Copyright Law

The rights assigned to the creator of an original work, for a certain time period, in which its publication, distribution and adaptation are protected.

10,221 Questions
Copyright Law
Contract Law
Legal Definitions

What does in-context promotions mean?

When licensing something to a broadcaster, it will generally include "updates, repeats, re-airs and in context promotions, and in promos released to affiliates, partners, and licensees, distributed worldwide, in all media now known and hereafter conceived or created, including home video and DVD and Internet and broadband distribution." An in-context promotion in this case just means a teaser.

Say you send a video of your cat falling off the couch to America's Funniest Pets. Signing this agreement would allow them to use it in a show, re-air the episode, use part of your video in a teaser or other promo, distribute the show and/or the promos worldwide, use it in a different show (say, a compilation of the top ten cat videos of the past year) and cut promos of thatfor worldwide distribution, in any format, forever.

The "in context" part is important, though: it means you're not giving them license to use your cat video in any other type of project.

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Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

What is the difference between the trademark 'TM' servicemark 'SM' Registered 'R' in the circle and Copyright 'C' in the circle?

TM vs. SM vs. ® vs. ©Copyright © laws protect ownership of things like music, writing, artwork, photographs, and other "original works of authorship." Copyright protection is automatic and may last for over 100 years. However, not everything can be copyrighted, and some copyrights expired prior to 1976 laws. The "circle-c" mark has been "optional" since the 1970s, but is properly used with a date and identification of the author/owner. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is a federal crime to remove or alter a copyright notice when you're making copies, regardless of whether the copies are lawful or not.

Trademark laws protect "words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in commerce." Unregistered trademarks are a bit harder to enforce than registered, but last as long as they are being used. Trademarks may be registered in states or countries or both.

The (TM) symbols for TM and SM are completely optional and require no registration. However, there are advantages to having a state or federal trademark registration, including the fact that it will tell others when you first used your brand, which can be important in priority disputes. Valuable marks justify getting professional advice.

To learn more - and there is a LOT of info - check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office Home Page (their glossary is a good place to start) and the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress.

Here is more input:

  • Depending on your local state laws, trademark registrations have different lifespans and can either be renewed or not. If a trademark is registered it is only registered for a certain period of time and then the owner decides to renew it or not. As long as you continue using a trademark, and were the first to use it, you can enforce it in state or federal courts, whether or not it is now or has ever been registered in a state or federal proceeding.
Most state copyright laws were preempted by federal laws passed in the 1970s, but may still be important on certain types of works, such as "sound recordings" made prior to the changes. There is also a "circle-P" mark on some older phono records, meaning they are covered by an international phonograph duplication treaty.
  • The © copyright notice and ® registration mark have nothing to do with state registrations.
  • Any time you claim rights in a trademark, you may use the "TM" (trademark on goods) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the state or USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol "®" only after the federal USPTO actually issues a registration, and not while an application is pending or after registration expires. Also, you may use the registration symbol with the registered mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the federal trademark registration. Any major change to the mark or the goods/services will require another registration. Federal registrations require periodic maintenance fees (i.e., every 10 years).
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Copyright Law

Is copyright technology public domain?

No; many are protected by patent law. See the Google patent search below for examples.

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Digital Cameras
Cameras
Photography
Copyright Law

Possible to copyright photography business name?

You cannot copyright a business name, but you can register it as a trademark.

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Intellectual Property
Law School
Copyright Law

How does copyright law affect school projects?

in the UK it doesn't count

Under US copyright law there is an exemption for "performance or display" of many types of copyrighted works in a non-profit classroom, whether by students or teachers, in addition to the "fair use" defense for other academic purposes. 17 USC §§ 110, 107.

In theory, a public school in the USA cannot be sued for damages in federal court, under the Eleventh Amendment of the US Constitution, as it is an "agency of the state".

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Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

How should you abide by the copyright law?

Respecting copyright law means not copying, altering, distributing, or performing/displaying anything that is not your wholly original work without permission of the copyright holder. The digital age presents many opportunities to violate copyright law, more than the law can keep abreast of, so it's important to understand the intent of the law so you can make a good judgment when the "letter of the law" is unclear.

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Copyright Law

Does the medical symbol has copyright?

No. Names, titles, common words/phrases, logos, symbols, and slogans are not eligible for copyright protection. In some cases however they may be registered as trademarks.

