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Michael S. Melfi

Michael Melfi’s Answers

145 total


  • If I co-produced a musical arrangement, am I entitled to "production" credit when filing with the US Copyright Office?

    Michael’s Answer

    You probably will be considered a joint author for the purposes of copyright law. Music has a technical component with regards to U.S. copyright law and ownership of such music.

    Your best bet is to consult with an intellectual property attorney that has experience similar matters. This attorney will have a good understanding of the complexities of your matter and can provide a legal consultation and analysis of your situation. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and is for informational purposes only.

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  • Would publishing a video game featuring a 3x3x3 cube without the colors/puzzle mechanic of Rubik's cube infringe it's copyright?

    Michael’s Answer

    The issue is would it infringe on copyright, it may or may not it depends upon the concept of look and feel and separate test for a two or three dimension article. In some cases it may not, or it may be deemed a derivative work for the purposes of copyright.

    Your best bet is to consult with an intellectual property attorney that has experience similar matters. This attorney will have a good understanding of the complexities of your matter and will provide a legal consultation and analysis of your situation. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and is for informational purposes only.

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  • “For a graphic design product, am I infringing on trademark if I use a silhouette of someone else's product.

    Michael’s Answer

    It depends, to a large extent, because there could be trademark and copyright issues involved. Using an exact product of some else without permission or some form of defense could be deemed infringement. I agree with my counterparts, your best bet would be to consult a lawyer specializing in IP law before you get into trouble.

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  • Can I use celebrity impressions in youtube videos advertising a small company.

    Michael’s Answer

    I agree with my counterparts, you would need permission at a bear minimum, unless some exceptions apply, and it doesn't look like they apply in your case.

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  • I draw a detailed draft of my house plan 4500 heated square feet. Builder draw the blueprint. Who has the copyright ?

    Michael’s Answer

    Essentially you would. In 1990 Congress enacted the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act, this essentially added 'architectural works' to the list of protectable subject matter in Section 102(a) of the Copyright Act of 1976. The protection extends to 'the design of a building (whether embodied in an actual building or in plans or drawings). You must also be aware of the registration requirements that would differ to other protectable subject matter.

    Your best bet is to consult with an intellectual property attorney that has experience similar matters. This attorney will have a good understanding of the complexities of your matter and probably provide a legal consultation and analysis of your situation. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and is for informational purposes only.

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  • Prove of date of creation of unpublished designs for copyright infringement : I create a toy design unpublished in my computer.

    Michael’s Answer

    Yes you could use that to evidence the original authorship. It could potentially also be fall under the category of trade secret misappropriation.

    Your best bet is to consult with an intellectual property attorney that has experience similar matters would be your best option. This attorney will have a good understanding of the complexities of your matter and probably provide a legal consultation and analysis of your situation. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and is for informational purposes only.

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  • Can the time stamp of a PC document be a copyright

    Michael’s Answer

    A time stamp could be argued as not meeting the legal requirements of the original authorship created by the author or have any protected expression in it. You would probably have to look other matters evidences your creation of the original authorship.

    Your best bet is to consult with an intellectual property attorney that has experience similar matters. This attorney will have a good understanding of the complexities of your matter and probably provide a legal consultation and analysis of your situation. This communication does not constitute legal advice, and is for informational purposes only.

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  • I have a T-shirt idea that I have never seen done before I want to know legal issues surrounding it.

    Michael’s Answer

    You could obtain a license and still be permitted to use within the guidelines of a license or permission.

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  • Under Copyright law, can an email of copies of a work be considered publication?

    Michael’s Answer

    Probably not, given that it is not an original work of expression by the author, but mere copies, unless you are the author.

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  • Should a Non-U.S. Resident file a counter-notice against a DMCA?

    Michael’s Answer

    A U.S. court could render a judgment, but enforcing it is another thing. Sending a DMCA notice is governed by U.S. law even if the event occurs in the U.S. or under some international treaty. You could give it a shot and see what happens.

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