- Ensure you own or have permission to use your website content.
- Include copyright notice on each of your web pages (It may help prove that the infringer was aware you claimed copyright).
- Include a method for contacting you if someone wants to license content.
- Gather evidence of copying. Prepare side-by-side tables showing your site and the copied site.
- Register your website. If you have a registration in place three months before an infringement occurs, a judge has more freedom in awarding statutory damages - a range of punishments instead of just compensating you for out-of-pocket damages -- and attorney fees. You'll find help on website registration at the Copyright Office.
- If you can afford it, have an attorney write a cease and desist letter.
- If you can afford it, have an attorney file a copyright suit, or if you are a go-getter with a DIY mindset, consider filing a case in the Copyright Small Claims court.
- Review the facts before you make threats. Some who copy may have fair use defenses.
- Pick your fights carefully. Go after those (1) inflicting the most damage competitively or (2) high-profile copying that you can't ignore.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Sunday, August 27, 2023
Dear Rich: I am adapting needlework-like designs used in pottery/chinaware by creating patterns for needleworkers. Much of the chinaware was produced in the 1800's but some as late as the 1960s. I have sought and received permission where possible, but not in all cases because the companies no longer exist. What are the laws covering those designs for which I cannot get permission?
We think you will be fine using the chinaware designs for needlepoint patterns but you should review the following factors:Do you need permission? You say you're only using works created before 1970. You don't need permission for designs produced before 1928 as they are in the public domain. You likely don't need permission for designs produced before 1963 because they would have to have their registrations renewed (and few were). And you don't need permission if the works were produced between 1963 and March 1989 if they did not include a copyright notice. In summary, you only need to be concerned about 1963 - 1969 designs with copyright notices.
Thursday, July 27, 2023
|Frida Kahlo age 12 (1919)|
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Friday, April 7, 2023
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Friday, February 24, 2023
|Bo Jackson photo by Chris Putnam (altered)|
Monday, February 6, 2023
|Ulysses S. Grant - Virginia, June 1864|
- Unpublished letters as of January 1, 2003. All unpublished works by individual authors who died in 1932 or earlier are in the public domain.
- Letters published as of 2003 without the authority of the copyright owner. Same as above. "[A]n unauthorized distribution of copies or phonorecords does not constitute publication." Copyright Compendium. That's also true for unauthorized displays or performances. Therefore, unless the two publications you cite were with the authority of the author's estate, those letters are also public domain.
- Letters published before 2003 with the authority of the copyright owner. These letters will have copyright protection until 2047 or until 70 years after the author's death, whichever is greater.
Monday, January 30, 2023
|Two iconic book covers that later |
became the posters for the film adaptations
Dear Rich: My company is wanting to hire an illustrator to do the cover of our travel book. We want to pay this person a one-time, flat fee to do this work, and they wouldn't retain future royalties or intellectual property of the work. Is there a contract template for this scenario?
Below is a sample agreement that's based on our downloadable work-for-hire contract on our Crafts Law website. (You can find an explanation for the provisions at the site as well.) A work-made-for-hire agreement is used, so the hiring party acquires ownership of the work. Not all hiring situations meet the legal requirements of works made for hire, so a clause is included that alternatively assigns all rights in the work to the hiring party (a “copyright assignment”).
Cover Art Illustration Agreement
This Work-Made-for-Hire Agreement (the "Agreement") is made between Bossa Nova Publishing ("Company"), and Astrid Jones ("Illustrator").
Services. In consideration of the payments provided in this Agreement, Illustrator agrees to perform the following services: create original cover art for the book, Travels With Trudy (“the Work”) based on the approval and delivery specifications in Attachment A.
Payment. Company agrees to pay Illustrator $1500 as follows: $500 upon execution of this Agreement, and $1000 upon acceptance of the completed Work.
Works Made for Hire--Assignment of Intellectual Property Rights. Illustrator agrees that, for consideration that is acknowledged, any works of authorship commissioned pursuant to this Agreement (the "Works") shall be considered works made for hire as that term is defined under U.S. copyright law. To the extent that any such Work created for Company by Illustrator is not a work made for hire belonging to Company, Illustrator hereby assigns and transfers to Company all rights Illustrator has or may acquire to all such Works. Illustrator agrees to sign and deliver to Company, either during or subsequent to the term of this Agreement, such other documents as Company considers desirable to evidence the assignment of copyright.
Illustrator Warranties. Illustrator warrants that the Work does not infringe any intellectual property rights or violate any laws and that the Work is original to Illustrator.
Entire Agreement. This is the entire agreement between the parties. It replaces and supersedes any and all oral agreements between the parties, as well as any prior writings. Modifications and amendments to this agreement, including any exhibit or appendix, shall be enforceable only if they are in writing and are signed by authorized representatives of both parties.
Successors and Assignees. This agreement binds and benefits the heirs, successors, and assignees of the parties.
Notices. Any notice or communication required or permitted to be given under this Agreement shall be sufficiently given when received by certified mail, or sent by facsimile transmission or overnight courier.
Governing Law. This agreement will be governed by the laws of the State of California.
Waiver. If one party waives any term or provision of this agreement at any time, that waiver will only be effective for the specific instance and specific purpose for which the waiver was given. If either party fails to exercise or delays exercising any of its rights or remedies under this agreement, that party retains the right to enforce that term or provision at a later time.
Severability. If a court finds any provision of this agreement invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this agreement will be interpreted so as best to carry out the parties' intent.
Attachments and Exhibits. The parties agree and acknowledge that all attachments, exhibits, and schedules referred to in this agreement are incorporated in this agreement by reference.
No Agency. Nothing contained in this Agreement will be construed as creating any agency, partnership, joint venture, or other form of joint enterprise between the parties.
Attorney Fees and Expenses. The prevailing party shall have the right to collect from the other party its reasonable costs and necessary disbursements and attorney fees incurred in enforcing this Agreement.
Jurisdiction. The parties consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the federal and state courts located in San Francisco, California, in any action arising out of or relating to this agreement. The parties waive any other venue to which either party might be entitled by domicile or otherwise.
Signatures. Each party represents and warrants that on this date they are duly authorized to bind their respective principals by their signatures below.
Typed or Printed Name
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Dear Rich: I have a website that helps people determine whether jewelry and gemstones are natural or synthetic. I am redoing the site and want to eliminate some of the sources listed for the various tests. I've changed the wording so that it is not similar to the source material, but it is still the same test. I would like to know if this is fair use, as many of these tests are standard practice in the industry. Also, we've created something original because we are taking points from various sources and compiling them with our own explanations to create a relatively unique webpage.
Monday, January 9, 2023
Friday, December 9, 2022
|Types of Creative Commons licenses|
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Example: A song was used in a movie but never released on a soundtrack or other recording format. It would not qualify for the compulsory license. You would have to wait until the song owner released the song on a recording distributed to the public.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
|Interior Entrance to the Department of Interior|
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Any alteration of this legend agreement voids this check. By endorsement of this check, payee acknowledges payment in full for the assignment to Playboy Enterprises, Inc. of all right, title, and interest in and to the following items: [a description of the work].