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Copyright Law

Are there movies without copyright?

Yes, "Night of the Living Dead" is a good example, which fell out of Copyright after they failed to note a copyright notice in one of the film materials.

From Archive.org: "If the work was made in 1923 or earlier, it is probably public domain and can be uploaded. NOTE! Restored versions of the film or new soundtracks for silent films can have more recent copyrights that are still valid - usually a copyright notice for a new soundtrack or restoration will appear in the film. For works made from 1923 to 1949, post a question to the movie forum on this site [at archive.org] before you upload. The copyright could have been renewed and there isn't a way online to check a film's copyright status. For works made from 1950 to 1963, you can check the title at the Library of Congress Copyright Database for copyright renewals: http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html . This will list copyright renewals for most films." A video may fall under public domain if: (1) the term of copyright for the video has expired; (2) the author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to perfect the copyright or (3) the video is a work of the U.S. Government.

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Copyright Law
Slogans and Mottos

Does the McDonald's slogan have a copyright?

No. Names, titles, slogans, and common words/phrases are not eligible for copyright protection. In many cases however they are registered as trademarks.

A trademark is established by using it in trade. If you can establish that you were using the slogan first. you could sue McDonald's for damages - provided that you were using it for a similar type of business. For instance, for many year, Cadillac's ad's said "The Standard of the World". If you were marketing Eberhard Faber pencils and I were marketing french fries, we could each adopt "Standard of the World" as a slogan, because those three products are completely unrelated.

I don't know which slogan of McDonald's you are referring to. You can do a search on it at the US Patent and Trademark website (WWW.USPTO.GOV) to see if it is registered in the area of commerce that you're interested in.

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Copyright Law

Is the Playbill logo copyrighted?

No, but it is a registered trademark of American Theatre Press, Inc.

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Intellectual Property
Sony Playstation 3
Copyright Law

Is DualShock a trademark or copyright owned by Sony?

It is a trademark registered by Sony Japan in 1997.

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Spider-Man
Copyright Law

Can you use a copyright image of spider man?

For personal use yes, but if you want to reproduce it for other people to use or see outside your house you will need to get permission from the copyright owner and probably pay a fee,

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Copyright Law

What is copyright page in the part of the books?

The copyright page is generally on the reverse of the title page, and includes copyright information and cataloging data from the national library of the country in which it was published.

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Copyright Law

What is the Malaysia copyright law?

Malaysia's copyright law is Act 332, the Copyright Law of 1987. More information can be found at the link below.

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Copyright Law

When was copyright invented?

Modern copyright is based on the Statute of Anne, 1709.

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Copyright Law

How do you sell your copyright?

Transfer of intellectual property must be done in writing. See the "transfer of copyright" section of the pdf linked to below for instructions.

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Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

What does copyright laws mean?

Copyright law protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. It can include works such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.

It allows an author to control how a work is duplicated, distributed, displayed, performed and who is allowed to create derivatives.

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Copyright Law

Who owns copyright for Vargas pin up art?

Max Vargas and Astrid Conte; they may be contacted at the link below.

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Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

Which country has the strictest copyright laws?

Most countries' laws are very similar, based on the Berne Convention. The US and several others have extended protection from life + 50 years to life + 70 years for works of a single creator, and some countries have optional formal registration in addition to the automatic protection demanded by Berne.

That being said, not all countries are equally conscientious about enforcing their IP laws.

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Copyright Law

What is generic copyright?

It just means general copyright, as a concept, as opposed to a specific right on a specific material. A generic copyright letter is basically a form letter to alter as needed.

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Copyright Law

What is the copyright date for No Talking?

2007; the current reprint edition is dated 2009.

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Copyright Law

Do you need a copyright symbol on an item?

Not since 1978.

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Clothing
Copyright Law

How can you copyright a clothing label?

Fashion, for whatever reason, is not protected by copyright, although there is discussion about changing that. In the mean time, you'd be better off registering the label as a trademark, since it's a mark you'd be using in commerce.

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Copyright Law

Can you copyright a single word?

Typically, no. But a word appearing as a work of art (say, Philadelphia's "Love" sculpture) could be protected, and single words are often registered trademarks when used in commerce.

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Intellectual Property
Copyright Law

How could the copyright law be broken?

Copying, altering, or distributing a protected work without permission of the copyright holder would be an infringement of copyright.

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