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Andrew Kevin Jacobson

Andrew Jacobson’s Answers

1,030 total


  • How can I handle writing news articles or using copyright for my publication sourced from other companies or publications?

    I run a fairly niche publication, it is free to the public, but we sell advertising in it to businesses in our niche. About 20% of our magazine consists of interesting news articles related to our niche, but they aren't original. The articles are ...

    Andrew’s Answer

    What you describe you are doing now sounds an awful lot like copyright infringement. Assuming that all of these works are registered, you may be on the hook for many, many thousands of dollars in statutory damages. You should immediately stop any more publishing, and consult with an experienced intellectual property lawyer in your area. You are in a dangerous area right now.
    Instead of re-writing others' work, add some value to it by adding perspective. Compare and contrast one issue from another. Be original and protect your own expression, instead of stealing others'.

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  • How do I get the evidence for the legal action?

    About a year ago my girlfriend found out that somebody distributed the anonymous letters to her friends saying that she was fooling around with many men including a few of her friends’ husbands. The letters did not spell out the name though. The n...

    Andrew’s Answer

    While this does sound like defamation under California law, please consider the ramifications before filing anything.
    First, this will be expensive. While there are lawyers who will take this on a contingency, they will want to do so ONLY if (1) there are significant damages to be awarded, and (2) there are deep pockets to pay for them. If there is a small likelihood of payment, no one will do it on contingency. Paying a lawyer could be far, far more expensive than the damages, and California law does not allow the payment of attorneys' fees in actions like this. Meanwhile, the other side would likely have insurance cover at least some of it under home liability insurance.
    2. Be very aware of just how intrusive this will be to your girlfriend and you. Filing this suit will likely make both your lives' fair game, as in past relationships and friendships. Phone, text, and email records, among many others, will be examined. This can be ridiculously disruptive and invasive. You may come to prefer have a full proctology exam done in the middle of a packed football stadium and sent to the big screen so everyone could review it.
    I'm a lawyer, but I firmly believe that the courts are the wrong forum for this. There are other, better legal ways of fixing this..

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  • I received an email from my internet service provider regarding copyright violation. Should I respond?

    I received the email from my ISP provider advising that "As part of the Copyright Alert Program, we've received a second notice from a movie studio, record company, television studio or other company that owns copyrighted material stating that you...

    Andrew’s Answer

    1. Stop downloading other people's intellectual property without paying for it. This won't happen if you only download stuff you pay for.
    2. Contact an intellectual property lawyer to review the letter. Most likely, this is a letter that is part of a "six-strikes" program. After the next complaint (which won't occur, because you will only be downloading music and movies that you pay for) the ISP is likely to "throttle" your connection, so it is a lot slower. You'll likely (not certainly, but likely) be all right, so long as you stop further infringement.

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  • Can I register a trademark in the same class as another if our products are fundamentally very different?

    I know that the standard is "as long as it avoids confusion". If I, say, were registering a trademark for a car brand, but the same trademark exists for a boat company, even though they would both fall under Class 12 (Vehicles), would I still be a...

    Andrew’s Answer

    You really need to speak to an intellectual property lawyer about the specific marks you're discussing -- both in the way they are written, the way they are pronounced --- a lot of concepts go into a determination. This is very much case-by-case stuff. You have the legal basics down, but practical application needs years of experience.

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  • If during deliberations in a California jury trial a juror exhibits great bias against the prosecution what can be done?

    For that to happen the bias must have gone unnoticed during voir dire and the juror must have consealed information there and that is obvious misconduct. And Im talking about a case where the bias almost amounted to coercion of the other jurors in...

    Andrew’s Answer

    I'm afraid that this is very much the wrong forum for this, as jurors are not supposed to consult anything or anyone outside what the court has allowed in by way of evidence and jury instructions. You will need to bring this to the attention of the court, not Avvo.

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  • Do I have to have a corporate binder and how much does it usually cost?

    I am in construction business and I recently switched my business from a sole proprietor to an S corp. I would like to think that the s corp helps shield my personal asset from unknown liability the business may come across. But after hearing a...

    Andrew’s Answer

    Regardless of whether you are a sole proprietor or a corporation, you need to have comprehensive liability insurance. I'm a lawyer, not an insurance agent, and I don't have anyone to recommend to you, but you must have liability insurance to provide the greatest protection.

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  • Can I serve a defendant corporation located in New York when a federal lawsuit is filed in California?

    The Defendant corporation has been suspended in California. There is no address for service in California. They have active business only in New York. As it is a federal case, can I serve the defendant corporation with a summons and complaint in N...

    Andrew’s Answer

    If there is no registered agent for service of process, I believe that you can serve the California Secretary of State, but you really need paid legal help here. Check the Secretary of State's web page for more information.

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  • What will be the relation between the DBA's created in CA and the our main Wyoming corporation?

    We are operating a business in CA and would like to incorporate in Wyoming. We will need a DBA as well in order to purchase GS1 barcodes. Wyoming does not offer DBA's so we will have to register a DBA in CA. Another reason for the DBA is that we m...

    Andrew’s Answer

    1. Why a Wyoming corporation? Are you operating in Wyoming?
    2. If you are operating a corporation in California, you would have to file as a foreign corporation, and file tax returns and pay franchise fees in both states.
    3. A fictitious business name is filed in the county in which you are doing business. It is not a trademark.

    You need to visit a business lawyer in the LA area immediately, because your premises are off. If you can't afford a lawyer now, then you can't afford to making the mistakes you are making, and you shouldn't be in business.

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  • Who owns copyright?

    My wife and I own a production company. We were asked to help a friend make a documentary. She refused to form an LLC, but we began filming. My wife is listed as Co- Producer, Co- director. We shot footage, for no pay. I edited it, for pay. The do...

    Andrew’s Answer

    There is a lot more information that needs to be provided. Who paid you, and as what? Your own production company, as an employee (then the production company "owns" the rights to the work you did), or as an independent contractor (in which case, both you and the "friend" co-own the copyright UNLESS there is a written agreement granting the friend the rights)?
    There are some very good lawyers in Sacramento on Avvo. You should contact one of them for a confidential consultation.

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  • Default?

    My amended complaint was filed in the court on May 23, 2016. The opposing party was served by mail, using a local Californian service contractor the same day. They did not file their demurrer until June 27, 2016. Can I file a request ...

    Andrew’s Answer

    Mr. Parikh and Ms. James are correct, of course, that you cannot request a default judgment, and even if you were able to do so, any default would probably be quickly vacated.
    Your country's rules do not apply to service, as the Hague Convention only covers the initial service of process, which is irrelevant to you because you are the party outside the United States. You filed in a California court, so you have use California Civil Procedure, which allows service by mail, including overseas.
    It is hard enough to be a self-represented party, but especially so if you are out of the country. Please, consider getting an American attorney to represent you.

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