In the legal world, trademarks and copyrights are important issues. This is an especially true day in the Digital Age. However, it’s important to know important facts about it so it’s understood better. Unfortunately, there are many common mistakes that people make about Intellectual Property (IP) including the following ones:
1. Big companies enforce their trademarks against small companies
Trademark holders are in a position that they must enforce their particular trademarks. If they don’t take that action they could lose the trademark. The function is a symbol that shows the company has a unique product or service. If many people are using one symbol in the market regarding the exact same product or service, it eliminates the function of a trademark.
It doesn’t matter who is using the trademark whether it’s a person or a corporation. The reason’s job of the trademark holder to make sure they enforce their trademark. Still, people can license a trademark by paying a small fee. Another option is to send a cease and desist letter that’s clear yet friendly.
2. Something that wasn’t invented can’t be trademarked
Patent law is related to protecting something that a person has invented. On the other hand, trademarks are related to protecting the ability of a business to build a particular brand and also avoid confusion among consumers. An example is a trademark on blue police boxes. The boxes already existed in real life. However, they’ve linked to Doctor Who so the ruling made the decision that can have the trademark for images of the police boxes used today.
3. It’s always illegal to sell fan art
The situation is a little complicated. If a person owns a copyright for a story they also have the legal rights to all the characters mentioned in the story. It’s important to note it’s just one of multiple factors to determine if a party is using an existing copyright fairly. It’s important to know the different factors. However, the one clear case when it’s OK to sell fan work is when it’s just a parody of the original. The reason is that it’s a type of criticism that’s protected by law.
4. A DMCA can be issued for taking down Internet content
DMCA means Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is only related to copyrights. DMCA can be used to remove content that’s been stolen from the web. However, if someone posts lie about you on the Internet without any content that you own. In that case, there are different methods to use. That’s because the issue is then about defamation. However, it’s important to keep in mind that issues related to truth are related to defamation rather than copyrights. This is critical to keep in mind.
5. Copyrights can be used when not sold
This isn’t exactly true. If you don’t sell a product it’s less likely that you’ll be using it in a legal way in terms of copyright laws. It’s important that you consider the other fair use issues. For example, you cannot print certain copyright books and give the texts away. There are exceptions to the rule, but this is generally the case.
Another example is posting a story, artwork, or film on the Internet. A past ruling suggests that to release a particular job on the Internet is a type of non-commercial use. However, there are other important issues such as the nature of the work that’s copyrighted, how much of the work was used, and so on
6. A trademarked concept can’t be included in a story
An example would be the use of the term “superhero.” In fact, DC and Marvel both have the trademark for the term. They’ve sent a cease and desist order to parties in the past about the issue. For example, in one case a small publisher used the term “superheroes” in a particular title. Thus, they were using the term when they marketed the book.
In this case, it’s permissible to use the term “superheroes” in books. However, it would be another story to include them in the title of the story or the publish company’s name.
7. Copyrights must be protected
This is an issue that involves people confusing trademarks and copyrights. People have the option to enforce their claims regarding copyrights. However, not enforcing copyrights doesn’t actually weaken the copyrights. However, there might an issue if someone wrongly claims to be the right of a copyright that you hold. In that particular situation, you might want to take action to clear up the issue.
Copyright holders often don’t take action about fan art, fan fiction, etc. The reason is that a copyright can’t be reduced like a trademark can. However, if the holder of a copyright doesn’t like certain fan work they can enforce their copyright claim.