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This is a question for an entertainment or copyright lawyer

This is a question for an entertainment or copyright lawyerI have an idea for a screenplay that pushes the edges of my understanding of copyright. I think of it as an “homage” that may or may not cross into parody.The plot will be a string of standard Sci-Fi tropes from many movies, and they would be built around a a similar premise to the seventies disney film, The Cat from outer space.Specifically what it has in common is; A telepathic, telekinetic alien cat who crash lands on earth, meets a friend and is pursued by the military. The rest; the names, characters, dialogue will be completely my own creation, but will be full of things like time portals and psychics and meteor strikes and references to other films.In fact, I want to play on this homage theme by naming it: “The cat who fell to earth” after “The man who fell to earth”, the classic staring David Bowie, who's music I want to feature in the opening sequence.I need to know if its worth pursuing this script before I write it. I defiantly need to have an understanding of where this kind of thing would cross the line and where is absolutely safe.Thanks

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Law Educator, Esq.

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Information about the I.T Production, LLC copyright

Information about the I.T Production, LLC copyright infringement.JA: What written documentation do you have?Customer: Letter from Comcast , Ref: I.T. Production, LLC v. DOES I - 20JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?Customer: No and I don't know.JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?Customer: I haven't a clue.

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Gerald-Esquire

Juris Doctor

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I have a question about Trademark law. I've created a

Hi,I have a question about Trademark law. I've created a superhero idea in which I would eventually like to end up as toys and such on the shelves of toy stores. Let say, for example purposes, the heroes are a team, and are named NitroForce. I would like to have the name Nitro on a bunch of things. Just like BAT-MAN has his BAT-Plane, BAT-Signal, BAT-cave, BAT-mobile, I would like to have the prefix “Nitro” on toys like that, too…so, NitroPlane, NitroSub, NitroJet, NitroBlaster, etc. (Again, Nitro isn't the name, I'm just using that as an example). Another real life example besides that is Ghostbusters…they probably have protection over the pre-fix “Ghost,” because they have toys called the Ghost-Blaster, the GhostTrap, GhostZapper, etc. They even probably have protection over the prefix “Ecto.” They have the Ecto-Cool, Ecto-1, EctoPlane, etc. SO, my question is this, since I will be using my prefix “Nitro” on a series of things, and over many different product types, how can I GAIN TRADEMARK PROTECTION for the prefix “Nitro.” Would I register ALL instances of the word Nitro across all relevant classes? So, I would take NitroSub, a submarine the heroes use, and register that across all relevant classes? And then do the same for NitroPlane, and so forth. And if so, that would be VERY EXPENSIVE very quickly…I'm a startup and on a budget, so I have to be selective. Would registering the main name of the hero team “NitroForce” on 1 class be sufficient, and would that provide me protection of all other uses of JUST the prefix Nitro? So, just like Pokemon has the Poke-Ball, PokeShop, PokeGym, etc, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have the TurtleCopter, TurtleLair, TurtleMobile, etc, what and how can I gain exclusive protection for my prefix “Nitro,” in the most strategically efficient way? Take McDonalds as another example, if McDonalds wanted to exclude others from using the prefix “Mc,” would they register only “Mc,” or all instances of the use of their products with the use of the word “Mc” (such as McNuggets, McChicken, McFlurry, etc), or would registering the name McDonalds be sufficient, and using the others in commerce without registering them is enough? I'm Not sure, and that's why I'm asking you…HOW to gain protection for this prefix.Another quick related question related to trademarks and cartoon characters…regarding their most famous character…does Disney own the character's name “Mickey Mouse,” as a whole, or, would you say they also have protection over the name “Mickey” alone, without the mouse part attached.Last question: lets say I wanted to make a parody of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I called it the Teenage Mutant Ninja Dolphins. Question is, since it's a parody, would I thus become the new owner of the characters AND name “Teenage Mutant Ninja Dolphins,”? Does that eventually break away from being a parody and get recognized as its own separate body of work?

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Law Educator, Esq.

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I used three historic photographs that were probably taken

I used three historic photographs that were probably taken between late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds for a reference in doing some of my own artwork. I colorized them, added backgrounds. You can see the photos were used, but my artwork looks very different. Should I be worried about copyright in these photos? I read that photos taken before 1923 are almost always public domain.JA: It's hard to know for sure. The IP Attorney will figure it out. What written documentation do you have?Customer: A gallery wants me to make prints of them so they can sell them.JA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?Customer: NO, nothing in court. I talked to a local attorney, but he said he didn't handle copyright law.JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?Customer: I found them on the internet under "historic cowgirl photos." there was nothing about who owned them. They were just shown with alot of other old photos. They are also on pininterest. I did find out that Getty Photos had the rights to one of them. So I contact Getty about that photo and they said that it was up to me if I wanted to use it but estates usually dont get upset about photos used as references.....only use of photo derivatives. They implied I could use it.

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Robert McEwen, Esq.

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I am writing a childrens book and have a title in mind. I

I am writing a childrens book and have a title in mind. I have just completed an internet search for the same word and a web design company in the UK has it as copyright. Am I able to use it as a book title in AU since it is for a totally diferent purpose?JA: Do you have a registration record?Customer: Only looked at their website which had the copyright symbol near its nameJA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?Customer: neither - have only just looked it up today - about 20 minutes agoJA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?Customer: no Thanks

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Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney At Law

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I am interested in publishing the manuscripts (essays,

Hello,I am interested in publishing the manuscripts (essays, articles, etc) of a deceased family member, Marvin. He had three children from his first marriage. He had no will and it does not appear that he had any registered copyright nor had he transferred copyrights any. At the time of his death, Marvin resided in Florida with his second wife. The physical papers were returned to his children at the time of his death. The papers include essays written both before and during his second marriage. His widow has since passed (in Georgia) and also left no will. She has two surviving children that were not Marvin's.Aside from gaining permission/transfer of copyright from his three surviving children, do I also need to request permission from the children of his widow, assuming she inherited 50% of the copyrights upon Marvin's death? Or, when she died, would that 50% share have reverted back to his direct heirs?

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JD 1992

Juris Doctor

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I am interested in publishing a collection of essays written

Hi. I am interested in publishing a collection of essays written by Marvin. Marvin is deceased and has three children. The essays are currently in the physical possession of one of the children. All three agree that he/they would have loved to see the essays published. He did not have a will. All parties are in Georgia, USAJA: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?Customer: no, noJA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?Customer: don't think so...is there a cost involved for this at this point? I've used JA before, but not this feature.

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Law Educator, Esq.

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I wrote and own a copyright-registered original song that

I wrote and own a copyright-registered original song that contains a very clever phrase that I hope to trademark to protect against someone possibly using the phrase in another song and releasing it commercially. The phrase is not the song title. I'm aware that song titles cannot be copyrighted. As to the "established usage" argument -In addition to the registered 2016 copyright, I have performed the song in three states, which I believe satisfies certain Interstate Trade Commission criteria. I have audio and video records of these performances. My argument is that the phrase brands and promotes the artist and specifically the song as a "Product". I believe the phrase, which is a play on words or witticism, also satisfies "secondary meaning" considerations. I intend to sell mugs and shirts with the phrase to further promote the song. Does this meet the criteria for TM? Thanks.

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Law Educator, Esq.

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I'll be filming a webcast For YouTube and possibly other

I'll be filming a webcast For YouTube and possibly other outlets on TV....do I need a release form for people to sign who will be in it? And if so where can I find a release form and a other forms like a Non disclosure agreement form?Are there other forms that need to be signed?

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Gerald-Esquire

Juris Doctor

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