Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to Register a Trademark - Use a Lawyer to Defend Your Trademark or Copyright by John B. Mayall

No matter what form of invention you are involved into, you will need either a copyright or a trademark to protect the illegal activities of others on your inventions. A copyright is usually set out to protect intellectual works such as songs or writings while a trademark is used to cover industrial products. In order to get all this done, you will require the services of a lawyer. Whoever you decide to be your legal representative should be very qualified and have all the experience in intellectual property law. Your lawyer should also be able to defend you if there are any legal proceedings in relation to your trademark or copyright. He also has to prepare your file for the application of a patent or copyright and take care of all that is linked to the issuance of the copyright or trademark.

Your legal representative should be well educated on matters relating to patents and copyrights. It will be of added benefit is he or she has a law studies background and has gone through a law school with thorough studies in intellectual property law.

Why is it always required to employ the services of an agent? This is simply because your legal representative is that person who is qualified, has the time and knows all what it takes to get a trademark or copyright and have them registered. He or she will begin the procedure of registering your trademark or copyright from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office or from the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Keep in mind that this bureau will take care of agents in the same manner as it will do to lawyers and this will be more feasible if the agent is a registered one.

When there is a violation to a trademark or a copyright, a complaint will be lodged at the United States Court of Appeals and this tribunal is found in the Federal Circuit. If the person who breaches the copyright or trademark is found guilty, there will be a pecuniary remedy or an injunction to stop a further breach of the acts. But the option of which remedy to use lies on the copyright or trademark holder. Your attorney should equally make this known to you. Not every copyright or trademark holder will have knowledge of this.

Where Can You Find A Lawyer For This Purpose?

A lot of means are open to you to let you find a lawyer. One of the most appropriate places to search for a lawyer should be the internet. When thinking of the internet, always think about United States Patent & Trademark Office's official website. This site can give you dependable information about available copyright and trademark lawyers.

Before making your selection, make sure that whoever you decide to be your attorney should have a good legal training. It is good that this proposed lawyer should have some accreditation from two or more bar associations. You should be lucky because there are about three thousand accredited copyright and trademark lawyers in the whole or the US and almost seven thousand two hundred acknowledged agents. These numbers are very active in providing some useful services to their clients at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. You should not rely on any name found in this site or from any journal. Your ultimate choice should be based on the experiences that your would-be lawyer possesses. Your can get to know these from feedbacks or recommendations of former clients. You can also meet and talk to your would-be lawyer and asks question to test if he or she has your interests at heart. When you have chosen your lawyer, you must work together with the lawyer in order to realize your dreams. Keep in mind that both of you have a common purpose and this is about getting your copyright or trademark registered.

Discover how to trademark intellectual property and guide on finding property trademark attorney when you visit, the top resource portal for how to trademark and copyright.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Copyright, Copyrighting and Online Copyright Abuse by Jp Lafferty

Lets start with copyright infringement.

It is easily explained as copying someone else's work without gaining permission first. This includes publishing other peoples work to your web site, newspaper, magazine or even just downloading it to your computer can be seen as copyright infringement. The last is known as a grey area.

Other peoples work means anything created by a person. It can be written content, graphical content, musical content or even html, JavaScript, PHP, CGI, patterns, textures, animations. It is anything tangible that's created by a person. NOTE: A idea cannot be copyrighted due to the fact it is not tangible.


I have just finished reading a book on how to service my car. The author of the book explains in detail the different ways a person can go about the job. He also details tips and tricks he has learnt over the years that speed up the servicing.

Now after putting into practice what the author wrote I could go and write my own book on how to service my car, right?


Why? Well the author can only copyright the content of his book (words, pictures... etc) he cannot copyright the practice or idea there in. This can be viewed in many different ways so if your unsure it is always best to at least email the author before taking any action with there material.

