Saturday, October 10, 2015

Electronic Self-Publishing, Copyright and Trademark Considerations

Electronic Self-Publishing, Copyright and Trademark Considerations

Many venture on to electronic self-publishing without endeavoring into copyright and trademark considerations that do come up. The efforts to do so could be for self-publication or out of an egalitarian purpose of making materials easily available. The issues for self-publishing for those seeking to venture are immaterial to the purpose  Initial costs of publishing can be limited which is a plus with electronic self-publishing. The elimination of an additional tear of reviews could sterilize the content of one’s writing and have it lose its creative oomph.
There are a handful of considerations before one ventures off into the self-publishing foray.  The initial consideration pertains to the medium that is being published.  Is it an image or a graphic?  Is it text or music lyrics?  Are brands being used or an existing trademark being used?  The answer to these may appear intuitive but it’s far from that.

If you are considering using graphics the origin of its domain whether it’s public or not is an initial serious consideration.  How you acquire the desired image is another consideration.  All attention should be focused on the permission for use and the type of license that is acquired for its use.  There is no generic concept that is applicable to all images and graphic that would obviate specific assessment of each prior to use.
The difference in assessment from images and graphics to that of lyrics and text is that the latter is usable under license as a portion of the created art. The amount of the lyrics or the text in question then becomes another issue all together because publishers have different licensing standards that will require individual assessment prior to use.
To what extent partial content use should be considered ‘fair use’ is a question that must be initially answered.  The pedestrian self-publisher should not rely on word count, though that is what client commonly rely on to their dismay. There is a certain value to a segment of a song or a text that carries resonating meaning.  In and of itself is distinguishable from other segments of the same song or text.
A very touchy topic in the realm of self-publishing is the matter involving others’ trademarks and brands being used publications.  A self-publisher will wrestle with the possibility of being challenged for ‘infringement,’ ‘dilution,’ or ‘tarnishment;’ all being determined by the context of the brand’s or trademark’s use in the publication. There are ‘search engines’, for example who adamantly seek to prevent the use of its ‘brand’ as the commonly used term for internet searches.  A self-publisher has risks and benefits to weigh before venturing to use a brand or a trademark in its work. 

Lorenzo Law Firm is “Working to Protect your Business, Ideas, and Property on the Web."
Copyright 2015, all rights reserved Lorenzo Law Firm, P.A.  

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