How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Tina is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a copyright question. We are a buddhist retreat

Customer Question

I have a copyright question. We are a buddhist retreat center. Our teacher recently passed. Originally he put all his own money into the center and later was paid everymont with a 1099. we are in California. There are hundreds of tapes and teachings, art work etc. that he made, teaching at the center and traveling. In 2000 he started a video series which he sold privately using some of the teachings, most that were made independently at his house, but not all. some were teachings he gave at the center. Now there his partner, has created a nonprofit heritage foundation and claims that all of his work belongs in this separate non profit. What rights do we have to this material?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Good day, my name is ***** ***** I'm glad to try and help. You said that your teacher original "put all his own money into the center." What was the nature of his relationship with the center? Was he a board member? Owner? Employee?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's non profit religious he was on the board and a spiritual advisor
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Did your teacher have any sort of agreement with the non-profit regarding ownership of his teachings? I apologize in advance -- a few of these questions may seem off topic, but I ask to get a complete picture of your situation. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No he did not
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you. Who made the recordings?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The foundation in most cases
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The center
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

You mentioned that many were made at his house and that he sold the recordings... was the foundation responsible for most of those as well?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
No that was a private business. The person in charge of that is claiming all the teachings, texts etc
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

What is your teacher's partner's theory for ownership? I'm not clear on why the partner believes this new foundation might have ownership.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That includes written teachings as well which they are copy righting
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for that clarification regarding the written teachings. Why, according to the partner, would the new foundation have the right to own any of the teachings?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's complicated. The was an s Corp that was given to her in the will. After he passed, she folded the private business of the teaching and Thad Corp into s completely new on profit claiming all
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for that information. I understand that the S Corp was given to the partner in your teacher's will, and you're saying that the S Corp is basically closed with this non-profit taking its place. Since the S Corp no longer exists, when you ask what rights "we" have to this material, who is "we"?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I'm speaking for the center / foundation monprofit
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I speak for the bosrd
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

So you're working with the partner for the non-profit, so that correct? The way the question was structured, I thought that you might be contesting the new non-profit's ownership of the material.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am questioning it. I'm from the center which is a religious non profit . They have created a new one and are claiming everything belongs to them.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you. Let me tell you where I am with things: Right now, I'm having a difficult time seeing how anyone other than the non-profit might claim a right to the material. You essentially described two parties in the creation of the material: your teacher, and the S Corp. Your teacher passed and left everything to the partner. The partner then created a non-profit, gave the material over to the non-profit, and moved everything from the S Corp over to the non-profit as well. Based on what you've said, I can't see where else ownership might fall. Is anyone else claiming that ownership might go elsewhere?

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

I understand that you're questioning it, but maybe you can tell me about why you think it might go elsewhere. I know the law, but you're the world's leading expert on your situation.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I need to go nowthanks. Can we pick this up tomorrow?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 months ago.

Yes, that would be fine. If I'm not online when you reply, just check back again and I will get back to you as soon as I become available. Thanks.

Related Legal Questions