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Lisa Jean Borodkin

Lisa Borodkin’s Answers

18 total

  • Can you copyright/patent/trademark the use of an anchor as a bracelet clasp? is trying to get me to remove my bracelets from that use anchors as clasps. At first he claimed that my designs were too similar, now he claims it's because of anchor clasps. These are my own, original desi...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Yes, in theory, one could protect the original design of an anchor-shaped bracelet clasp.

    For copyright, the design has to be sufficiently original to be registered.

    For trademark, the design has to be associated by the public with the source of the goods.

    For patent, the design has to be an original invention or method.

    As other attorneys has commented, we cannot give you specific advice on your other questions. You should consult an attorney with experience handling fashion and jewelry intellectual property issues.

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  • Court Order to prevent my name from showing up in search engines?

    Hello, I am located in Los Angeles, California. has put some libel about me on their website. How do I go about getting a court order that prevents Google and Bing from showing this defamatory page when my name is searched for?...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Yes, I have done this many times.

    Google states that they will remove a page from search if you submit a court order with specific findings that the statement on the page are false and defamatory. I have included the link to where you can submit a court order to Google. Bing and Yahoo will also remove pages from search.

    If you do not know the author of the statements, you can initiate a John Doe action against the author of the statements and attempt to identify the author through discovery of the website. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act excludes the websites from liability for third party content, unless it violates intellectual property law. Therefore, unless you have probable cause to believe the website itself authored the defamatory statements, you ordinarily would not have a cause of action against the website itself, absent special circumstances.

    Please consult with an experienced online defamation attorney regarding obtaining the type of judgment you should get.

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  • In protecting a music CD with a copyright notice, isn't there also something with a "P" in it that is also necessary?

    I'm designing CD packaging and want to be sure the artists are covered properly. I have a copyright notice, but I remember something about another statement that has a capital letter P in it as well. What is that statement and is it necessary for ...

    Lisa’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The (P) is beneficial for many reasons, but not necessary for works first published after March 1, 1989. However, there are advantages to proper copyright notice.

    For musical performances such as sound records in a CD, use 1. P in a circle, 2. the year of first publication of the recording, and 3. The name of the copyright owner of the sound recording,
    an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a generally known alternative designation of the owner.

    I have included a link to the U.S. Copyright Office's circular summarizing the copyright notice rules.

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  • Would an entertainment attorney have the capability to handle licensing agreements as well as protecting their clients?

    I am an aspiring Author/Screenwriter/Inventor and my daughters are aspiring recording artists. A couple of days ago they received word that a record company is ready to sign them. I have an idea for a licensing agreement for an already established...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Would you be happy with an "aspiring" entertainment lawyer? Because that may be all you get when you merely aspire to pay him or her.

    Your question is "'can an entertainment attorney handle licensing?" The answer is yes, of course he or she can.

    What you are really asking is will he or she work on deferred compensation? The answer is maybe.

    It is common for music attorneys to be paid out of a recording deal directly if there is a deal memo or offer on the table from a recognized record company that has a significant advance payment for the artist. In such cases, the record company may be so interested in signing the artist that they are willing to pay the artist's legal fees. However, if there is no advance in the deal, it is very unlikely that any reputable entertainment lawyer will represent you. Check the deal to see if they receive any cash on signing. If not, then that might be a sign that the recording contract is not such a great offer after all.

    As for licensing, there is no reason to tie these two matters together. The only reason would be if the lawyer wants to build a client relationship by doing the licensing work in order to get the paying music contract work. Otherwise, there is little incentive to represent an inventor at the idea stage for no fees.

    The only exception to this rule is that artists who can show they are earning below a certain level may be eligible for representation through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. But many of those lawyers are inexperienced in entertainment. In fact, they may be students or lawyers from other practice areas aspiring to be entertainment attorneys. Would you be happy with that?

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  • I am a author who feels she has been cheated royalties do I need a lawyer?

    I used this online publisher who I purchased marketing with but never got any results, they say. Yet I see my book all over the internet, I asked them to remove my book but they did not for months, them when I started some more marketing with som...

    Lisa’s Answer

    Yes. If you feel that you are not receiving accountings and royalties to which you are entitles, you should have an attorney review the terms of use of the online publishing website, and any contract, agreement, license or documentation that applies to how you expect to be paid.

    You should also have an intellectual property attorney review your intellectual property protection strategy for your book. If it is an original work, you should secure the copyright in the contents of the book. There are specific deadlines that govern how and against whom you can assert your copyright, so make sure that you have timely registered your copyright with the U.S. Copyright office. I have included a link to some common Copyright questions in this answer.

