Stephen Davis will present an overview on copyright law to artists at the Barton Gallery, 1723 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814 on May 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. The presentation is being sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts.
The presentation will cover the basics of copyright, including the subject matter of copyright, how to register a copyright, the term and length of copyright, ownership of copyright, infringement, and remedies for infringement. Special attention will be given to the issue of fair use of copyrighted material.
Registration for the event is available online at http://www.calawyersforthearts.org/calendar?eventId=678204&EventViewMode=EventDetails.
We are very pleased to announce that we are celebrating our 10th anniversary as a law partnership. Steve and Mark formed Davis & Leonard LLP on January 1, 2003.
10 years later, we’re still going strong. Our practice continues to focus on intellectual property law, cyberspace law, art law, business law, and litigation. In addition to maintaining busy practices in these very interesting and rewarding fields, Steve and Mark both have taken leadership roles in the State Bar in these areas. Mark currently serves as the Chair of the California State Bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section’s Executive Committee. Steve currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Law Committee of the State Bar’s Business Law Section.
We are honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our many clients over the past ten years, and we look forward to serving them and growing our practice in the years to come.
Steve will present an overview on copyright law for artists tonight, July 20, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. at the Barton Gallery, 1723 I Street, Sacramento, California.
The presentation will cover a broad range of topics on copyright law: what copyright law covers, how long copyright lasts, how to register a copyright, who owns the copyright, and how you can tell if one piece of art infringes the copyright in another. His talk will emphasize the doctrine of "fair use" in incorporating preexisting works of art into new art, with specific examples and illustrations.
The presentation is part of a regular series of workshops sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts, an organization that serves as an informational resource for artists and also provides mediation and arbitration services. The cost of the program for CLA members is $10 and for the general public is $20.
Steve will deliver a presentation on “Copyright Infringement and Fair Use in the Visual Arts” to the Folsom Arts Association at its monthly meeting on April 28 at 6 p.m. at The Gallery at 48 Natomas Street.
Steve’s presentation will focus on the following topics:
- How to prove a claim of infringement of a work of visual art. In this part we’ll go over the law and the elements of an infringement claim.
- How to prove a work is similar to another. The emphasis of this part will be what it means for one work to be similar to another, and how one proves that one work is substantially similar to another.
- Guidelines for the defense of fair use. Not all use of a copyrighted work is infringement. In this part of the presentation we’ll discuss what the elements of a fair use defense are and, more importantly, draw upon real world examples to provide meaningful guidance to working artists.
The Folsom Arts Association is dedicating to cultivating and supporting art appreciation in the Folsom area. For more information, please see its website here.
Stephen Davis will offer an overview of Copyright Law at a presentation sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts on July 22, 2010 at 6:30 at the Barton Gallery, 1723 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814. Topics will include the subject matter of copyright, registration procedures, the scope of copyright protection, infringement, fair use, and other issues, with a focus on issues of importance to artists of all kinds. To register for the presentation, click here.
California Lawyers for the Arts is a non-profit service organization that provides a variety of services for artists, assisting them with referrals to attorneys, managing a variety of dispute resolution services, sponsoring educational programs and presentations, issuing publications, and acting as a resource for information for artists of all disciplines and art organizations.
Stephen Davis has been involved in California Lawyers for the Arts for over ten years, and has been actively involved in dispute resolution, client referrals, pro bono representations and consultations. He has appeared on the Hannity & Colmes television program defending the right of California Lawyers for the Arts to sponsor a controversial art show in the California Attorney General building in Sacramento. In 2009 he received the Artistic License Award for his contributions to CLA.
Almost all businesses have some sort of intellectual property – legal rights in ideas, writings, trademarks, slogans, graphic works, creative works, and other “intangible” things of value. A smart business takes steps to protect its intellectual property and to profit from it.
9 Step Intellectual Property Checklist
The following is a list of steps a business should take to protect its intellectual property and to maximize its value:
1. A business should determine what kind of intellectual property
it has or is likely to have.
Both new businesses and existing businesses have names, trademarks, ideas, writings, creative works,confidential information or methods, and other intangible things that are valuable to the business. In fact, in the modern business world, intangible assets often are more valuable than tangible ones.
These intangible valuable assets are called intellectual property. The law recognizes a variety of kinds of intellectual property, and a business may have one or more of these different kinds. They are:
- Patents. Patents are useful ideas and inventions that are protected for a limited term of years after being registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. A patent must be registered to be protected. The patent registration process can be fairly long and expensive. Only a licensed patent attorney can represent a business in the patent registration process. (Note: Davis & Leonard LLP are not licensed patent attorneys and do not handle the registration of patents. We do refer patent registration work to licensed patent attorneys that we know.)