The short and sweet way of looking at this is your content no matter what creative medium it falls under is automatically copyrighted to you for the duration of your life. It can only be broken if you decide to give your content away for free (you must state that it is copyright free material) or you die and nobody registers for the copyright to your material.

This leads us to Public Domain material.....

Before 1978 copyright only lasted 27 seven years. These days it lasts the duration of the creators life. Therefor from the minute you create your work it is automatically copyrighted to you. It is still important to state this wherever you decide to publish your material.

Public Domain material has no copyright and can be used in anyway you see fit. Also unless you change it in someway it is still Public Domain. So if you find a book that is in the Public Domain and you start selling it on EBay, there is nothing stopping the people who buy it from selling it themselves. That's why it is important to change the material. Add something to it so it stands out or modernize the language so people can understand the material better. Any changes copyright the "new" book to you.

Anything published before 1928 falls under Public Domain. That is of course unless someone got there first and changed the material in some way. You have to watch out for that. It could get you into trouble.

That's the basics. For a more detailed insight into copyright go to GOV.

Also depending on your country things maybe different so make sure you know where you stand.

Personal Note......

Copyrighting your work is a good thing. You are the sole owner of what you create and so you should be. There is a problem here though. Once your material is published to the web, book, magazine or even TV your leaving your material open to abuse.

This could be viewed as unfortunate but truthfully if it wasn't for copying other peoples HTML code I would have never learned HTML. It was the same for Java Script and Graphic Design. Even writing and game creation were learnt from copying others first.

It is also well known that internet marketers keep something called a Swipe File on there computer. This is where they paste items of interest they find on the web. It is a digital scrapbook basically.

People learn by first copying and then creating. It is the natural order of life to copy others. So if you want to be strict about your copyright that's fine. Just remember how you learnt what you know before you draw a line in the sand.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Music Copyright Myths and Royalty Free Music

Ever downloaded music from the Internet? Perhaps you wanted to use it in the classroom, or needed it for your website, or to add to a flash movie, or maybe to jazz up a multimedia project. Whatever the end use, more and more of us are frequently turning to the Internet as our one-stop resource for digital music because we know that it is a fast and easy way to get just what we are looking for! Unfortunately, what many of us don't know is that it may not be legal to do so. Downloading music files from the Internet and using them like the music belonged to you means that not only are you infringing upon the copyright, but you are also risking being fined and even being legally prosecuted.

The law does not recognize if you are unaware of copyright laws. So, don't put yourself in an illegal situation when it is so easy and affordable to use Royalty Free Music from music production libraries. And don't base your online actions on hearsay.

This article attempts to bust some common myths that abound in the virtual world, and put you on the right side of the law.

Myth 1: It is legal to use any music for 7 seconds
Fact: No. Unlawful use of even a short excerpt from a song is enough to land you in a copyright infringement case. Don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise, unless he is a copyright attorney! Remember, there is nothing like free to use music - not for 30 seconds, not for 7 seconds, not even for the first eight bars! You need a license to use music without landing into trouble.

Myth 2: I bought a music CD, I can use the music on my website since I paid for it.
Fact: Wrong. You bought the CD - not the music! Buying a legitimate CD gives you the right to play the music privately. You definitely need permission from the composer of the music as well as the sound recording company to use the music on the CD as background music for your website.

Myth 3: The composer is dead, his music is no longer under copyright.
Fact: Untrue. The copyright for a music composition lasts for approximately 70 years from the death of the composer. It does not automatically expire with its creator. And even if the composer is dead since a long time - like Mozart for example - you still don't have the right to use someone's interpretation of their music without a license.

Myth 4: It's for a non-profit organization, so I can use any music I want for free.
Fact: False. Your project (website, presentation, video, anything) may be non-profit, but when it becomes available to other people, you are allowing them to hear music they didn't purchase. That is a breach of the copyright law, no matter if you are making money on the project or not.

Myth 5: I can use this music for free because I found it on the Internet.
Fact: Absolutely not. All music found on the internet is under copyright. If you reproduce, perform, or distribute musical compositions and sound recordings without the requisite licensing, you are violating copyright law.