    Good luck.

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  • When violating intellectual property rights become criminal offense ?

    I know that violating IP rights is civil by default, but when does it become criminal ? Both on state and federal level. Thanks

    Lisa’s Answer

    Generally, willfulness, intentionality and commercial profit. However, please consult a lawyer for specific instances.

    The Copyright Act has contained a criminal violation provision since 1897. Since 1976, the Copyright Act has provided that infringement committed both willfully and for commercial gain can be punished by criminal penalties. (See link)

    In 1984, dealing in counterfeit trademarks was criminalized. This makes it a crime to intentionally deal in counterfeit trademarks. (See link)

    There are also numerous customs regulations

    That is only one example. Your question is too broad to be answered in all 50 states. In California, for example, there are numerous criminal penalties for crimes that could be considered intellectual property-related. Please consult an attorney if you are in doubt.

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  • Are Professional Athletes Statistics Intellectual Property?

    I am a college student developing an app to sell in the mobile app store. My app will be using NBA and other professional sports statistics. There are several websites that post NBA statistics such as ESPN, Yahoo Sports and other independent stati...

    Lisa’s Answer

    You have two questions here.

    First, the statistics themselves are not private property. In 2006, the federal case of CBC Distribution v. Major League Baseball, 443 F.Supp.2d 1077 (D. Miss. 2006), held that professional sports player names and statistics are facts available from public sources and thus not protectable by copyright (See case in link.) The court held that a fantasy sports league had the First Amendment right to use the statistics. The case was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court denied review.

    Second, you are looking for an API or feed source to populate your app. You can ask in the programmer communities such as GitHub and Freebase for such data. One such source is MLB.rb for MLB statistics in Ruby format, which gets its stats from Freebase. (See example application using MLB.rb) in link.

    If that does not help, you can contact the leagues to ask if they have APIs or statistics libraries.

    Sounds like an interesting idea. Please mark this answer "helpful" if it has been.

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  • Is there a directory(resources) for lawyers willing to give advice on legal events in a fiction book?

    Although I've done lots of research, I would prefer to speak to a lawyer concerning events that take place in the novel I'm writing. Having someone to walk me through some of the legal terms and events would be incredibly helpful for me!

    Lisa’s Answer

    If I understand your question correctly, you want a legal advisor to make sure your accounts of legal events happening in your fiction book are accurate as compared to what happens in real life.

    The best resource would be to consult an attorney who practices in the geographic area and practice specialty you are writing about. Local practice varies by state considerably. The names of procedures and courts in New York, for example, are different from the terms for the corresponding courts and procedures in California. Likewise, a criminal attorney would be a better consultant for criminal law events than a corporate attorney.

    Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Avvo are populated with attorneys willing to be contacted over social media. Many lawyers are fiction writers or screenwriters themselves. You could start by contacting an attorney in the geographic area where the events are set, and asking for referrals over social media.

    Good luck.

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  • Question for Entertainment Attorneys/Music Related...

    An artist hires a singer to sing on the artist's demo recording , and actually pays that singer a small fee (set by the singer) to sing on the recording. The song was entirely written by the artist, and both the copyright and sound recording are o...

    Lisa’s Answer

    The singer would have a claim against the artist for copyright infringement UNLESS the singer had assigned his or her rights to the artist in writing, and signed by the singer. (See the links in my answer below). This is true whether the artist obtained the signature of the singer at the time (as a work for hire) or after the fact (as an assignment). If the singer has not signed such a written agreement, then the default position is that the singer retains the rights to his or her performance.

    The answer has nothing to do with whether the singer was paid, or whether the artist misrepresented the purpose of the work. It depends on whether the artist formally obtained the rights in the singer's performance as embodied in the master recording. In this case, the assumption that the singer "owns" the copyrights in the demo when there is an uncleared performance by a side artist should be questioned.

    This answer is for educational purposes only. If this is a real fact situation, please consult an experienced music lawyer.

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  • How can i get around entertainment trademarking laws?

    im in a band called seeds, a we dont want to have future problems with our name being trademarked already so we are looking for options now

    Lisa’s Answer

    I just had to file a lawsuit based on this very question.

    You need to do due diligence on your band name, or else you may be on the receiving end of a trademark lawsuit like mine.

    Check the but also check common sites for distributing music - iTunes, Soundcloud, Youtube - to make sure that your fans will be able to locate your music by name. Also check what doman names are available using your band name.

    As you get more professional, you should work with a trademark lawyer to conduct a trademark search and file a U.S. trademark registration.

    Good luck.

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