someone is stealing my copyrighted images. He has uploaded my artwork to many of his social media sites. He does not care if I DMCA him as he puts the art right back up. This guy who is an adult,claims he has autism and I can't touch him legally....
If you have not yet filed an application to register your copyright for the images, you should do so immediately. Depending on the type of artwork, and if you are the sole author of all of the images, it may be possible to file a single application to register a group of images.this should be done as a group, not as a collection. Registering a group of images results in each image having a separate registration, while registering a collection of images results in a single registration for the entire collection. The difference could become important if fair use arguments are raised, since a single image would be a smaller portion of a collection. This could also become a importance in calculating damagesbased on the number of works infringed.
Registration is critical. Infringement of a registered copyright carries potential liability for statutory damages (as opposed to actual damages which must be proven) as well as attorney fees. However, if a given defendant has infringed a given work prior to the effective date of registration (once the registration is granted, it's effective date is the date the last item of the application is received), then statutory damages and attorney fees are not available against that defendant for infringing that work, even for infringement that occurs after the effective date of registration. Actual damages, as well as the possibility of an injunction, are still available. The US Supreme Court is currently considering the standard for awarding attorney fees to winning defendants, but you should be aware that filing suit and losing does carry the possibility of having to pay the defendants attorney fees.
Filing an application for registration, and receiving either a registration or refusal, is also necessary for a court to have jurisdiction to hear a copyright infringement suit. Because there is current infringement, if you have not already registered the images, you can seek special handling at the Copyright Office to accelerate the registration process.
Although this infringer may not take the DMCA notices seriously, it is possible that he will take a cease-and-desist letter prepared by an attorney seriously. Be sure to preserve all evidence of infringement, including screenshots of improperly copied images and any correspondence you have sent or received related to this issue. If willful infringement can be shown, the potential damages increase.
In addition to filing suit against the infringer, the websites on which he is posting his images must take certain actions in order to fall within the DMCA safe harbor provisions. Failing to take these actions makes them a potential defendant. Although the likelihood that they have failed to take these actions is small, it should also be investigated.See question
I want to post a blog saying something along the lines of The Chicago Cubs (insert trademark symbol) are Champions...join a winning team and start Your career with (my company)....Is that legal?
I agree with the other answers saying that your use would create a false impression of affiliation or endorsement by the Cubs, and would be trademark infringement.
I suggest listing the presence of the Cubs in your city as one of the attractive features of living in or near the city, as would likely be necessary to join your company. Be careful to avoid implying any affiliation or endorsement, and consider using a disclaimer. Show ;your final version to a trademark attorney before using it.See question
When starting a tshirt business should I trademark the business name? And can I trademark the different sayings on the tshirt? how do I keep my tshirt "sayings" from being stolen or used by someone else.
You should begin by having an attorney perform a clearance search for the name of your business to ensure that the name is not confusingly similar to any other trademark. If the results are favorable, you should apply for federal registration of your business name.
The slogans on your T-shirt will most likely be viewed by the US Patent and Trademark Office as ornamentation rather than as an identifier of the source of the T-shirt. Thus, trademark protection would be unavailable. Short phrases are also not appropriate subject matter for copyright protection.See question
I am pro se in case in Federal court to discharge my student loans. I have created a blog spot http://ms11usc523a8b.blogspot.com/ and will be documenting my journey through this.
If the court order is public, and unless there is a protective order covering subjects discussed in the opinion or a gag order, then I see no issues. Copyright does not protect the order itself. However, if you obtain a copy of the order through a third party service, that service's formatting, head notes, etc. are copyrightable. If you use the version you received directly from the court, you avoid this issue.See question
The receptionist told me his computer has been down more than a week due to a computer virus. This is a 5 partner firm, not a sole practioner. I'm taken aback by the amount of time involved, but am also concerned if he still has access to our file...
In all likelihood the virus was intended to harm the system rather than steal data. If the purpose was to steal data, I would think it would be designed so that its presence would not be apparent. Hopefully your attorneys are running virus protection and firewall software, but these are not perfect and things can and do get through.
Hopefully your attorney is also using an automatic , secure off-site backup service. If so, they have not likely lost more than 24 hours of work. If not, all bets are off.
I am not surprised that it is taking whoever they use for IT support a few days to fix the problem. Viruses can do a lot of damage if not caught quickly. My biggest concern would be any upcoming due dates and the ability to meet them.See question
I was at a restaurant and posed for a photo with friends. One of the "friends" took that photo and has used it on his website where he promotes himself as a writer. He blogged about the girls in the photo - including myself. The photo is tagged w...
In all likelihood there is not much you can do. The photograph is owned by the "author," or person who made the creative decisions about how the photo was taken. This would most typically (but not always) be the photographer.
