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Do Laws of Copyright Apply to the Internet?

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The short answer: yes. When in doubt, consider the matter to be under copyright and if you desire to use the work or portions of it, contact the copyright holder and request written permission. People often assume that internet material is free for the taking since getting to the material was free, i.e. you didn’t […]

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Maryland Copyright Lawyer: What Cannot Be Copyrighted?

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The list of items that we cannot copyright is long but I’ll list a few here that folks often think they can copyright but they cannot. Facts cannot be copyrighted. If you are writing a explanation of how people play the game of baseball you don’t need to get permission from Major League Baseball or […]

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Maryland Intellectual Property Attorney: “Fair Use” and Quoting Previously Published Poetry

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Permission is usually required if you use more than two lines of a poem. If the whole poem is only a few lines long, you may need permission to quote any of it. A fee may be required and you should inquire with the publisher and/or the poet. For a free, confidential conversation to discuss […]

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Baltimore Maryland Copyright Lawyer: Quoting a Published Book and “Fair Use” of Copyright Material

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Publishers require that you obtain permission if you are quoting text in excess of a maximum word count, this is typically anywhere between 100 and 1000 words depending on the publisher. You should contact the publisher for guidelines before using the quote. For a free, confidential conversation to discuss these and other copyright law matters, […]

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Maryland Trademark Attorney: Create a Doing Business As (DBA) Name And Trademark It Later

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The question was recently posed to me about the difference between Doing Business As and having the same name trademarked at a later time. The state can designate a Doing Business As after checking the name against other company names in the Maryland state database. This is different from obtaining a trademark in that name. […]

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Publishing False Information About Public People

“In the name of free speech, our First Amendment today fosters false and defamatory speech.” This is an interesting article for writers and publishers who write/publish work on public figures: Getting Away With Literary Fraud. To discuss the legal topics in this article, or other publishing related legal concerns such as copryrights, permissions, serial rights […]

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Maryland Author’s Attorney: Nonfiction, Defamation, Invasion of Privacy and How to Avoid Being Sued

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When writing nonfiction, particularly about living people, give thought to some of the legal issues that could arise. Most questions which arise about the portrayal of a person in nonfiction are from defamation and invasion of privacy: Defamation: A person may claim that the book contains falsehoods that hold the subject up to scorn. Invasion […]

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Maryland Intellectual Law Lawyer: How To Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Sued For Disclosing Private Facts and Violating Rights of Publicity

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It is difficult to eliminate all risk when using peoples’ names and likenesses however there are ways to reduce your potential liability. Obtain Consent. Getting the written consent of the person you are covering is one of the best ways to avoid a lawsuit. Having the person sign a well drafted consent form or release […]

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Maryland Intellectual Property Law Attorney: Best Defenses to Defamation Lawsuit

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Defamation is making a false statement about a living person such that the statement causes the person ridicule or scorn. Simply put, the best defense is having evidence to support the statement as reported. In other words, “show” that the fact reported is in-fact true. The second best defense, though not always successful, is to […]

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Maryland Copyright Law Attorney: When Does Formerly Copyrighted Material Become Part of The Public Domain?

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When a previously copyrighted material becomes part of the public domain, that work can be used without permission form the previous copyright owner. The following is a guide to help determine if material has become part of the public domain. 1. BEFORE 1923: All material published in the United States before 1923 is in the […]

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