Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Intellectual Property Law

What constitutes copyright infringement? If I find someone

Customer Question
What constitutes copyright infringement? If I...
What constitutes copyright infringement?
If I find someone else's explanation answer to a question, and I read that explanation, and then develop my own explanation perhaps with different wording will that be a fair use or non infringing use, or is it pretty much exactly the scenario type that copyright law is there to prevent?
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Answered in 8 minutes by:
3/21/2010
IP Lawyer: Alex Reese, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,466
Experience: Experienced in intellectual property law
Verified

Copyright infringement occurs when copyright protected material (original and creative work) is copied either exactly or with substantial similarity. Copyright does not protect concepts or ideas, but rather, only the expressive elements of a work. So it depends on if you are copying the expressive/creative elements of the work. also, the amount you "copy" matters to, relative to the work itself as well as your work.

for more info on copyright protection & infringement, see http://coursecracker.com/4/7487/College/Law/Intellectual-Property-Law/links/index.html

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Well, here is what I am trying to do but not sure whether it is legal. I have licensed and am licensing practice exam questions for state licensure exams (eg R.N., OTR, etc..) and know which answers are correct from the provider. Other competing exam review courses provide the same exact questions (legally licensed just like mine) but they have developed their own explanations as to why each response is correct (or incorrect). I am wondering whether I can simply read their explanations, and then write my own explanations to make my product more competitive?

I wonder if my explnations would be a derivative work based on their explanations, or if both mine and their explanations are derivative works based off of the original questions which are identical and licensed from the same originating source?
IP Lawyer: Alex Reese, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Well there is a spectrum, on one end if you copy them exactly its infringement and on the other end if you read it and put it all in your own words then its not.....in between is going to depend on the specifics. Facts, concepts, and ideas are not protectable but the expressive/creative writing is, so you have to put things essentially in your own words. esp. if you are doing it on such a large scale where you are essentially writing your own version of each explanation because they can argue "substantial similarity"....its all a matter of degree of what/how you are using the work, there is no simple answer here, and even if an attorney sat down and reviewed your work versus the original and gave an opinion, that is far from definitive, opinions vary. So you should err on the side of being safe and really put things in your own words and borrow as little as possible to avoid problems.
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I like your spectrum idea. I guess my remaining question is this, does the spectrum really practically apply only to the question of whether there is infringement or not from a legal perspective?

Because it seems like whether or not my expressions were substantially similar, I would know that they are a derivative work in that I derived my explnation from their explanation. Perhaps that derivation is not what is contemplated by copyright law regarding derivative work.
IP Lawyer: Alex Reese, Lawyer replied 7 years ago

A derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major, copyright-protected elements of an original, previously created first work....but whether it is a "derivative work" or just an infringing work doesn't really matter from your standpoint because you don't want to do either, they are both infringement. But you can't have a derivative work without substantial similarity or some key elements being copied.

the spectrum is a way to think about infringing acts but the main test is whether you have copied/borrowed the expressive elements of the work and to what extent, so you should use your best judgment on that e.g. are you putting it in your own words or essentially plagiarizing?

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
IP Lawyer: Alex Reese, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Does that answer your question? please click "accept" so that I can receive credit for my answer. best of luck
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,466
Experience: Experienced in intellectual property law
Verified
Alex Reese and 87 other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 7 years ago
I think it does answer my question may I follow up with you later in the week?
I really don't get to think about this project much unless its evenings or weekends.

Thanks.
IP Lawyer: Alex Reese, Lawyer replied 7 years ago
just ask for me in the title of your next question or better yet specifically request me (there is a feature for that)
Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question
Alex Reese
Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3,466
3,466 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Experienced in intellectual property law

Alex Reese is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Alex Reese

Alex Reese

Lawyer

3,466 satisfied customers

Experienced in intellectual property law

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Robert McEwen, Esq.

Lawyer

856 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

561 satisfied customers

I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.

Thomas Swartz

Thomas Swartz

Lawyer

460 satisfied customers

Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

453 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney in private practice.

