Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 20: Using Lawyers in Craft Businesses

For about three hours today I honestly thought I had Scarlet Fever. Which wouldn't be that crazy since I tend to come down with the weird random sicknesses that only affect 80-year-old men or babies. Oh, and I'm a hypochondriac. But seriously, google "strep throat" and "rash" and see what you come up with. But nope, just plain old strep with a fever-induced rash and, just for fun, you can throw in an apparently nasty ear infection I didn't even know I had. Which has absolutely nothing to do with the post today. Other than boy, did I disinfect my hands very well before I visited with the amazing lawyers today at the Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC).

I've hired the SBLC several times now to research different aspects of copyright and intellectual property rights law. One of the projects they were working on for me this time was how a new Supreme Court Finding, Golan v. Holder, affects the U.S. copyright status of foreign works published without proper U.S. copyright formalities. In other words, would a French travel poster published without a U.S. copyright notice in 1950 be usable for commercial purposes in the US or not? Once I've read through the SBLC's amazing summary document I'll probably do a whole post on it since I definitely found it all very helpful. I know quite a few crafters who are a little intimidated to contact lawyers for tasks like reviewing contracts or fighting off copycats, and I definitely used to be that way. Legal clinics, though, can be a very good starting point for all kinds of crafter business-questions since they often work on a sliding scale and most-of-all really want to help with your legal concerns.

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