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Does Copyright Law Apply to My Business?

does copyright law apply to my business spear ip maria ollis

You’re vaguely familiar with the concept of copyright law. It’s for fine artists — musicians, painters, filmmakers — right? Yes, but copyright law can apply to so much more. This post is a quick review of what copyright law protects and some of the non-traditional content that might fall under the umbrella of copyright protection.

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The Difference Between a Work for Hire and an Assignment

difference between a work for hire and an assignment spear IP maria ollis attorney

What’s the difference between a work for hire and an assignment, and why is it important? It comes up in the context of copyright protection. If something was created as a true work for hire, it matters. Things like the length of copyright protection and — gasp — termination can come into play if you’re using the wrong term.

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You Can’t Protect a T-shirt Idea (But You Can Start a Lifestyle Brand)

protect a t-shirt idea lifestyle brands spear ip

“I have a REALLY great t-shirt idea.” “I’ve got an idea for a funny t-shirt slogan.” Many an IP attorney has heard this phrase at least once. Just like protecting an idea can be difficult, it’s challenging to protect a t-shirt idea. But a lifestyle brand? Now you’re talking. But be proactive: know how to safeguard the protectable elements of a t-shirt or lifestyle brand.

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Protecting a Blog (Series): DIY, Recipes, + Copyright for Bloggers

copyright for bloggers

Copyright for bloggers is a funny topic once you consider the special rules that apply to recipes, ingredients, and instructions. In this post, you’ll find an explanation of those special rules and how they affect copyright protection for a blog.

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Protecting a Blog (Series): Copyright + Copy

protecting a blog with spear ip

When we think “the media,” a blog might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but think about it. A blog is content that is updated daily (if not more frequently), and a single blog post can be shared thousands of times. So when it comes to blog content, what’s protectable, and how do you protect it? This two-part series will look at just that. Below, you’ll learn about the protectable elements in a blog and some of the Copyright Office policies at play (hint: they work in favor of blog owners!).

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Client Query: Can I Protect An Idea? (Probably Not.)

client query can I protect an idea

“Client Query” is a brief segment in which a common client question is broken down and answered. This month: the misconceptions surrounding whether you can protect an idea.

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Repurposing Art: A Look At Fair Use (& Fictions)

repurposing art

Repurposing art is a real temptation for professional crafters, visual artists, and Etsy-sellers alike. What some call mere inspiration, others consider copying. Where’s the line between the two? Below are some of the rules at play for repurposing art, or using elements of creative works owned by someone else in a new creative work, and some common misconceptions when it comes to fair use.

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What’s A Creative Commons License?

what's a creative commons license

“Creative Commons.” It’s a term that you might run into when looking for a beautiful photograph or font to use on your website, PR, or in other marketing materials. You see it in a standard note when you go to download that photo or font: “Licensed under Creative Commons.”

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Proper Use of Client Materials in Marketing

Proper Use of Client Materials in Marketing

The ability for a client to view your portfolio is of utmost importance in client-facing industries. (Looking at you, event planning, graphic design, web design, and photography). One often assumes that she has free reign in posting clients’ projects for all to see. But, that is not necessarily the case. This post touches on some legal hurdles that apply to the proper use of client materials and the “quick fixes” that might save you from legal headaches when marketing your business.

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IP Independence: Using Contractors

IP and Using Contractors

Using independent contractors has its perks: an independent contractor is not an employee, so an employer can save by using contractors for certain services. But does an employer automatically own creative works created by its independent contractors? In short: probably not.

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Pen v. Paintbrush: Contracts for Artists

Contracts for Artists from Spear IP

We can all agree that handshake deals are not your friend, right? Artists often rely on the handshake deal or verbal agreement, maybe due to the assumption that contracts for artists are ten-page beasts, chocked full of legalese. On the contrary, a written contract can make certain that each side’s understanding matches up to the other’s. Put differently, a contract makes sure everyone is on the same page (pun intended) when it comes to important terms such as payment, delivery, and copyright.

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