What Bloggers Need to Know About Trademark Law

http://www.blogherald.com/2011/04/22/what-bloggers-need-to-know-about-trademark-law/
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There are three major types of intellectual property law: Copyright, Patent and Trademark. The distinction between the three can often be confusing and gray, but in general copyright protects artistic expressions (literature, movies, photos, music, etc.), patents protect ideas and inventions and trademark protects any “mark” associated with a business. However, trademark is very different from other areas of intellectual property. You don’t run afoul of the law simply by copying the mark itself but, as a tradeoff, trademarks can protect a much wider variety of things that would not fall under any other area of protection. Yet, at the [Read more…]

Whose Responsibility is Copyright Enforcement?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2011/01/whose-responsibility-is-copyright-enforcement/
Relax

If you work as a freelance writer long enough, it’s bound to happen: Something you’ve written will be infringed. Whether it’s marketing copy being lifted by a competitor, a blog post pilfered by a scraper or something else altogether, the work you were paid for will be used by someone else unlawfully. But putting a stop to it can actually be very difficult. There are three parties involved, the infringer, the client and yourself. The dynamics between the three of them are, at times, complicated. So who has the responsibility and/or the ability to enforce copyright in freelance-created works? The [Read more…]

5 Lessons From the Cooks Source Case for Freelancers

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/11/5-lessons-from-the-cooks-source-case-for-freelancers/
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If you’re a freelance writers, there’s a very good chance that you’ve been following the Cooks Source case for the last week or two. To recap what happened, Monica Gaudio, a freelance writer, discovered that an article she had written on the history of apple pies had been used in its entirety by a small New England magazine entitled Cooks Source. Though the use was attributed, making it a copyright infringement and not a plagiarism, she was understandably upset and sought an apology and a $130 donation to the Columbia School of Journalism. The editor of Cooks Source, Judith Griggs, [Read more…]

Derivative Works: Creations That Look Familiar

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/10/derivative-works-creations-that-look-familiar/
Twin Owls

One of the most common questions I get asked about copyright law is “How much do I need to change in (insert creation name) in order to use it without infringing copyright?” Whether they are asking because someone reused their work or they are thinking about doing it to someone else, these people are usually asking the wrong question. Likely misled by rumors of a 10 percent rule or something similar, many think there’s some magic number that lets themselves or others skirt copyright law by creating a new work from an old with minimal work. Unfortunately, these people often [Read more…]

How to Register Your Website’s Copyright

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/10/how-to-register-your-websites-copyright/
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In last week’s column, I talked about one of the most important decisions every copyright holder has to make, whether or not to register the copyright in their works. The conclusion of the article was that there is no single correct answer but every creator should be aware of the benefits of registration and make a decision for themselves. However, if you do decide to register your site, you are immediately faced with an ugly problem. The copyright registration system, despite some recent modernizations, is still geared almost solely toward the types of content that existed in the 80s and [Read more…]

Should You Register Your Copyright?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/10/should-you-register-your-copyright/
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Ever since the Copyright Act of 1976, which took effect in 1978, copyright has been granted in a work merely by fixing it into a tangible medium of expression. This is a fact we already covered. However, the fact you have all of the rights over your work does not mean you have the ability to enforce them. In the United States, an additional step is required if you want to take legal action over copyright infringement, you have to first register it with the U.S. Copyright Office. This has caused many content creators on the Web, including freelance writers, [Read more…]

The 7 Most Important Facts About Copyright You Need to Know

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/09/the-7-most-important-facts-about-copyright-you-need-to-know/
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As a freelance writer, copyright is your business. Your works are protected by copyright and it is that protection that enables you to sell your work, prevent unauthorized use and generally control how your creations are used. However, many freelance writers, much like the rest of the Web, either doesn’t understand copyright law or has serious misconceptions about it. But given how important it is to our profession, it makes sense to sit down and work to really understand what copyright law is about, at least some of the key points, and try to make sense of an admittedly confusing [Read more…]

My Name is Jonathan Bailey, Let’s Talk Law

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2010/08/my-name-is-jonathan-bailey-lets-talk-law/

Hello. My name is Jonathan Bailey. As Susan warned earlier this week, I am the new guy here and I wanted to take a moment to both introduce myself and my new column here. I also want to invite you to send me your ideas and questions to help get this column rolling. So, without any further ado, here’s a little bit of information about me, what my column here is about and how you can help pick the topics that get discussed. About Me As a blogger I am best known for my site Plagiarism Today where I blog [Read more…]

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