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Dineen Pashoukos Wasylik

Dineen Wasylik’s Answers

3 total

  • I am looking for an attorney to write letters on several issues for my business?

    How do I go about finding an attorney with reasonable fees to send letters. I would prepare the letters, just need them sent under an attorney cover.

    Dineen’s Answer

    I am sorry to tell you that most attorneys would not feel comfortable sending out letters under their signature without knowing the underlying facts, which does involve some research and thus time investment. I am not saying you won't find someone, but you should have realistic expectations. You should feel free to search on Avvo for business attorneys. Also, the best referrals are generally going to be from people you know, so ask other business people you know, particularly others in the same line of work, with whom they work.

    Good luck in finding someone.

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  • Use of mp3 clip on personal website under AL intellectual property law

    Is it ok to use a short (20sec) mp3 clip on my website of a musician that will be playing in my area.

    Dineen’s Answer

    I take a slightly different approach to answering the question than the other lawyers, and that is to ask another question: How much of a risk are you willing to take? The good and bad thing about fair use is that it is meant to be a situation-specific release valve from the otherwise harsh rules of the copyright law.

    Copyright is a strict liability statute: If you exercise an author's exclusive rights without permission, you are an infringer, unless you meet an exception such as fair use. Because fair use is so fact specific, it is near impossible to give a straight answer to the question "Is this fair use?" It's all about context. Are you profiting in any way from the presence of the clip on your website? Is your use for purposes of commentary or criticism? Even if the clip is short, is it the "heart" of the work? And most importantly, does your use have the potential to undermine the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work? These are the kinds of questions a court will ask in analyzing your fair use defense.

    Fair use also somewhat reflects the economic realities of bringing a law suit -- the more likely a use is fair, the less likely the copyright owner is to incur the costs of suing, unless there are factors other than the economics coming into play in the decision to litigate. But in the end, the fair use defense is just that: a defense to infringement, not a free pass. And when you are a defendant, you have no choice but to litigate or pay up. So consider carefully your options.

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  • Reconsider - 1939 Uncoprighted Catalog - Can it now be copyrighted by me?

    I have an uncopyrighted Lenox Incorporated company catalog dated 1939. Data includes 3 thousand shapes and 4 thousand decorations of the first 50 years of Lenox. There are no copyright symbols only the company name "Lenox Incorporated Trenton NJ"...

    Dineen’s Answer

    In order to obtain copyright in a work that is derivative of something in the public domain, you have to add your own originality to it. Assuming you are correct that this is in the public domain (a problem I am not attempting to analyze here), what originality can you add to the materials? Simply converting it to electronic form likely is not enough. Writing your own original materials as introductions and to update what was already there for each of the old entries will give you verifiable original expression. Choosing a different organizational theme than presented in the original might enable you to claim copyright in the originality of the newer compilation. The copyright in such minor changes would be considered "thin" but it might give you enough to claim protections should someone else get the same idea and their own copy of this old work.

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