- Copyrights. A copyright is the exclusive right to copy, publish, display, or create “derivative works” from creative, expressive works, such as books, articles, stories, songs, sound recordings, paintings,sculptures, computer source code, paintings, photographs, and a number of other works. Anyone who creates such a work automatically owns the copyright in the work, but to enforce that right against an infringer one must register the copyright with the United States Copyright Office.
- Trademarks. A trademark is a name, mark, or slogan used by a business that identifies the source or origin of products or services offered by the business. “Coca-Cola”, for example, is a world famous trademark that identifies a specific brand of cola in the mind of the consuming public. A business acquires rights in a trademark by using the mark in commerce in connection with a product or service. A trademark can be registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office and/or with the applicable state government if certain registration requirements are met.
- Trade Secrets. A trade secret is any valuable idea, method, or information that has value to the business by virtue of the fact that it is a secret, and is the subject of reasonable efforts by the business to maintain its secrecy. A confidential “in-house” manufacturing process can be a trade secret, as can a customer list. A trade secret, by its nature, cannot be registered with the government. Instead, its secrecy must be zealously protected by the business. Businesses can take a number of steps to protect their trade secrets.
2. At the outset of the formation of the business, the business should make sure it owns or has the legal right to use any intellectual property
that is going to be part of the business.
New businesses often are created precisely to take advantage of a new idea, or a new piece of software, or a new business concept, or to market a new creative work, like a book. Sometimes, though, these ideas or works are created by third parties, and the right of the new business to use the intellectual property isn’t very clear. A smart business will take stock of all the intellectual property that is needed to get started and make sure that it has the right to use that intellectual property under the law or, if necessary, through properly prepared and signed contracts with those third parties.
3. A business should take steps to protect valuable, confidential ideas, methods, and information from disclosure to competitors and to the public.
The business world is fiercely competitive. Generally speaking, a business’s competitors are free to compete against it by adopting similar ideas, methods, and processes, and are free to compete for the same customers, vendors, and employees. Every business that has valuable, confidential information should take steps to protect it from disclosure to unwanted eyes, by doing things such as having employees sign nondisclosure agreements, keeping information in a secure place, and taking other similar steps.
4. A business should consult with a patent attorney about protecting useful inventions and business methods by registering them as patents.
Inventions and new, original ideas may be protected by a business, but only if they are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent registration entitles the patent owner to exclusive use of the patented invention. The patent process can be lengthy, complicated, and expensive, however, so consultation with a licensed patent attorney is a good idea.
5. A business should take steps to protect business names, trademarks, and slogans through trademark registration.
A business may acquire a legal right to the exclusive use of its names, marks, and slogans if it uses them in commerce to distinguish the source or origin of the business's products or services. Trademarks that are used in "interstate" commerce -- that is, commerce that crosses state borders -- can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Trademarks that are used strictly within state borders can be registered with the appropriate state authority.
6. A business should protect valuable creative works, such as books, articles, songs, graphic works, computer software, videos, sculptures and similar works by copyright protection.
Patents protect useful ideas and inventions, but not purely creative works, like songs, books, etc. That's what copyrights are for. Unlike patents, copyrights are relatively easy to register with the Copyright Office. Copyright protection also lasts much longer than patent protection.
7. A business should make sure that employees and independent contractors sign contracts to make sure that ideas and works created for the business are owned by the business.
It is a common misconception that hiring someone to create a work for a business automatically gives the business ownership of the work. To make sure it owns the rights in all of the intellectual property in works it pays for, a business should enter "work made for hire" and assignment contracts that explicitly confer rights in the works to the business.
8. A business should not allow others to use its intellectual property except through properly prepared and executed license agreements.
The way to retain ownership of intellectual property while working with others to profit from the work is to license the rights in the work to another party. A license recognizes the licensor's ownership of the intellectual property, while granting to the licensee a valuable but limited right to do something with the work, for the benefit of both parties. For example, an inventor might license the right to another party to manufacture and sell goods that embody the invention. In return, the inventor might earn a royalty from the profits earned by the manufacturer from the sale of the goods.
9. A business should consider conducting a valuation of its intellectual property.
Businesses often know that they have intellectual property, but they have no idea what the intellectual property is worth. The business may be able to estimate the value of the intellectual property by projecting the profits it can expect to earn from the use of the intellectual property over the course of its expected life. If this is difficult, there are valuation experts that can assist with placing a value on the intellectual property. Valuation can also be useful to establish licensing terms and royalty rates.
Are you in need of protecting intellectual property? Contact Davis & Leonard LLP for more information on how your business can take the necessary steps to protect and profit from your intellectual property.