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Band logo copyrighted without permission

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by lcp333, May 29, 2009.

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  1. lcp333

    lcp333 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I created a band logo/symbol back in January. I actually have an email that I sent to a band member on the 11th showing him the idea I had for the logo. Well, his mother had the Photo Shop program and was able to make a more suitable file of it for enlarging (for a banner). The band member was kicked out at the end of April and his mother was upset, so she copyrighted the logo and said she created it (copyright date shows beginning of May). She has now had a lawyer send us a cease and desist letter stating that we are not to use the logo. First of all, can she copyright this behind our backs without permission? Second, can she copyright something that I created and had the concept for? There is so much more I could elaborate on, but don't want to bore anyone. If anyone can help with these initial questions, that would be great.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You might want to write a letter back to the attorney and to the US copyright office that they had no rights to copyright the work of authorship since YOU held the rights as per the date of that email. You may want to also inform the other party that you are considering your options to sue for damages, in addition to reporting this other person's bad faith actions in trying to wrongfully and intentionally register a copyright knowing that they had no legal rights to do so. That's what I would do. :) If you've got the proof, chances are they will be forced to listen. I would also try to see what I could do to preserve data - e.g. send a preservation letter to this person and his attorney stating that all electronic and non-electronic data and information should be preserved in anticipation of imminent litigation. This way you can subpoena this person hard drives to prove they received the email you sent. Good luck!
     
  3. lcp333

    lcp333 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Another question, if I may.

    She did the work for the band as a favor in trade. This is the reason why she never paid my wife for $200 worth of hair coloring and haircuts (my wife is a hairstylist) and the reason why the band did not charge her for a private party that we played for her. Not to mention, his mother makes candles and my wife sold some of these candles at her shop to be nice at no charge. My question... if she did the work as "work for hire" for the band, then she wouldn't have any rights anyway, correct?

    If that is true, then there are at least two reasons why she doesn't have a case. The third reason, in my opinion, is the fact that she did this after her son was kicked out of the band. Wouldn't this be a red flag too?
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    This case is a big mess and without getting all the facts (and even then it would be a challenge), it would be difficult for either of you to demand exclusivity over the work, at least that is my take. Much of the time these cease and desist letters are scare tactics - I can't say it's the case here but there isn't clear ownership at all and I'd say that her lawyer probably advised her the same. If they file a case, it's a tough one to win IMHO.
     

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