Basics of Navigating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”)

Due to the proliferation of the Internet, social media platforms, and hosting websites, online service providers have often become unwitting hosts to materials that may potentially infringe on the copyrights of another. Likewise, original content creators have also increasingly found themselves to be targets of unjustified DMCA takedown requests. Sometimes these takedown requests are made for anti-competitive or harassing purposes by competitors of the website operator.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor in certain circumstances for website operators, who host materials submitted by third parties that may infringe the copyrights of others. If the copyright owner provides a take down notice in compliance with the requirements of the DMCA and the website operator timely complies with its obligations under the DMCA, it may be shielded from liability for copyright infringement. The website operator can adopt and post a copyright policy to facilitate DMCA compliance. A sample copyright policy is below, which requests that a takedown notice including at least the following information:

  • A detailed description of the copyrighted work you believe is being infringed upon description of the location of where the alleged infringing content appears;
  • Your contact information (including name, address, telephone number, and email address);
  • A statement that you have a good faith belief that the alleged infringing use is not authorized by you as the copyright owner, your agent, or by law;
  • A statement affirming that, under penalty of perjury, the information in the notice is accurate and that you are indeed authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner; and
  • An original signature of the copyright owner or someone authorized on the owner’s behalf to assert infringement of the copyright as well as to submit the claim.

In addition to the policy, the website operator should register an agent with the United States Copyright Office.

While the above identifies a number of eCommerce and internet law issues affecting compliance with the DMCA, an in-depth analysis may be required. For example, the timeliness requirement for the take down has been a hot litigation topic lately. Additionally, the DMCA applies to copyrights only, and does not currently provide a safe harbor for trademark infringement or patent infringement claims. These type of claims stemming from users of the website can be addressed in the Terms of Use or other website agreement between the website operator and its users.

Posted in |

Ensuring That You Own Your Content’s Copyright

You have been a prolific writer for your business for a long time and, of course, just like all other writers, you use sources to back up the facts that you write in your content. Of course, there is no reason for you to assume anything other than the fact that you own the copyright of all of the content that you are writing.

Sometimes the line is obscured

If you own the copyright on specific content (including graphics, videos, etc), that means that you can do anything that you wish with that content. After all, it belongs to you. On the other hand, if someone else owns the copyright on the content, you are severely limited from doing what you want with that content. That means that you can’t recycle the content and use it over and over again, you can allow other people to post the content on their websites (for increased exposure and a wider reach), and you can’t touch the images (making them smaller, larger, wider, narrower). Your hands are tied in that case. However, you may not always understand when it is appropriate (legally and ethically) to alter the content in any way and when you really need to be hands off.

You probably have an accurate sense that you can’t just find a graphic image online, copy it, and embed it in your content. That is just common sense. If you use any portion of someone else’s content (words), you probably realize that you must give the author credit for what he or she has written. However, the copyright goes far beyond that. It is extremely important for you to understand the basics of copyright and how that applies to you and to your business. If you don’t pay attention to what you are allowed and not allowed to do, you may get yourself into trouble (legally and financially speaking). There are some concepts that will benefit you if you at least have a working knowledge of them. Hopefully, they will not actually apply to you at any time but being aware is very important for you.

  • Have a licensing agreement, including an invoice: That is an invoice from the person who owns the copyright. If you plan to use material of which someone else owns the copyright, you will probably need to pay that person (or that entity) some money. There may be rare occasions in which the person or entity will not charge you money but you need to have a written agreement between you so that you don’t get into trouble.
  • Lawsuit as a result of copyright infringement: This is a lawsuit that occurs in a federal court. The person or entity doing the suing is the owner of the copyright. The lawsuit will make demands, such as your eliminating all of the copyrighted material from wherever you have posted it online. You will also (most likely) be expected to pay some amount of money (damages) and there is also the potential that you will be asked to pay the lawyers’ fees.
  • Cease-and-desist communication: This is a communication (usually in the form of a letter) from the person who owns the copyright telling you that you must delete their content from wherever you have posted it.
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice: This is a notice that refers to the act on behalf of the copyright owner. It is sent to your web hosting service. It will insist that your web hosting service disables any access to wherever the copyrighted content appears.

