Tag Archives: Chicago Entertainment Lawyer

Copyright Protection: The Lesser Known and less Attractive Form of Intellectual Property Protection!

Clients often, ignore the need to copyright their creative content, because of a perceived deficiency in the type of protection it offers.  There is a tendency to believe that Copyright is a very soft form of protection that would not allow the holder to actually license or make the funds that it needs to acquire, police and enforce the copyright.  This is not entirely new news to most intellectual property attorneys or cyber-lawyers.

However, Copyright protection is actually a very good form of protection for creative content and relatively inexpensive to acquire.  The filing fees for most applications are less than $35-65 per application.  Moreover, the legal fees vary, but for most simple applications for routine online creative content or works the legal fees are between $500-$1500.   The more complex the work or the sophisticated the works and the larger the size or volume of the electronic deposit–the more expensive the copyright application.  

We recommend creating copyright portfolios that allow you to build a library of protected works based on creative content for blogs, websites, user interfaces, mobile applications, drawings, figures, schematics, photographs, videos, songs, and a variety of other creative content that helps your online business succeed.  Most importantly, the Copyright Portfolio is easy to maintain and has an extremely long duration for protection of the Works or Content.  

It is vital to the success of follow through works or creations in the form of producing derivative works or content in other mediums of distribution.  The greater the number of copyrights in your copyright portfolio–the easier it is to find ways to monetize it and develop monitoring and enforcement policies by tracking subscribers, visitors, users, and clicks or event analytics information. Sending a quick DMCA Take Down Notice and a cease and desist letter and often, acquire statutory fees and legal fees.   

For more go to http://www.vrplawgroup.com, http://www.iptrialattorney.com, http://www.eebcbrunchclub.com, and http://www.chicagobusinesscounsel.com

Copyright Extensions, Mickey Mouse, Bill Clinton and Pioneering Copyrights?

What do Mickey Mouse and copyrights have in common? Well Walt’s Mickey Mouse is one of the longest running Copyrighted Characters in U.S. history!  Most people have grown up with Mickey Mouse – he’s been around for a long time.  Now, he is in danger of falling into the public domain, where anyone can use him or alter him.  Copyright law, however, might be able to protect him forever.  This is news that has some people excited, but others don’t see the point.

While copyrights may seem to last forever, this was not always the case.  In the early 1900s, copyright protection lasted for 28 years, which was later doubled.  Then, in 1976, Congress changed the law again; protection then lasted for the life of the author plus 50 years.  Today, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years.   After protection ends, the work falls into the public domain, where anyone can use it.

So, what does this mean for Mickey Mouse?  The 1976 change originally made him available to the public domain in 2003, but President Clinton signed an extension of copyright, so he is still protected.  This is a source of constant debate of copyright attorneys, authors, singers, musicians and film makers.  On one hand, if copyright is weakened, then others can use works in the public domain and creativity may actually flourish from the increase in derivative works.  However, it makes sense to protect the hard work of authors like Walt Disney and others that provided so much contribution and enriched our experience and the experience of our kids.

Some believe that copyrights should never expire.  This may make sense for certain types of Works that have been ground breaking and the source of creative inspiration for others.  Perhaps, there should be a pioneering copyright like pioneering patents?  What do you think should there be stronger and extended protection for some copyrighted works over others?

The Illinois Right of Publicity Act and the Commercial use of Another’s Identity!

There are many forms of intangible rights that protect individuals from those that may be looking to trade of your identity.   In Illinois,  your identity, such as your name, likeness,  image, voice, alias and other features that serve to identify who you are protected from rip-off artists and scammers.  A nice feature for artists, entertainers, actors, musicians, authors, designers, film producers, videographers, photographers, speakers, professors,  doctors, attorneys,  judges and politicians.

The statute provides for 1000 in statutory damages per violation, plus allows for the recovery of legal fees and costs for the prevailing party.  It is a codification of one of the oldest forms of intellectual property rights, your Likeness.   This was recognized at common law long before the existence of copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Other than trade secrets, it may be the oldest form of intangible right or asset a person can own.

The Act requires strict compliance and a written authorization from the person before any aspects of his or her identity can be used by another.   Working with an attorney that understands how your Identity is related to your business and personal affairs is vital to making sure you protect against all rip off artists.   If someone is misusing your photographs, image, voice, alias or other intangible features of your identity, then please contact us at http://www.vrplawgroup.com