Myth 6: I can use music because the website did not carry a copyright notice.
Fact: Beginning March 1, 1989, it is no longer mandatory to display the copyright notice to protect one's intellectual property, in this case, music.

And if you are still not convinced, consider this: Would you pick up produce from a farm and walk away without leaving money for what you took? Most certainly not! You wouldn't deprive a hard working farmer from his rightful income. Likewise, if you violate copyright law, you deprive a composer of the royalties derived from the purchase of their work. Think about it!

So what is copyright, anyway? When you own the copyright of a piece of work, it means literally that you have the "right to make copies" of that work. By extension you also have the right to license that work to others who want to use it. It is a form of intellectual property law that protects an original piece of work from being pirated and used without permission of its creator

To avoid getting on the wrong side of the law, consider purchasing a legal music license from royalty free music libraries. Whether you are looking for production music for your video or background music for a multimedia presentation, you can choose from literally thousands of royalty free soundtracks. What's more, buying royalty free music online is really easy and affordable.

Stay clear of unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted music, and keep the copyright police from knocking at your door!

Gilles Arbour (contact me) is one of the owners of a leading Royalty Free Music Library. Get a FREE music player for your website.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ensuring a Fair Deal for Writers: Update to PLR Legislation

At the All Party Writers Group (APWG) meeting in the House of Commons last night Members of both Houses met with eminent writers and senior staff from PLR and the Authors' Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) to discuss proposals to amend the Public Lending Right legislation.

"The growth in audio-books and the emergence of ebooks in libraries ensures a wider audience for the written word which can only be a good thing for our writers," said Jim Parker, Registrar of PLR. "However, the PLR legislation prevents us from paying a rate per loan for these new and emerging formats, and fails to recognise the reality of new models of library delivery that sees partnerships between educational, school and public libraries. "

It is now 30 years since the PLR Act was passed and the market for writers' work has changed considerably since 1979. The original Act dictates that writers be rewarded for the loan of their printed works from public libraries; the reality is that their work now appears in multiple formats and the face of the traditional public library as defined in the Libraries Act of 1965 is also changing.

As well as the primary legislation of the original Act, there is secondary legislation that prescribes how the PLR scheme is administered. It is cumbersome and inflexible and restricts PLR's plans to increase the size and representativeness of the public library sample that provides the loans data on which payments are made.

These discussions explored ways in which the legislation can be rebalanced to give writers a fairer deal by including the different formats that their work appears in, as well as enabling PLR to follow best practice standards for sampling and increasing their cost efficiency. PLR needs to be fit for purpose in the 21st Century.

"Ensuring a fair deal for writers is exactly what the APWG was set up to do," commented Dr Gibson MP, the group's Chairman. "Our aim was to identify a range of solutions to these issues as requested by The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport at our APWG meeting in July. We will then ask Barbara Follett to take these solutions forward at DCMS where her role includes responsibility for PLR."

Writer, ALCS Honorary President and authors' rights campaigner, Maureen Duffy confirmed that: "PLR is an important right and a vital source of income for authors and it is essential that legisalation accurately reflects changes in the use of authors' works in libraries".

It is now a year since the APWG was formed and it held its first AGM before the start of the discussions last night. Amongst writers attending both the AGM and PLR discussions were Simon Brett, Tracey Chevalier, Mavis Cheek, Dame Margaret Drabble, Sir Michael Holroyd, Simon Nye, Mal Peet, Michael Ridpath and Meg Rosoff.


ALCS collects fees on behalf of the whole spectrum of UK writers: novelists, film & TV script writers, literary prize winners, poets and playwrights, freelance journalists, translators and adaptors, as well as thousands of professional and academic writers who include nurses, lawyers, teachers, scientists, and college lecturers. All writers are eligible to join ALCS: further details on membership can be found at

The Society collects fees that are difficult, time-consuming or legally impossible for writers and their representatives to claim on an individual basis: money that is nonetheless due to them. Fees collected are distributed to writers twice a year in March and September. Since its inception, ALCS has distributed over GBP170 million to the nation's writers.