The disturbing thing about this situation is that, depending on the whim of the copyright owner, you may end up paying in any number of ways. It might be minor but it might be major as well. You may be notified of the copyright violation in stages. If you respond immediately after you receive the first notice, you may get lucky and after doing whatever is demanded of you, that will be the end of it, as long as you never do it again. However, if you continue, the consequences will probably get more and more severe. You will need to tread lightly in this situation and do whatever you need to do quickly if you want to escape relatively unscathed.

Educate yourself about your rights

When you first write a piece of content, you need to make sure that you take all measures to ensure that you never run into these types of problems that are described above. If you don’t happen to be the one creating the content, you need to make sure that you get the other person to assign copyright ownership to you. It is critical that you have it in writing. The best thing to do is to have a written contract between you and the other person. Hopefully, in that case, there will be no question about anything. If you want the creator to be able to benefit from the content, it is safest to put that into the contract as well. The sorts of things that you will want to put into the contract are: exactly what is being created, how revisions are handled, deadlines and consequences if those deadlines are not met, the payment schedule, who will own the copyright, and who will be responsible for the consequences if the copyright is violated. If you have a long-term relationship with that person, you will probably find that you will need to revise your contract over time.

Conclusion

Copyright ownership may not have been something that you thought about very often (or at all); however, you need to have it in mind all of the time and be cognizant of doing the right thing. If you don’t, the consequences will probably not be pleasant. You need to protect your reputation and your bank account at all times. Copyright laws are very complicated and you may not even realize that you are violating any of those laws. However, you need to be aware of what you are doing and make sure that you don’t continue to violate any copyright laws. Interestingly, there are a few situations in which you don’t need to get permission from the copyright owner of the content. You should do the research and determine when those rules apply, which will ease the burden a little bit. Undoubtedly, you were not aware that you were doing anything wrong. However, once you are aware, you need to make sure that you do everything by the book.

Posted in |

Choosing an Attorney For Your Liability Case

A great concern among professionals in this day and age is the fact that owning a business means the possibility that a mistake could occur which could ultimately end in a lawsuit against them. The professionals that are at a particular risk are architects and basically any practice in the medical field. However, when it comes down to it, pretty much any business is at risk of liability if they produce a product that could harm someone and doesn’t have proper caution labels, or if their property is neglected to the point that it becomes hazardous to people. That’s why it can be important to take preventative measures with a Los Angeles liability attorney.

Consequently, it is important that as any other respectable and responsible professionals have liability; but sometimes, this works in two different ways, on one hand the professional has to have a good Los Angeles attorney. On the other hand, the professional that has caused a person damage (whether it is to the person or his property) will have a liability lawyer of his own, which could result in issues when attempting a settlement.

A liability lawyer’s job is to help gather evidence in the favor of their client and seek compensation for their party. The initial goal is to try to reach a settlement outside of court, however if this cannot be done, then the lawyer will make preparations for representing their client in court. The first step in hiring a lawyer for your representation is to understand which type of liability the claim is for (product or premises) and proceed to pick a lawyer who specializes in that field.

When you require the best assistance and defense in such cases do turn to the Los Angeles liability attorneys, as they will be able to provide you with proper guidance and defense in such cases. In addition, even if they are not able to directly get involved, surely they will be able to guide you towards the appropriate liability firm in your area, ask around, you will not be sorry.

Posted in |

What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

Posted in |

Need A Little Help Finding A Lawyer?

We all know what a lawyer is but most of us hope that we will never need one. Unfortunately, there are many
circumstances in life that may call for you to need a lawyer. For this reason, you should know how to find a lawyer to suit your needs. You may even want to look for a lawyer before the actual need arises since if something happens to make you need a lawyer, you will likely be very stressed out at that point in time.

The chances are that sooner or later, each one of us will need to find a lawyer. Whether it is engaging a divorce
lawyer, a malpractice attorney or any other kind of legal specialist, the need for a lawyer will one day arise for you or someone you know. And when you do need a lawyer, the question you will ask yourself is – what is the best way to find a lawyer?

