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Emily Patricia Graham

Emily Graham’s Answers

13 total


  • I am in a commercial and did not give permission.

    A year and a half ago I attended an Orlando Magic Basketball game, while there I was having a great time and they took video of it, however now they made a commercial sponsored by Heinekin and SunSports network with me on TV with a giant Heinekin ...

    Emily’s Answer

    You may have a claim for appropriation of your image. Florida statutes provide for a cause of action for missappropriation against a defendant who causes the unauthorized publication of someone's name or likeness, or causes unauthorized publication of photographs or pictures of areas to which admission is charged (think Disney World).

    Here, you may be able to claim missapropriation because an unauthoirzed image of you was used for commercial gain, in an advertizement.

    An exception to these laws is when the image has been used for news reporting, that has a public purpose. However, in your case, it appears the primary purpose was financial gain from advertizing.

    I would advise you to retain an attorney if you wish to pursue this matter. The information I have provided is of a general nature and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    Good luck!

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  • Does my employer own the copyright to my database?

    I recently created a database for my company at their request. I have been able to verify that it is an original work and is eligible for copyright but it is unclear to me who would own it. Here is the situation: 1. I am a salaried contract emp...

    Emily’s Answer

    If the database is protectable under copyright law as an "original work of authorship," the next issue is who owns the rights. It must be determined who the "author" is. The issue is whether your employer owns the database as a work for hire.

    Title 17, section 101 defines a work for hire as:
    (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
    (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. For the purpose of the foregoing sentence, a "supplementary work" is a work prepared for publication as a secondary adjunct to a work by another author for the purpose of introducing, concluding, illustrating, explaining, revising, commenting upon, or assisting in the use of the other work, such as forewords, afterwords, pictorial illustrations, maps, charts, tables, editorial notes, musical arrangements, answer material for tests, bibliographies, appendixes, and indexes, and an "instructional text" is a literary, pictorial, or graphic work prepared for publication and with the purpose of use in systematic instructional activities.

    Now, you are an employee. However, the database work may not be considered "within the scope of your employment".

    Also, if you can prove that you developed the database originally for your personal use, and then the company independently asked you to redevelop the database for them, you may have more rights. In this case, you may claim that you are the author of the original database. Then you may claim that the database for your employer is a "derivative work" of the original database you authored. A derivative work is a work based on one or more pre-existing works. If you original work is substantially incorporated in the database for your employer, then you may have rights as the author of the first work.

    There may also be a relevant clause in the employment or other contracts with your employer.

    I would advise you to retain an intellectual property attorney licensed in Maryland to review your contract and the relevant issues of law.

    I am not licensed in Maryland and cannot assist you with this matter. The information provided by me here is general information, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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  • My friend will begin filming a reality show in two weeks. I will be a vital part of the show however I am not on the contract.

    My business partner has an attorney who looks for production companies seeking new reality shows, book deals, interviews, etc. That attorney takes a small percentage of whatever the final contract entails. He very much wants an opportunity to pre...

    Emily’s Answer

    It is prudent to seek the advice of an entertainment attorney licensed in New Jersey, and where the show will be filmed. Also, there may be some local law schools or community organizations that provide low cost or pro bono legal assistance regarding entertainment law. Do not seek out a law student who is not licensed, or anyone who is not licensed in New Jersey or where the show will take place. I am not licensed in New Jersey, so I am unable to assist you.

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  • Is there a database to locate entertainment law students looking for projects?

    I'm interested in finding free entertainment legal advice. I believe that fairly knowledgable in regards to Music Law but I'd like to find an entertainment law student who would like to "get there feet wet" and come on board to advise my business ...

    Emily’s Answer

    Only get an attorney licensed in your state, or the state of the issue, to aid you. I am an entertainment attorney, but not licensed in California. Definitely do not get a law student, or anyone for that matter, who is not licensed in California, to give you legal advice.

    If you are looking for pro bono legal advice regarding entertainment law, there are probably a lot of organizations that can aid you. For example, where I practice law in South Florida, there is a great organization offering free or low cost legal services called "Artserve".

    Also, where I practice in South Louisiana, Tulane law school offers pro bono legal advice to musicians through their ELLA program, which has an attorney supervisor.

    In San Francisco, check out Golden Gate law school. They have a great intellectual property program for law students, and may have a community pro bono program with attorney supervisors and law student helpers.

