within which FMLA leave entitlements and balances are calculated. It can select:

    (1) the calendar year as its base period for calculating entitlements and balances,

    (2) any fixed 12-month "leave year," such as a fiscal year, a year required by State law, or a year starting on an employee's "anniversary" date;

    (3) the 12-month period measured forward from the date any employee's first FMLA leave begins; or,

    (4) a "rolling" 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave.

    The alternative it selects must be "applied consistently and uniformly to all employees." 29 C.F.R. sec. 825.800 (d)(1). [The only exception to this latter rule is where the employer is a multi-state employer and one of the states in which it operates has a "mini-FMLA" statute with its own requirements for determining the base year.]

    Without knowing which method your Employer has selected for calculating its employees' leave entitlements and balances, no one can answer your question as to when your next twelve weeks of leave might begin. It is important that you NOT prematurely take leave to which you are not yet entitled because you might find you have jeopardized your job. You should ask your HR Department which of the methods your Employer has selected and then consult an employment attorney in your State to help you determine your rights. Best of luck.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • Was it legal for my fathers company to lay him off while on FMLA?

    The board of directors had made the decision in April to lay my father off. His surgery was in April as well. He was approved for FMLA, recived the paperwork from the approval in May and in June was notified of being laid off. The company did wait...

    Emily’s Answer

    In my opinion, it depends on a further development of the facts and on a question of timing. If the Board of Directors made the decision to lay your father off PRIOR to his application for FMLA leave and without knowledge that he was going to make application for FMLA, then the Company may not have committed a violation. They cannot "interfere" with his taking leave, "deny" him leave or "retaliate" against him for having taken leave. They can't have retaliated if they didn't know he was going to take FMLA.

    On the other hand, if it turns out that they made the decision to lay him off AFTER learning of his application or intention to take FMLA leave, then they might have committed a violation. No attorney can advice you definitively based upon the limited information you have provided. I strongly urge you to consult an employment attorney in your state, since there may also be state laws that are applicable. Good luck.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • I have FMLA on file for a year that allows me to take up to 4 days off per month if and when needed for my condition.

    Even though management already has a note on file from the doctor they keep asking for me to provide a doctors note if I miss more then 2 days. I don't understand that at all. What are my rights and what can I do?

    Emily’s Answer

    No one can answer your question without much more information..

    The regulation that generally governs the frequency of requests by an employer for re-certification is 29 C.F.R. § 825.308. [Note: C.F.R. stands for the Code of Federal Regulations. It contains the regulations that apply under the F.M.L.A.]

    Although the Regulation states that, unless a more frequent demand for re-certification is warranted under paragraph (c), "If the [original] medical certification indicates that the minimum duration of the condition is more than 30 days, an employer must wait until that minimum duration expires before requesting a recertification," it is possible that an initial certification that stated that you were to be given time off "IF AND WHEN NEEDED" for your condition is insufficient to invoke that protective provision. Indeed, a certification written in that fashion might well be seen as justifying an employer in requesting re-certification on a monthly basis. AT A MINIMUM, the employer is entitled to demand re-certification after six months.

    I would strongly recommend reading 29 C.F.R. 825.308 in its entirety and consulting an employment attorney in your jurisdiction rather than deciding not to comply with your employer's request. If the demand is an appropriate one and you do not comply with it, there may be serious consequences. Good luck.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • While on FMLA, can a employer ask you to go to the doctor every 30 days to have you condition checked ?.

    My wife was granted FMLA for 12 weeks, but her employer said that everyone one must get a doctor's visit every 30 day to re-check there condition, is this practice correct?

    Emily’s Answer

    No one can answer your question definitively based upon the limited information you have provided. It will depend in large measure upon the wording of the initial certification that her doctor provided.

    The relevant regulation that is generally applicable to requests by an employer for recertification is 29 C.F.R. 29 C.F.R. § 825.308.

    It provides that, generally, "If the medical certification indicates that the minimum duration of the condition is more than 30 days, an employer must wait until that minimum duration expires before requesting a recertification," except in two circumstances. If the condition lasts more than six months (in the case of intermittent leave, for example), the employer is entitled to ask for a new certification. Also, if paragraph (c) of Section 825.308 applies, the Employer is entitled to ask for re-certification more frequently even than every 30 days.

    There are three circumstances specified in paragraph (c) under which an Employer may ask for re-certification more frequently than every thirty days:

    (1) where an employee requests an extension of leave:

    (2) where "[c]ircumstances described by the previous certification have changed significantly." For example, the duration or frequency of the employee's absences have changed, the nature or severity of the illness has changed or there have been complications.

    (3) Where "the employer receives information that casts doubt upon the employee's stated reason for the absence or the continuing validity of the certification."

    Under the regulations, an employee generally only has 15 days to comply with a request for recertification under the rules.

    I would strongly recommend reading 29 C.F.R. 825.308 in its entirety and consulting an employment attorney in your jurisdiction before deciding that you are not going to comply with the Employer's request.

    Disclaimer: This answer does nto establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • Copyright law question: My employee noticed she might have violated email policies of sharing proprietary information with a

    company's competitors. Should we contact the offended company before they find out (they are industrial designers and sell trademarked products) or should we contact the ones we shared the email with and demand deletion saying it was shared in err...

    Emily’s Answer

    It is impossible to tell, based upon the limited information you have provided what your options are, let alone what the most advisable course of action might be. The sharing or disclosure of the information may have implicated trade secrets law, copyright law, simply a non-disclosure agreement, or no law at all. Consult with a copyright or intellectual property attorney in your state to obtain guidance. You will need to provide that attorney with all relevant information, including the emails involved, any underlying policy you believe the email may have violated, any NDA (non-disclosure agreement) you have with the Company you are concerned may be offended, and probably your agreements with the company with whom the information was shared.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not itself establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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  • How do i get a production company copyrighted and how do i get a movie copyrighted thats based on someones life??

    how do i get a production company copyrighted and how do i get a movie copyrighted thats based on someones life??

    Emily’s Answer

    If you are going to begin a film production company, you should consult intellectual property at the outset so that you secure protection for your assets and works.

    You will want to make sure that you select a name for the Company that will not infringe on anyone else's trademarks, that you can secure common law rights in and that you can - at the appropriate time - register federally. That means that you should probably have trademark searches done for any names that you are considering. (A company's name can become its trademark. It does NOT get copyrighted.)

    As far as securing copyright in a film, that happens automatically upon the film's creation. If it is shot over a period of months or years, copyright attaches to each new segment or sequence as it is recorded. Although copyright attaches automatically, at some point you will want to "register" your copyright in the film with the United States Copyright Office. You should retain copyright counsel to effect that registration for you so that your work is properly protected. Registration gives you additional advantages that you do not get absent registration. For instance, it affords you the opportunity to seek statutory damages and attorneys' fees in the event of certain infringements.

    In addition to trademark and copyright law that you need to become familiar with and retain counsel to advise you with respect to, there is also the area of "publicity" and "privacy" rights that you will need to consider. Since those vary from state to state, you should consult copyright counsel in the state in which you will be incorporating to make sure that you do not run afoul of anyone's common law or statutory rights. Generally speaking, you run the risk of violating someone's publicity rights if you use their name, picture, image, or likeness for commercial purposes, without their written permission. It sounds to me, just based upon the limited information you have provided, that you need to be concerned about this possibility.

    Disclaimer: This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only.

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