Passed in 1979, the PLR Act recognises the right for authors to receive payment from public funds for the free lending of printed books by the nation's public libraries. Since its inception PLR has distributed over GBP107 million to authors. Each year, PLR distributes its fund to registered authors at a rate per loan. In February 2008 - relating to book loans during the period July 2006-June 2007 - PLR distributed GBP6.66 million to 23,942 authors at a rate per loan of 5.98 pence.

The All Party Writers Group (APWG)

Chaired by Dr Ian Gibson MP, the APWG is a forum for elected Parliamentarians in Westminster to consider and discuss matters of importance to writers. As a focal point for authors' interests, with its links to UK writer organisations, APWG is well placed to draw attention to the current issues facing writers amongst an audience of decision-makers at Westminster and beyond. The affairs of the APWG are administered by ALCS.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

How To Protect What You Create With A Copyright by Gregg Hall

In the United States there are millions of people every year who create original music, research, or write books and other forms of creative expression. These are covered by the term intellectual property and are given protection under copyright laws. If you are a publisher, writer, or editor it is crucial that you are knowledgeable about copyright issues more than ever. With the Internet there has been an enormous increase in counterfeiting and pirating of books, music, and other intellectual property. A report last year from the World Customs Organization indicated over a half a billion dollars in counterfeit and pirated products were put in the marketplace globally in 2005.

Every business in the United States is susceptible to Intellectual Property theft; small businesses are at an even greater risk. Individual writers and owners of small publications offer a large cache of information for intellectual property thieves to grab, and as I pointed out above, the Internet has made it very easy to do. To guard against this happening to you or your company you need to know what your rights are.

A copyright under U.S. law protects authors of "original works of authorship" fixed in any material medium of expression. This can encompass sounds, notes, words, numbers, pictures, and virtually any other media. Works that are covered under copyright law are diverse and include artistic, architectural, literary, dramatic, audiovisual, and musical. A work does not have to be published to be covered.

According to the copyright law passed in 1976, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to distribute, reproduce, perform, and display their work. The rights are transferable by the owner who may license them, sell them, donate them to charity or even leave them to their heirs. According to the law, it is not legal to violate any of these rights, and if the owner of a copyright wins in a claim for copyright infringement, the court may order both preliminary and permanent injunctions barring any and all present and future infringements and may also order the surrender of the offending materials.

Many people think that there is some big process they have to go through in order to obtain a copyright. The fact of the matter is your work is protected by Copyright Law when you create it and it is placed as a copy or recorded the first time. An article you write is protected, as is a song or music whether it is in sheet music, on a CD, or both forms of media. Despite this fact it is still recommended that you register formally with the Copyright Office to establish a public record and give yourself concrete legal protection for any suits filed in court.

A copyright gives you protection for 70 years after your death or if you created the work with another it lasts 70 years after the last surviving author's death. As far as anonymous works and works that were made for hire, the time is extended to as long as 120 years from the date of creation.

Unfortunately there are no international copyrights to guarantee you copyright protection globally, but most countries recognize the Berne Convention on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and/or the Universal Copyright Convention. These are the top international copyright agreements for providing foreign authors with copyright protection. If you are in doubt about whether or not a work you have is protected, be sure to consult with a qualified copyright attorney. That is the only way to be absolutely sure you have all the bases covered.

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as copyright attorneys at

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Copyright FAQs - What Exactly is the Significance of the (C) Copyright Symbol?

There are two major international multilateral copyright conventions which operate in the global system. One is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne) and the Universal Copyright Convention. Most European and Commonwealth countries belong to Berne, however up to recently the US only belonged to the Universal Copyright Convention. In 1989 the US acceded to the Berne Convention.