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  • If I go to a Clothing Mart and purchase athletic jerseys wholesale can I alter and add to the design of it and resell it online?

    I want to produce custom athletic jersey's for women. If I purchase them wholesale, re-design and add to the actual jersey then resell it on a online store, am I infringing on the original distributors rights?

    Emily’s Answer

    The answer to your question involves areas of copyright, trademark, and licensing law.

    Copyright law does not protect the overall design, pattern or fit of apparel items. However, any prints on the fabric or actual the actual knit design of the jersey may be protected. Also, even if you add two dimensional prints and/or paintings, the company may request you to sign a licensing agreement before reselling their clothing.

    In addition, the actual knit of the jersey fabric may be protected as a "trade dress" (nothing to do with the article of clothing called a dress). This would be more the case, the more people could identify the original brand from looking at the jersey fabric.

    Also, trademark law may protect the brand of jersey you buy. For instance, if you purchase a bunch of brand name jerseys and then re-design them with the original brand logo still visible, you may have committed trademark infringement. The more the original logo was famous and the more likely your re-designed jersey could be confused with items from the original brand, the more likely you could be sued for trademark infringement.

    Basically, the more you redesign the clothing to be unrecognizable as the original brand, the better your legal position you will have. However, some brands are very adamant about policing their intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks).

    Definitely consult with an attorney who has experience with the apparel industry and branding on this issue.

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  • Credit Card Summons

    I got a summons from the Sheriff's office about a Capital One credit card. I responded within the time frame required, because the debt is not mine. It's been nearly a month, and I haven't heard anything back as to whether or not the attorney for ...

    Emily’s Answer

    Retain an attorney to look over all the documentation. Even people who are in a strong legal position at first may lose a case for not following litigation procedure. Also, there are various litigation tools and consumer rights laws that an attorney can help you with.

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  • Should I get a lawyer?

    In August 2009, I moved into an apartment. One week later I saw a mouse, and it turns out the apartment was infested. The manager of the apartment complex told me I had to remain in the apartment only with traps because they didn't want to fumigat...

    Emily’s Answer

    I would advise you to obtain an attorney, especially now that you have received a citation for eviction. Also, organize any letters, notices, photographs, and hard evidence you have regarding these matters.

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  • 18yr. marriage falling apart??

    recently i have caught my husband posting himself as single and looking for a relationship on porn sights. i never thought he would do this to me. i quit working 15 yrs. ago to stay home & raise the kids. what worries me is his family is wealthy,...

    Emily’s Answer

    While infidelity may not per se effect the best interest of the children, there may be certain aspects regarding behavior and health that do fit into the factors considered by a court.

    On the issue of alimony, Louisiana courts do take fault, such as infidelity, into consideration.

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  • I can't find the magazine collection agency?

    I was contacted by phone by a Magazine company called Americas Publishers Service with them wanting me to sign up with their company. Me being 19 years old agreed I made a verbal agreement to start paying for them giving them my accnt info. I had ...

    Emily’s Answer

    Did the magazine company have your address, and did you report your new address to them? Collection Agencies should not report a collection to someone's credit report before establishing contact with that person. Get your credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies, to see if they have already reported a collection.

    You do not have a lot of time. In fact, you may have 30 days or LESS to dispute the collection agency letter in writing. Definitely obtain a consumer rights attorney ASAP to help you. The attorney may be able to clear your credit report and work something out with the magazine company.

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  • 18yr. marriage falling apart??

    recently i have caught my husband posting himself as single and looking for a relationship on porn sights. i never thought he would do this to me. i quit working 15 yrs. ago to stay home & raise the kids. what worries me is his family is wealthy,...

    Emily’s Answer

    Louisiana law gives many protections to spouses who have been the victim of infidelity. Print out all the evidence. If a court determines the evidence is enough to prove "fault", which would be the infidelity, then you will be successful in filing for a divorce based on fault. There may also be additional facts which could enable you to file for a divorce based on different kinds of "fault". Also, you may chose to file for one of two types "no-fault" divorces. There are different time periods involved for divorce proceedings, certain waiting times for separation (before or after filing for divorce), especially if there are children involved.The most important thing right now is to insure for the safety of you and your kids, and to obtain an attorney ASAP who can sit down and talk with you about your options.

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