Wilton A. Person

Wilton A. Person

Lawyer

352 satisfied customers

MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law

BartEsq

BartEsq

Researcher

192 satisfied customers

Juris Doctor

< Previous | Next >

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions
I need help with music things. Copyrights and trademarks. If
I need help with music things. Copyrights and trademarks … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,086 satisfied customers
A Californian artist has infringed a copyrighted photograph
A Californian artist has infringed a copyrighted photograph of mine published in a book in 1994. She copied my photograph without authorisation, without credit and without payment. Her website indicat… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
Copyright law/publishing rights question. I am considering
Copyright law/publishing rights question. I am considering entering a short story writing contest offered by the publisher of an existing fiction series and buddy of the author. The stories must relat… read more
Alex Reese
Alex Reese
Lawyer
3,466 satisfied customers
My question is concerning copyright law. (I think) I am a
My question is concerning copyright law. (I think) I am a graphic artist I draw photorealistic portraits in graphite, charcoals and color pencil. I would like to begin offering fantasy composit portra… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
Re: copyright infringement. The company who created and
Re: copyright infringement. The company who created and hosts my business website used an image on my site, which was taken from a disk that was public domain. I received notification from a company (… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,819 satisfied customers
I am an international in America. I wish to copyright my
I am an international in America. I wish to copyright my material. What is the safest site to do it on? … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
Can I claim fair use on a blog photo I hotlinked? The
Can I claim fair use on a blog photo I hotlinked? The photographer failed to protect copyright by having the image plastered all over the web and some photos even have ownership claim conflicts (water… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
FOR BILL ATTORNEY - Bill, is it within fair use to mention a
FOR BILL ATTORNEY - Bill, is it within fair use to mention a couple names of authors and the titles of their books?: Now I understand many authors in search of the t***** *****ke.... such and such and… read more
Thelawman2
Thelawman2
Doctoral Degree
1,240 satisfied customers
I got a copyright infringement notice from Servpro.com. We
I got a copyright infringement notice from Servpro.com. We have owned a website for several years called serviceproslocal.com. They are requesting us stop using the website which we have invested 100'… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
453 satisfied customers
I have a question about literature copyright, fair use. I am
Hi I have a question about literature copyright, fair use. I am an author, and I know that it's fairly common that books contain an epigraph (quoting another author or poet's works), however I am not … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,086 satisfied customers
I received a copyright infringement notice from a company in
I received a copyright infringement notice from a company in Toronto CA. They apparently found a cartoon photo on my blog from 2014. I was unaware it was copyrighted. They are asking $2940.00, I'm in … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
453 satisfied customers
I have received a copyright infringement notice that has to
I have received a copyright infringement notice that has to be replied by January 26. My crime is that I had uploaded soft copy of a book on Kijiji.ca for sale. After I received the mail, I have delet… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
I received notice of copyright infringement from an
I received notice of copyright infringement from an pornographic website that I once subscribed to in 2011. The claim is that I uploaded their property to a torrent site. (I do not even know how to do… read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,570 satisfied customers
I have received a copyright infringement notice from an
Hi I have received a copyright infringement notice from an attorney in Germany and I am in the US. It's an old site that I haven't touched in 2 years. The image had no text to it and I took it down … read more
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
856 satisfied customers
Copyright infringement by using software and the internet
copyright infringement by using software and the internet for allegedly downloading the film I got this letter and wanted to see what needs to be done at this point? … read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,086 satisfied customers
One of my customers has received a Copyright Infringement
One of my customers has received a Copyright Infringement Notice from their internet provider. The notice states that someone in a branch office has posted, transmitted, or shared with others certain … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement
I was wanting to know how I can avoid copyright infringement if I wanted to play music from my favorite artists on a podcast. … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used
Hi I have a copyright infringement accusation for an image used on my business website. They're asking for $3,000 to resolve the matter. Is there anything I can do? I had reference link to the image s… read more
Legalease
Legalease
Attorney At Law
Doctor of Law w/ highest honors
15,669 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x