Stan Lee’s Copyrights and Work for Hire

Copyrights and Work for Hire Doctrine Stan Lee, the co-creator and ambassador of the Marvel Universe, died this week. From a copyright perspective, Lee’s legacy is a complicated mess. Marvel, one of the original comic book publishers introduced over 8,000 characters including those created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Steve Ditko. This Read more about Stan Lee’s Copyrights and Work for Hire[…]

Copyright in Buildings for Architects and Artists

Copyright in Buildings Generally, copyright protects all works of art including those which are related to a building design and to artwork fixed to buildings.  However, because copyrights do not extend to functional works, buildings were not always considered Copyrightable.  Currently, the law protects artwork for and on buildings under both traditional copyright law and Read more about Copyright in Buildings for Architects and Artists[…]

101 Series – How to Copyright a Website

A common question we get from new businesses is how to copyright a website.  The U.S. Copyright Office does not expressly recognize websites as being copyrightable.  However, you can register the text, images, sounds, movies, computer code or even databases associated with a website or web page. A website is generally considered to be an Read more about 101 Series – How to Copyright a Website[…]

Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take on the issue of whether a copyright registration or a copyright application is required before bringing a copyright infringement suit. Currently, depending on the location of your copyright lawsuit, some courts require a copyright registration.  Other Courts simply require that you have filed a copyright application Read more about Copyright Application vs. Copyright Registration[…]

Stolen Photos Costs Company

Capturing just the right photograph, often is the result of countless hours of time, effort, attention, planning and preparation.  While capturing the photograph can represent countless hours, stealing the photograph off the internet takes only seconds.  In today’s digital world, many photographers try to promote their best work on the internet where they can showcase Read more about Stolen Photos Costs Company[…]

The MET Announces Access to Free Images

The Metropolitan Museum announced access to nearly 400,000 images – for free. The Museum provides these images under an Open Access license for all public-domain works in the Met collection. The Creative Commons Zero (“CC0”) license allows use of the images without restriction. Entrepreneurs, artists, and business owners can now use and share these images Read more about The MET Announces Access to Free Images[…]

How to Copyright Music

We meet with many artists who ask how to copyright music.  To many people, music can mean many things. Music may refer to the lyrics, music videos, the music recorded by a sound recording, the musical composition and arrangement, or it may mean the live performance of the music. The first step in copyrighting music is Read more about How to Copyright Music[…]

Using copyright litigation to stop copyright infringement being stolen

One photographer, Carol Highsmith, is suing Getty Images for more than $1 billion for allegedly selling her copyrighted work to the public without permission and with incorrect attribution.  In her lawsuit, Highsmith, states that she first learned Getty was selling her copyrighted photographs when one of Getty’s affiliates sent her a cease and desist letter Read more about Using copyright litigation to stop copyright infringement being stolen[…]

When a Takedown is used Wrongly

The Ninth Circuit has ruled that prior to seeking a Takedown under the DMCA, copyright holders must perform a fair-use evaluation of the alleged infringement. Failure to do so, may expose the copyright owner to damages for wrongfully seeking a DMCA takedown. By its definition, fair use includes non-commercial portions of a work which do Read more about When a Takedown is used Wrongly[…]

In the name of Santa Claus

It seems like Christmas is getting earlier and earlier, with Santa holiday advertisements appearing even before Halloween or Thanksgiving.  With Santa appearing so often and so long, overpowering almost every other holiday, one has to wonder who owns Santa.  I don’t mean the spiritual visitor, but the name and image Santa Claus which we see Read more about In the name of Santa Claus[…]