1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

Nonprofit Program - intellectual property

Discussion in 'Consumer Law, Contracts, Warranties' started by LydiaMae, Jun 10, 2022.

  1. LydiaMae

    LydiaMae Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    Indiana
    I’m Founder and CEO of a small nonprofit organization that is likely about to get much much bigger, and I want to make sure we have everything in place to grow safely and protect everyone involved. Below is some context to our organization, and my questions -


    We’re a service dog organization - and we’re the only one in the US training PTSD service dogs for abuse survivors (all other organizations out there currently are either for veterans, or broadly train service dogs for most people). To send the service dogs off with their survivors, I need to employ the help of other professionals in the field of trauma to put together a “Trauma Recovery Program” that is planned to consist of 3 weeks worth of material, as well as a workbook.


    We have $1000 specified for each one of these partners, which I realize is not a lot. Our organization is entirely run by volunteers (myself included) and no one gets paid, so everyone involved thus far has done so to be a part of a cool new thing, and out of passion for the mission. Now, here are my questions -


    • Since we can’t offer a large salary, I’d like to have every partner who has worked to help develop the program to have access to use the intellectual property in the workbook. Is there a way for me to stipulate that in their contract?

    • The survivors are not paying for their dogs and they don’t have to pay anything to be a part of the program - is it imperative that our organization be insured before sending off the dogs? The survivors are of course going to sign a contract to release ourselves of liability should anything go wrong, but I want to make sure that our partners could never suffer legal consequences from being involved (at least on our end).

    • This is my first time ever dealing with intellectual property (probably obvious =P) - after submitting the workbook, how long should I estimate waiting for the copyright?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Your cause sounds noble, however, your request is WAY beyond the scope of an internet forum. You need personalized, professional advice from an attorney that you hire.
     
    hrforme, LydiaMae and zddoodah like this.
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    35,014
    Likes Received:
    6,057
    Trophy Points:
    113


    You certainly can add the language into each volunteer's contract, or make it known as part of an "on boarding" activity.

    In order to avoid ISSUES down the road, you should run ALL of this by your attorney, or retain the services of one.

    One misstep with many of these people "care and feeding" items could destroy what you're building.

    You'd be whacko NOT to discuss potential liabilities with an insurance agent or broker you trust.

    Yes, you don't want to go forward WITHOUT excellent insurance coverage.



    Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.

    Once more once, if one of your canines were to "maul" a client or one of their children, that could erase everything you're building.

    One can't estimate with accuracy how long gubmint bureaucracies require to provide you with the thing you're seeking.

    That said, you MIGHT be able to speak to the professor overseeing one of the law school clinics near you.

    Your organization could be well received as one of their "pro bono" projects!!!

    Indiana Accredited Law Schools – Law Schools

    I wish you well as you endeavor to assist those in need, God bless.

    Chase that dream, Lydia.

     
    LydiaMae and Zigner like this.
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,950
    Likes Received:
    2,819
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You make a great point about the possibility of pro bono representation. I suspect that one may be able to get an attorney who is passionate about this cause to provide free (or greatly reduced) services.
     
    LydiaMae likes this.
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    35,014
    Likes Received:
    6,057
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I agree.

    The cause is noble.

    The OP's nonprofit is sitting on the tip of the spear.
     
    LydiaMae and Zigner like this.
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,808
    Likes Received:
    4,058
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Yes. An attorney can help you write a contract that takes care of that.

    Hell yes.

    And before you even have any dogs in your possession. Wherever you keep them they can still inflict injury on others no matter how careful you are.

    Very amusing. Those liability waivers aren't going to be worth the paper they are printed on. You train a dog improperly and he tears somebody's throat out, you'd be amazed how fast a jury will toss that document.

    Find yourself an independent commercial insurance agent and buy the proper liability insurance for your business. Be prepared to spend a lot of money on insurance because you are going into a high risk business. You might want to join an association of similar dog training businesses and see who knows what about insurance availability. There may even be insurance at more reasonable cost through an association.

    Your workbook has limited copyright protection upon its creation. Registering the work with the US Copyright Office provides even greater protection.

    Study up:

    U.S. Copyright Office | U.S. Copyright Office

    And get it registered as soon as possible.
     
    LydiaMae likes this.
  7. LydiaMae

    LydiaMae Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thank you everyone for your advice so far! It's been my plan to bring a lawyer onto the board, but that won't happen for a few more weeks. You've all definitely helped me get the ball rolling until that happens -

    I've reached out to start our insurance policy this month, and will be contacting a local law school like you suggested!
     
  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,815
    Likes Received:
    2,032
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Just wanted to add my support for the cause. The subject of service dogs is one very close to my heart. When a very dear friend/adjunct family member died, we requested donations to his favorite charity, an organization for service dogs for veterans, in lieu of flowers. But service dogs for abuse survivors is an idea whose time is very much come, and I applaud the OP for her program.
     
    hrforme and LydiaMae like this.
  9. LydiaMae

    LydiaMae Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    That's so sweet of you, thank you so much!
     

Share This Page