Of course there are many ways to locate a reliable and reputable lawyer. You might like to ask a friend or family member for a recommendation. They will only suggest someone who they can put their own trust and faith in, so you know you’re getting a quality lawyer with the right kind of experience. But what if you don’t know anyone who can make that kind of recommendation to you? Who do you turn to find a lawyer in that case?

Have you considered using the Internet as a solution to this problem? Over the internet, you will be able to find a wide variety of lawyers, who offer a complete variety of services. And while you’re looking, you can complete some research and discover about the law firm before you even consider hiring them. This means you can, in reality, compare law firm against law firm without even spending a retainer fee.

While you can find all types of lawyers online, it is vital that you pick the right lawyer for your specific needs. After all, even the top personal injury attorney won’t do you any good if you need a divorce lawyer. Choose your lawyer carefully. Ask them to advise you of their experience in their field and to outline in major cases they have successfully tried and won.

You can then make a good, informed decision about who you think will be a good one for your situation. Remember it is important that you are able to trust your lawyer because you will likely have a lot riding on it.

Posted in |

Tips For Selecting a Liability Attorney

Every day, consumers spend millions of dollars in retail and grocery stores all across the country. We believe that our purchases will bring happiness, fulfill our needs and bridge the gap. We take solace in the fact that the companies who manufacture the products we use will always do the right thing. Unfortunately, no one is right all the time. If you live in the greater Houston area and have been injured by the negligence of a product manufacturer, you need a Houston liability attorney.

If you have been harmed and try to seek compensation on your own, without the help of a Houston lawyer, the chances are high that the manufacturer may try to settle with you out of court with a fraction of the money which you could be entitled to. A lawyer will make sure that you are compensated for medical bills, wages lost due to your injury, and even lawyer’s fees. In fact, may lawyers offer a deal that if they don’t win the case for you, then their services are free; if you win, they will receive a percentage of the compensation awarded to you.

Have you ever sustained an injury at a shopping center or hotel? Houston premise liability law protects individuals from neglectful property managers and owners. If you have suffered a fall or accident on private or public property, the owner owes you restitution. Broken equipment, unclear sign postings and faulty buildings can cause serious bodily injury and even death. Hold thoughtless companies and individuals responsible for your safety on their premises. If you are on site as a guest or consumer, the owner is liable for any harm that comes to you on the premises.

When you are looking for a Houston liability attorney, verify qualifications and certification. Don’t allow yourself further injury by going to court with the wrong lawyer at your side. A good liability attorney will help you through the tough times and see you through the storm.

Posted in |

Finding a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer

Texas is the second largest state in the United States, and as you can imagine, there are plenty of San Antonio bankruptcy lawyers available for you to choose from. The tough part isn’t necessarily finding an attorney, it’s choosing one. You will find that by doing a bit of research, you can minimize your results down so that you’re left choosing from only the lawyers who will benefit you and your case.

Bankruptcy has a lot of truths and myths floating around that end up confusing many people. The first thing you should do before seeking an attorney is to educate yourself on bankruptcy and the different chapters there are. The attorney that you end up hiring will be able to educate you, but it might be best if you start off with a bit of a foundation of knowledge. Plus, when it comes time to choose your lawyer, you will be able to find one who specializes in exactly the type of bankruptcy you wish to file, or they might even be able to recommend a different chapter of bankruptcy to file if they feel it would better suit your situation.

One thing to remember when considering bankruptcy is that the economy is wreaking havoc on many peoples’ finances, and you are not the only person having to file bankruptcy and start over. There is no shame in seeking the help of an experienced lawyer to help you file San Antonio bankruptcy. Besides, hiring an attorney doesn’t have to be expensive if they specialize in bankruptcy. Most of them are sympathetic with the fact that people needing to file bankruptcy cannot afford colossal lawyer fees.

