Intellectual Property Law
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Your ex-employer is within his permission of not permitting to use past work as it was work made for hire for the employer and therefore is owned by the employer. However copyright law does not protect ideas rather the expression of the idea. Therefore you can create similar videos with some caveats:
Copyright holder has the exclusive right to reproduce copyrighted material . Under the substantial similarity doctrine a work can be found to infringe copyright even if elements of the work have changed if they are substantially similar
This would be a factual analysis of the uniqueness, intricacy, or complexity of the similar portions.
Basically, one can create a similar work but not exact and it's best if new creative elements are interjected to avoid similarity claims
So you're sense of what can and needs to be done is spot on
I trust this answered your question
Yes, I believe so
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Am I able to ask a quick follow-up?
If he decided that my re-creation is too similar, could he sue me?
only if the underlying work was registered with the copyright office. If it's not the employer can register it just before going to court but no statutory damages. A court action is very expensive and with a potential diminished ability to claim damages the chances are questionable
I'm sorry... I should have thought to ask this from the start... Does it matter that the underlying work was done about 10 years ago?
no. copyright are for the life of the author+70 years...
Ah, okay. Thank you! You have been very helpful.
you're welcome. The rate button is below
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