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Artlaw Articles

Mickey Mouse and the Public Domain

This is the story of a man, a mouse, the law, and the internet.  The term of copyright protection for Mickey Mouse will expire in five years: on January 1st, 2024. What does that mean for one of the most recognized characters in media?

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Matthew Dedon
The Two Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Art

During my time as an entertainment/art attorney, I have spoken to many people who have called me in a panic, claiming that someone has stolen their work.  Frequently, this took the form of someone online who found a picture of the artwork. However, almost as often the perpetrator in question was a former partner who was working with artist on a song, a story, a screenplay, etc.

In order to prevent this from happening, or to stand any chance of recovery if it does happen, there are two steps that an artist must take to protect their work.

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Matthew Dedon
What is a Trademark?

At the most basic level, a trademark is a device that is associated with particular goods or services.  Commonly called a “mark,” this device could be a word, picture, logo, short phrase or a combination of all of those elements.  In recent years, certain colors and even smells have been registered as trademarks in limited situations. The key to an effective device is that when a person notices the trademark, they will know who produces the good or service that the mark is associated with.

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Matthew Dedon
What is Copyright?

Copyright is a form of protection by the government that grants the creator of an artistic work a number of exclusive rights to exploit their own work.  Copyright law is codified in Title 17 of the United States Code. Historically, copyright was used to give incentive to individuals to create works of art.

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Matthew Dedon
Intellectual Property Overview

The term “Intellectual Property” or IP, refers to creations of the human mind that have some creativity.  The various kinds of IP, and the protections given to them, is divided into three broad categories: Patents, Copyright, and Trademark.

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Matthew Dedon