Under the Universal Copyright Convention, generally speaking, a work by a national or domiciliary of a country that is a member of the Universal Copyright Convention or a work first published in a Universal Copyright Convention country may claim protection under the Convention. If the work bears the notice of copyright in the form and position specified by the Universal Copyright Convention, this notice will satisfy and substitute for any other formalities a Universal Copyright Convention member country would otherwise impose as a condition of copyright. A Universal Copyright Convention notice should consist of the symbol accompanied by the name of the copyright proprietor and the year of first publication of the work. To qualify for copyright protection in countries that are only members of the Universal Copyright Convention, it is necessary that works bear, in a prominent place and from the time of first publication, the copyright symbol - © - together with the name of the owner of the copyright and the year of first publication, for example: © Kaltons Internet and Technology Solicitors 2002.

However, under the Berne Convention, generally, a work first published in a Berne Union is eligible for protection in all Berne member countries. There are no special requirements like affixing the copyright symbol.

Use of the copyright symbol was significant when the US was not a member of the Berne Convention and it would only recognise copyright where the © symbol was used in accordance with the UCC. The UCC has been largely overtaken by the other treaties that do not require any formalities.

However, using the © symbol, while having little legal effect, alerts others that copyright is claimed in the material in question, and removes any argument that the user relied on an implied licence to use the work.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Copyright Office Should Right DMCA Wrongs in Rulemaking

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed three exemption requests with the U.S. Copyright Office today aimed at protecting the important work of video remix artists, iPhone owners, and cell phone recyclers from legal threats under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA prohibits "circumventing" digital rights management (DRM) and "other technical protection measures" used to protect copyrighted works. While this ban was meant to deter copyright infringement, many have misused the law to chill competition, free speech, and fair use. Every three years, the Copyright Office convenes a rulemaking to consider granting exemptions to the DMCA's ban on circumvention to mitigate the harms the law has caused to legitimate, non-infringing uses of copyrighted materials.

One proposal filed by EFF is aimed at protecting the video remix culture currently thriving on Internet sites like YouTube. The filing asks for a DMCA exemption for amateur creators who use excerpts from DVDs in order to create new, noncommercial works. Hollywood takes the view that "ripping" DVDs is always a violation of the DMCA, no matter the purpose.

"Remix is what free speech looks like in the 21st century, which is why thousands of noncommercial remix videos are posted to YouTube every day," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "The DMCA wasn't intended to drive fair use underground."

Another proposal requests a DMCA exemption for cell phone "jailbreaking" -- liberating iPhones and other handsets to run applications from sources other than those approved by the phone maker. Hundreds of thousands of iPhone owners have "jailbroken" their iPhones in order to use applications obtained from sources other than Apple's own iTunes "App Store."

"It's not the DMCA's job to force iPhone users to buy only Apple-approved phone applications," said von Lohmann. "The DMCA is supposed to block copyright infringement, not competition."

EFF's third proposal asks for a renewal of an exemption previously granted for unlocking cell phones so that the handsets can be used with any telecommunications carrier. Carriers have threatened cell phone unlockers under the DMCA to protect their anti-competitive business models, even though there is no copyright infringement involved in the unlocking. Instead, the digital locks on cell phones make it harder to resell, reuse, or recycle the handset.

"Millions and millions of Americans replace their cell phones every year. EFF is representing three organizations that are working to make sure the old phones don't end up in the dump, polluting our environment," said EFF Civil Liberties Director Jennifer Granick. " Also, renewing this exemption will continue to help people who want to use their phones while traveling and will promote competition among wireless carriers."

The rulemaking proceeding will accept public comments regarding proposed exemptions until the deadline of February 2, 2009. The Copyright Office will then hold hearings in Washington, DC and California in Spring 2009. The final rulemaking order will be issued in October 2009.

For more on EFF's exemption requests:

For more on the anti-circumvention rulemaking: