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Joy Butler
Entertainment, intellectual property, and business lawyer
Recent Activity
Michael, To be fair to the NBA players and their legal counsel, the tattoos relevant to the NBA 2K lawsuit were applied between 9 and 17 years ago. The issue of tattoo recipients appearing in the media with their tattoos visible was not really an "issue" until after 2005.
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Michael, That's what the game makers and players argue. The tattoo artists disagree. There have been similar lawsuits filed by tattoo artists - all of which have settled out of court. The threat of such lawsuits is why many suggest that tattoo recipients and artists have a written agreement transferring rights in the tattoo or explicitly granting to the recipient a license for displaying, reproducing. and making derivative works of the tattoo for uses such as that in the NBA 2K game.
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TannertheLawyer, Thanks for your comment. /Joy Butler
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Dena, I have responded to your comments in a two-part blog posting. Part One provides background on the laws protecting recipes. Part Two responds to the questions you posed. The two-part blog posting, “Are Recipes Protected?”, begins at the following link: http://www.guidethroughthelegaljungleblog.com/2012/05/-are-recipes-protected-part-one.html
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Dena, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your comment raises some interesting questions about recipes. I'll plan to address those issues in a general manner in a blog post within the next few days.
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Kathleen, You might find the following blog posting helpful in deciding when and how you may incorporate the materials of others into your writing: Is It Okay to Re-Print or Post an Article from Another Site? http://www.guidethroughthelegaljungleblog.com/2010/08/is-it-okay-to-re-print-or-post-an-article-from-another-site.html
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Walt, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Including DRM would likely make it easier for an ebook publisher to argue that the First Sale Doctrine does not apply.
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Hi Walt, Thanks for your comment. Yes, the Copyright Office does offer online registration. I did not mean to imply otherwise. My use of the word “package” may have been confusing so I’ve removed it. However, note that online registration is not yet available for all types of registrations. For example, it’s not yet available for group registrations which I’ll briefly discuss in tomorrow’s posting. Also, it is often necessary to mail in a physical copy of your work as the deposit. The current registration costs are $35 for online registration, $50 for registration using Fill-In Form CO, and $65 for registration using the paper forms. Fees change periodically and updated fee information is available at http://www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html - Joy
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In response to BAM’s comment, the potion of the Bridgeport decision to which you refer applies to sound recordings. You are correct that the Bridgeport court said there is no permissible sampling of a sound recording without the permission of the sound recording copyright owner. While many may view sampling to mean copying a pre-existing sound recording, sampling may also involve copying the underlying song only (by re-creating it) or copying other items such as lines from a movie. With respect to sampling such material, a fair use analysis still applies even if you accept the Bridgeport decision as the law of the land . . . which it is not. Bridgeport is a 6th Circuit decision. While Bridgeport’s prohibition on sampling sound recordings is the law within the 6th Circuit, no court outside the 6th Circuit is obligated to follow the Bridgeport ruling. In fact, the Bridgeport ruling on sound recording sampling has received significant criticism. It is true that many in the music industry may have adjusted their clearance procedures based on the Bridgeport ruling. Thanks for stopping by my blog and participating in the conversation. /Joy Butler
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Mar 15, 2010
Barney, thanks for mentioning my book. I’m happy to hear that the website design copying situation had a happy ending. It could have been worse. When your freelancer gives you infringing or otherwise tainted material and you use it, you can be sued even though you are an “innocent party”. I’ll add one more “lesson to be learned” to those already mentioned by Alyson: Enter into a written agreement with your designers and other freelancers. The agreement doesn’t need to be complicated. It should include your designer’s representation that all the material he provides you will be his own original work and will not infringe any intellectual property rights or violate any laws. While freelancers tend to hate indemnification provisions and many indemnification provisions are certainly over-the-top and one-sided, it’s fair to make your freelancer take responsibility for deliberate misdeeds with simple indemnification language such as “Joe Freelancer shall indemnify you for any loss you suffer as a result of Joe Freelancer’s breach of the representations in this agreement”.
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2008 on Web site design is copyrighted, too at Art Biz Blog