Michael Dale Oliver’s Answers

Michael Dale Oliver

Towson Licensing Attorney.

Contributor Level 7
  1. Can I use a poem written by "unknown" for commercial purposes?

    Answered 9 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Alan James Brinkmeier
    3. Robert Scott Lawrence
    4. David Raymond Mahood
    5. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    6. ···
    6 lawyer answers

    Yes. Authors can publish anonymously or pseudonymously (claimants - that is owners, however, must be identified in an application). The copyright law after 1989 neither requires notice, nor any particular form of identification of the author; however, failure to give proper notice may entitle the infringer to an innocent infringer defense (which would reduce statutory damages to $200 per infringement). The problem is that wherever or whoever you obtained this poem from may have themselves...

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  2. Can I be sued for providing an incomplete set of wedding images to a couple who's wedding I photographed for free?

    Answered 8 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Gary Ralph Ilmanen
    3. Ronald S. Cook
    4. Bruce E. Burdick
    4 lawyer answers

    First - you have a contract - contracts can be oral (in this case - there is no requirement for a writing). A contract must be supported by consideration - but it need not be fair or equal. You did not have to agree to take pictures for free, so when you did, I think that is enough consideration. Based on what you have said, that contract obligated you to take pictures at a wedding and provide them to the couple. As others have mentioned, however, a contract to assign a copyright must...

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  3. If I have a website and someone else copies the name what can I do?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Bruce E. Burdick
    3. Kevin M. Washburn
    4. Frank A. Natoli
    4 lawyer answers

    You may have made a use sufficient to establish a common law trademark. I went to your site - it is very hard to tell exactly what service you are offering - you appear to be offering a service of lacrosse league competition, which is a valid service. So, step one, your site really needs to be fixed up to make more clear what you are doing. On your other issues, it would not be very smart to have an open public discussion about the merits of your claim here. You need to speak to a...

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  4. Can I sue the TV Channel which broadcast a TV series that I act in it but did not give them the permission to use my picture?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Gerry J. Elman
    3. Bruce E. Burdick
    3 lawyer answers

    The only right you have in that context is one of publicity - and at the very least you impliedly waived that in voluntarily appearing in the TV show - but only insofar as the TV show itself, and not in other contexts. So, as long as the TV show does not otherwise exploit your image, sound, likeness or performance (by, for example, creating a poster with you in it, using your image in an online advertorial etc) then you do not have any basis to sue. If they use your image, likeness, voice...

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  5. USE OF YOUR LIKENESS WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION

    Answered about 1 year ago.

    1. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    2. Thomas C Valkenet
    3. Mario Sergio Golab
    4. Mark William Oakley
    5. Michael Dale Oliver
    5 lawyer answers

    Your question pre-supposes the fact that the use is "without your permission." You have (at least) 4 issues here: (a) what was the contractual grant provided in the agreement, and was the agreement properly signed and authorized - you were a minor at the time I assume; (b) does the current use exceed the scope of the contractually granted rights; (c) if you were not emancipated at the time of signing, did you disaffirm the agreements timely and properly, or possibly, could you currently...

    3 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. A 3rd party wants the right to sell & support my software. Does the EULA still reflect that I am the one granting licensing?

    Answered over 1 year ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Lawrence A. Schultis
    2 lawyer answers

    You are proposing a software distribution agreement, and they can be done both ways - either with you retaining direct contractual relationship with the end user, or by granting the distributor the right to sublicense (i.e. the distributor has the contract with the end user). There are benefits (and detriments) to each method, but the vastly simpler way to do it is where you retain the direct end user contract - the distributor is thus primarily a referral partner, and possibly a value add...

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  7. Copyright of still images of a TV project.

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Andra Marie Vaccaro
    3. Daniel Nathan Ballard
    3 lawyer answers

    The issue is whether the "work [was] prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment" - i.e. a work made for hire (WMFH) Were you an employee? You were an employee if you were in a master servant relationship - that is, that they directed and controlled your performance of the work. It is not exactly the same thing as "were you paid on 1099 or W-2" but that can be a factor. There can be many factors that go into being a WMFH. Assuming for the moment you were not an...

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  8. I am trying out a new product that I designed. Can I sell it in local stores without being a registered business?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Bennett James Wills
    2. Michael Dale Oliver
    3. Mark William Oakley
    3 lawyer answers

    In addition to Bennet's response (i.e. in addition to a state tax id for sales tax), you will probably also need a local (county) retail sales license in the county where you are selling (it sounded as if this were sales at a physical location). You can discover most of the licensing requirements at http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/checklist.html although there they just tell you to "check your local municipality". Alternatively, much like there are "tag and title" services for cars, there...

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  9. Recruiting App regulations

    Answered 5 days ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    1 lawyer answer

    Can you elaborate more? How are you obtaining the data? Are you selling the data/service? You have a few issues - if the data is publicly available, the first issue is whether using the data from whatever source you are obtaining it, would violate a contract with that site/location/source. For example, in the US, most site terms of service are enforceable under the CFAA, so if that site prohibits data harvesting, you may violate that site's terms, and hence, the CFAA. The nature of the...

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  10. Can I resell an item and change the name displays to my company name?

    Answered 7 months ago.

    1. Michael Dale Oliver
    2. Paul Karl Siepmann
    3. Bruce E. Burdick
    3 lawyer answers

    We will need more facts, but as you have asked it, no, you cannot do that without serious risk of trademark infringement or Lanham Act (advertising) violation. Your example deals with a very specific issue - a generic (??) ingredient name in a trademark (branded) product. In general, you can purchase product X, not modify it, and sell it, without a violation, under various first sale doctrines. However, you have to be careful how you market it - if you inadvertently (or intentionally)...

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