Right of publicity is a state law issue, and will vary from state to state. While I cannot comment on NJ's right of publicity, in PA, one must have expended time and resources developing a public persona in order to have a right of publicity.
If the picture presents you in a false light, then that may raise other issues.
I agree with the answer stating that preserving your friendship and discussing your objections with your friend may be your best approach.See question
I have ideas for products regarding a specific hobby and want to retail them through the internet. I don't want to break any laws but not sure where to start or who to ask.
First of all, I am encouraged that you plan to commercialize your ideas yourself rather than trying to license a larger manufacturer to do so. While this road is more difficult, it also has a higher probability of success. You have received some good answers so far, but it is doubtful that any answer, including this one, would address all of the potential issues.
As others pointed out, the domain dame does come with trademark issues. Use of a domain name as an internet address is not trademark use, but it is trademark infringement to use a domain name that is confusingly similar to a pre-existing trademark. Particularly since it is often advantageous to have your domain name match your own trademark, a trademark clearance search should be performed before investing in other aspects of the website or other advertising.
Depending on the nature of your products, and whether they are novel and nonobvikous over the manner in which the same problem was solved in the past, patent protection may be worth investigating. The initial step is a patentability search to determine the closest prior art, so that the patentable features of your products can be identified. If the results are favorable, then a patent application should be prepared and filed. Depending on the nature of your product and the amount of research and development required, a freedom to operate search may also be advisable, but these are less commonly performed.
You will certainly have to collect sales tax in at least your home state, and maintain good accounting for federal state, and local taxes. Local taxes will need to be investigated, since businesses are often subject to taxes that are not discoverable without specifically inquiring about them or searching local ordinances. The variation in such taxes may affect where you choose to locate your business.
Not knowing the specific hobby, you will need to investigate whether any federal, state, or local laws may affect the products you plan to sell.
You will need to plan your marketing, including search engine optimization and participation in discussion forums related to your hobby. Kickstarter or similar websites may be helpful.
Allowing the purchase of products through your website can potentially subject you to jurisdiction in all 50 states. You need terms and conditions that the purchaser accepts when they make their purchase limiting jurisdiction to your local jurisdiction, as well as dispute resolution proceedings that you prefer (court, arbitration, mediation, etc.).
Be sure to have insurance for any product liability, general liability, premises liability, and loss of business assets or inventory. IF you get to the point where you have employees, you will need workers compensation insurance
I strongly encourage preparing a written business plan, as well as seeking the assistance of business advisers. Many business colleges have a Small Business Development Center, and SCORE may have a branch near you. Regarding attorneys, you are likely to need an intellectual property attorney as well as a Florida business attorney. This is far from a complete list, but should give you some things to consider.See question
I would like to start a business that would source apparel from a store in Poland. The manufacturer has his own stores and sells his own products, so he is a retailer in addition to providing wholesale. I was wondering whether its legal for me...
The fact that they are based in Poland does not necessarily mean that they do not have trademark rights in the US. They could have filed an application for registration under the Madrid Protocol, or they may already be selling product in the US. This would need to be investigated. Also, the existence of trademark rights does not appear to be an element of a reverse passing off claim, so I would still be concerned about liability for this.
Additionally, a clearance search should be performed for your proposed trademark to ensure that it does not infringe anyone else's trademark. If the reverse passing off issue could be resolved (see below) and If the results are favorable, an early application for federal registration should be filed.
To the extent that any clothing designs are sufficiently original for creative expression, since Poland has signed the Berne Convention, such copyright protection would already extend to the US. Removing the original label, adding your own label, and re-selling them could also result in liability for false designation of origin.
The simplest solution would be to discuss your intentions with the company in Poland. They might be willing to supply you with clothing with your own trademark already applied. That would eliminateSee question
My great great uncle was a highly accomplished musician and he copyrighted a song with the Library of Congress in 1918 that is a band march from WW1. There are no known recordings of it and I would like to hear it played. I have a band interested ...
I would add only that copyright protection for a particular arrangement of the song would apply only to the new elements added to that arrangement, not to the underlying song. Still, it is an option worth considering.See question
I am writing a fantasy book about angels. I see all kinds of artwork on the internet that inspire me about the look of my characters. Would describing them be a violation of copyright? To what extend would it be legal / illegal? Thank You!
Copyright infringement arises from actual copying. Actual copying is shown by access to the copied work as well as substantial similarity, or whether the works are so similar that the similarities could only have arisen from copying. Standard characteristics of angels would be excluded from the analysis, and only the original creative expression in each depiction of an angel would be compared.
Applying these principles to your proposed descriptions, I think liability would be unlikely, particularly if details from several different angel designs are combined in an original way. However, I would echo others who suggested running the final work by a copyright attorney to be sure it is not a derivative work.See question