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Philip Leon Marcus

Philip Marcus’s Answers

943 total


  • Am I entitled to income from the sales and performance of an album in which I co-wrote all of the songs if I leave that band?

    We recently signed a 50/50 record deal with an indie label, retaining ownership of the masters to 10 of the 12 songs on our recently released album. All songs were co-authored between 3 people and registered through ASCAP as such. We have no band...

    Philip’s Answer

    part of the problem here is the writers of the words and music are normally entitled to equal. division of royalties on words and music. no one else is.

    performance is separate . it does depend on registration with ascap, bmi, etc. all this complication is why you need to get an entertainment lawyer as early as possible. entertainment isn't art but also a business, a competitive one.

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  • Trademark Infringement (lanham act). Please see question below as there isn't enough room to put it here. thanks

    I am a product manufacturer, as well as a distributor of my own products. (2 seperate companies) Company filed suit on the 19th, after I told them that I was unwilling to negotiate any terms whatsoever. They filed suit, but hav...

    Philip’s Answer

    There is not enough factual material to begin to analyze, especially since you are intentionally shielding facts. It seems to me you actually prefer to do your own lawyering, so I am not going to recommend you hire counsel, even just to get advice.

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  • I quit two days into a new job. I was unaware I signed a non compete and now I am not allowed to work somewhere else.

    I applied to two jobs and heard back from one. I got accepted and had to pass a test and submit my forms two days later. I was so focused on the test, I was not careful about what I was signing. A few days into training I get a call from the othe...

    Philip’s Answer

    Certainly sign no new papers. Your situation is very fact dependent--no precise answers. I strongly recommend you do what might have been helpful earlier, and that is to consult with an employment attorney and let him or her read what you have already signed. Do this before starting work with 2d employer. It will cost a few bucks but may prevent an expensive lawsuit.

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  • If I draw a coyote that looks similar to Wiley, but he's got his skeleton poking through, is that a copyright infringement?

    I created a t-shirt design for my workplace that is a coyote that looks similar to Wiley (the Loony Toones character), but he's skeletonized with the fur on the outside and he's my own variant. Am I in danger of a derivative lawsuit even though he...

    Philip’s Answer

    If yours is a 'variant ' of Wile E, then you seem to have created a derivative of a copyright character, and quite possibly a trade mark infringement. Please consult a lawyer in this field.

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  • If i am tricked into signing my signature as a witness to a signature but i signed on the borrower's line, will i be responsible

    A co worker asked me to sign as a witness to her signature on a mortgage modification and i didn't pay attention and don't know if i signed on the correct line and i want to be sure i can't be held responsible for payment if i was tricked into sig...

    Philip’s Answer

    Normally the contract itself states who the parties are, regardless whether they sign the correct lines. A judge is smart enough to know a mistake when he or she se one and will not let someone be tricked.

    Besides, how can you in any way be responsible for a modification of someone else’s mortgage?

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  • I received a petition to cancel my trademark registration. Do I need to file an Answer before I file a Motion to Dismiss?

    I had first use of the mark, but a similar business wants to take it although I'm still using it in my business.

    Philip’s Answer

    Let's suppose the value of the mark to your business over the time you expect to own it is ... $100,000.

    If someone sued your business for 100k you would hire a lawyer to defend. There is no difference, except the arena is even less familiar.

    That is clear from your question. A motion to dismiss addresses mostly technical questions such as jurisdiction,
    and precedes an Answer.

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  • Can we require a customer to sign a hold harmless clause on our timesheets that we give them for proof of work completed?

    We currently have customers sign timesheets w/o the hold harmless clause and would like to be able to hold them accountable for signing timesheet proving that they approve of the work completed

    Philip’s Answer

    Or else what? You destroy the work you have done? Requiring a customer to sign anything is kind of strong arm. You signed your wireless contract because else you do not get your smartphone. But how do you pressure your customer after the fact.

    Better: have an attorney tweak the paper the customer signs before hand.

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  • Is this considered Fair Use?

    I did my research, but still want to make sure. I created a video, using my own footage and music purchased from Amazon. It is a video of me and a dog from a local shelter, made to increase awareness of shelter pets up for adoption. It is complet...

    Philip’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I am having trouble understanding the facts. You have this video footage, but who did the filming? Why is it yours?

    You bought background music from Amazon correct?

    I doubt using the music is fair use. Perhaps using the video is but the videographer might want to sell it and you are ruining his market

    Best bet is run the situation past a lawyer who does copyright
    Finally, I have a guide to fair use on Avvo, worth finding and reading. Short but complete.

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  • Can you use historical photos to print on shirts and sell. Do you have to get permission?

    I want to make a clothing line celebrating the history of a city. I found old photos from 1800's online and want to use them on my shirts. I would alter the photo adding fluorescent accents to certain items in the photo.

    Philip’s Answer

    The photos themselves are almost certainly out of copyright. The question is whether someone has taken on of them and edited it to make the result their own. I would be very cautious about understanding the permissions and limitations if any the website owners are claiming for what they put on line.

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