A great tip to remember is to generate a list of questions that you want to ask an attorney during the initial meeting, or consultation. Try to keep in mind that this “interview” should leave you feeling confident that the San Antonio attorney is not only qualified to practice law, but is familiar and experienced in handling bankruptcy cases and has a proven track record of such. If you walk away feeling like the lawyer left something to be desired, feel free to “shop around” until you find someone who better suits you. There are plenty out there to choose from, so don’t feel like you have to compromise!

Posted in |

Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

  • Name change forms
  • Certificates of marriage
  • Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

  • Appoint a legal guardian
  • Establish paternity
  • Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
  • Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.

Posted in |

Tips For Choosing the Perfect Lawyer

Choosing the perfect lawyer / attorney would be the hardest part for any one. You need some one with great passion and professional touch in the profession to win cases for you. A lawyer should be more like a friend to you to cleanly understand your issues and problems. You need a lawyer who is specializing in that particular matter of concern. A divorce lawyer / attorney won’t be that much efficient in handling criminal cases / accident cases. So you should do your research before choosing you lawyer.

To choose your right lawyer, you at least do the following:

  1. Talk to your friends / relatives who have gone through the same pace of life, ask them and get to know whom they have selected.
  2. Do talk to more than one lawyer / attorney.
  3. While handling with law firms, do talk to the lawyers / attorneys who is going to take up your case rather than the councilors / executives.
  4. Find what the lawyers are charging and their style of functioning.
  5. Some senior lawyers would take up the case and hand over that to juniors. We need someone who really understand our issues and find a solution for us.
  6. Do search in yellow pages / white pages / Bar association websites and read reviews about the lawyers / Law firm.
  7. Find out whether the lawyer is a member of local, state, or national associations.
  8. Determine the experience of the lawyer and the types of cases that have been handled by him.
  9. How you will be informed about the case progress and how often?
  10. Get clarified how long it takes to resolve the issues.

Choose the lawyer who provides you the answers that make you comfortable. You need a smart lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and complete all assignments in a timely and professional approach. You also need a lawyer who you get along with and like. By selecting the right lawyer will would save you precious time as well as money at the same time you can also reduce your stress level as the lawyer is going to take up the assignment.

Posted in |

How To Expand Your Family Law Practice: Ten Money Making Tips For Divorce Lawyers

The divorce rate in the United States is likely to rise over the next five years due to the ten sociological trends that will be outlined below.

These changes will create an abundance of work and opportunities for family lawyers and matrimonial lawyers.

  • In a bad economy, some people stay in bad relationships because they feel trapped. In short, they can not afford to leave their spouse. Today’s economy is quite strong. Home prices are rising and the stock market has been on the rise. Many people who are unhappy with their marriages can now afford to terminate these unfulfilling relationships.
  • The opioid crisis, the heroin crisis, the increase in alcohol abuse will create a lot of familial stress and will contribute to marital disintegration in America. Interestingly, many private corporations are now investing in drug treatment center to profit from the increased need for these services.
  • Domestic violence often coexists with addictions and substance abuse. Spouses in violent relationships will need to be protected by family lawyers and by the criminal justice system.
  • The rising number of people who are addicted to pornography, video games and social media will continue to put a strain on marriages and on family life. Many clinicians and attorneys are seeing the impact of these kinds of addictions on marriages and on intimate relationships.
  • Laws allowing same sex marriages create more relationships. More relationships means that there will also be more relationships which end in divorce.
  • Internet dating has made it very easy to meet, to hook up with people and find another spouse. Consequently, people are not afraid of being alone and will not hesitate to remove themselves from an unhappy marriage.
  • The public is now more aware of the value and utility of pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements. Attorneys will need to create more and more of these contracts.
  • Infertility treatments are creating many complicated legal issues for couples. Who owns the fertilized eggs is merely one example of the kind of legal issues that this relatively new technology is generating for families and for their lawyers.
  • The growth of mediation will simplify and shorten the divorce process and make it easier and less expensive to terminate a failing marriage. Consequently, more people will be likely to utilize the legal system to end their marriages.
  • Similarly, collaborative divorce is gaining in popularity and is creating another viable route to divorce for some couples in America.

 

Posted in |