I would like to compare cell phone contracts as a competitive informational document- can I do this verbatim or only summarize the content without infringing on copyright?
If you summarize, it is not a true comparison, it is your comparison as interpreted. If you do not summarize, it is a true comparison. Not sure anyone has a copyright on a contract, especially if it is publicly available?
You can download them in their entirety if you are merely posting them on a informational website and place them side by side so long as you can prove fair use.
Look at the contracts in question. If the companies are claiming copyright protection in the language of their contracts, then there should be a conspicuous copyright notice somewhere on the document along with the date of the claimed copyright. If there is no such notice, you are probably safe in assuming that the contract language is in the public domain.
Please note that this answer is given for informational purposes only, and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship beteween the questioner and the responding attorney. You should be aware that Mr. Hamman is only licensed to practice law in the State of Arkansas. You are not a client of the Hamman Law Firm until you and Mr. Hamman have both signed a contract setting forth the scope and limitations of the representation, and the reasonable compensation to be paid by you to Mr. Hamman for that representation.
Generally speaking, someone can have a copyright in a contract.
Copyright use, may, in certain circumstances, be "Fair Use" however you should consult with an intellectual property attorney in a private consultation. Many intellectual property attorneys, such as myself, provide a free initial telephone consultation.
Legal Disclaimer- the information provided herein is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney / client relationship. Although effort has been made to ensure that the answers are correct, Law Office of Walter Tencza Jr. cannot and does not offer any warranty, express or implied that the answers contained are accurate statements of law. This document is provided for informational purposes only. Viewers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney outside the context of this document.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline